Approximately 25.3 million Americans reported that they suffer from daily pain according to the National Institutes of Health (1). This number may be even greater considering those who do not report their daily aches and pains to their healthcare provider.
Luckily, there are many different treatment options and lifestyle changes available. In some cases, additional support from supplements can be effective in treating or reducing the severity of your pain.
Here are the top supplements that have been shown to reduce inflammation or pain according to science:
Ginger is a superfood that is truly worth its name. It is a great alternative to over-the-counter pain remedies such as NSAIDS, such as naproxen, aspirin, ect. People who use ginger report comparable pain relief without the same side effects.
Although the herb Ginger has been used medicinally for thousands of years, its tried and true benefits make it one of the most popular herbal supplements on the market today.
Studies report that ginger can help with numerous ailments such as:
- Inflammation- This includes a wide variety of ailments, everything from to joint pain to migraines to muscle soreness.
- Colds- Ginger is an excellent source of antioxidants. It is a powerful antibacterial and anti fungal as well, helping to fight off colds and infections from multiple approaches
- Improves gut health and reduces nausea- Ginger is an antimetic and can help with motion sickness and other types of nausea.
There are three main types of Omega supplements, Omega 3, 6 and 9. These fatty acids may prevent the formation of inflammatory substances that occur naturally in the body.
These long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids work on a cellular level to reduce inflammation and improve heart health.
One study actually reported that omega-3 fatty acid found in fish oil was as effective in relieving arthritic pain as NSAIDS.
Beneficial forms of omega-fatty acids can be found in supplements or in certain types of food including:
|Canola, Flaxseed, Algae and Soybean Oils||Sunflower, Corn, Peanut, and Soybean Oils||Sunflower, Olive, Peanut, Sesame and Canola Oils|
|Oily Fish like salmon and sardines||Meat and Eggs||Nuts such as Almonds, Peanuts, Cashews, Pistachios, Hazle and Macadamia nuts|
|Shellfish like oysters and crab||Dairy Products|
Curcurmin is the active ingredient found in turmeric supplements and also in curry powder. It is a spice that has long been used for its medicinal properties. This cousin to ginger is grown in central america and parts of southeast Asia.
Turmeric is packed with anti-oxidants but it is perhaps best known for its pain-reducing properties, specifically arthritic and joint pain.
According to this randomized controlled study, the active ingredient in turmeric was just as effective in pain relief as ibuprofen in patients with Osteoarthritis (joint pain).
*It is important to note that curcumin alone has poor bioavailability. It is important to find a turmeric that also contains piperine (black pepper) to enhance absorption into the blood stream.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is the non-psychoactive compound derived from hemp plants. This compound has significant health benefits.
CBD products are on track to being the number one supplement for pain relief in 2019 according to experts.
It is unclear how CBD works exactly because it stimulates multiple biochemical pathways through the body’s vast system of endocannabinoid system. It is typically derived from hemp despite rumors and stigma associating it with marijuana.
CBD Oil use has been on the rise in the past few years with the increasing amount of research showcasing its health benefits particularly in the field of pain relief.
Is CBD oil safe?
Yes, it is perfectly safe. Its use in medicine dates back to ancient times.
To date, there is no evidence of public related health problems associated with CBD use, including substance abuse potential, according to one report published by the World Health Organization.
Another 2017 study states that CBD safety is established in a plethora of ways by a number of published clinical trials.
What is CBD used for?
CBD is used world-wide to relieve pain and other chronic conditions. It is often used as adjunct or complimentary therapy. Chronic pain and other ailments include:
- Nerve Pain (13, 14)
- Muscle Pain
- Joint Pain (15)
- Migraines (16)
- Anxiety and Depression (17, 18)
- Nausea (19)
Is CBD oil legal in the United States?
Yes. Although there are varying restrictions state-to-state with CBD regulations, it is available in all 50 states.
What to look for when shopping for Supplements
Non-prescription pain relief products are flooding the market in 2019. It can be overwhelming trying to pick out the safest and best products considering the lack of regulation in the supplement industry.
Although each supplement has unique benefits, there are a few certifications that you must look for before purchasing:
- CGMP certification- these are current good manufacturing practices established by the Food and Drug Administration.
- Organic Certified
- Free of pesticides
- Free of heavy metals
- Optimal for absorption
Other optional criteria to look for
- Gluten Free
- Third-party testing for purity
Other Treatment Options For Chronic Pain
Pain is a subjective experience and can vary based on genetics, culture, age, disease, injury and severity. The most effective forms of treatment are uniquely catered to the individual’s lifestyle.
Treatment looks different for each individual and may be a combination of different methods. If you suffer from chronic pain it is important to be knowledgeable about the treatment options available. Additionally, some of these treatment options may interact with other medications you may be taking or be contraindicated in people with certain conditions. Always consult your primary care provider about your treatment options to develop the best plan of action for you and your pain.
Options for pain treatment can include:
- Over-the-counter medications- Acetaminophen (Tylenol), Naproxen sodium (Aleve), and other combinations containing these are among the most popular products in this category. Long-term use of these medications may increase your risk for a GI bleed (20) or cardiovascular damage (21, 22).
- Complementary or Alternative therapies such as yoga, acupuncture, massage therapy, TENS, physical therapy and more.
- Natural Supplements- There are a wide variety of other types of supplements that may help reduce your pain.
- Prescriptions Medications- Narcotics and medications that can alter the body’s pain signals. It is important to review the side effects and risks for each of these medications with your healthcare provider.
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