Is pain stopping you from doing what you want to do? Are you tired of turning to painkillers to dull the aches? Do you want to extricate yourself from the cycle of pain and pills? Read on to find out about safe alternatives.
According to the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), Americans spent over $30 billion on complementary health approaches in 2012. There are many applications for functional and complementary medicine, but a recent meta-analysis highlights a compelling one: pain relief.
According to one study, 126M adults experience pain in a given year (~33% of them experiencing severe pain). The most common types of pain include back, joint, neck and headaches. While medications can be helpful, most only provide partial relief, prompting many people to turn to complementary therapies as part of their pain management repertoire. In the study, the following modalities surfaced with the most promise for pain management: acupuncture and yoga for back pain; acupuncture and tai chi for osteoarthritis of the knee; massage therapy for neck pain and relaxation techniques for severe headaches and migraine.
So, the next time you experience acute pain, try some yoga, massage or chiropractic work before you resort to medication, over the counter or otherwise. At the very least, these complementary therapies can be used to as an adjunct their traditional counterparts.
In our clinic, we combine these complementary therapies with targeted metabolic balancing, supplementation and diet in a synergistic pain management approach. For example, one supplement that we use, Meriva, is a concentrated form of turmeric spice that has been shown to be as effective as OTC pain killers in reducing pain. A plant-based diet is also well-known to moderate inflammation in the body, relieving pain in conditions as diverse as osteoarthritis, cancer and CAD. Together, these therapies blunt inflammatory pathways from the inside out.
This article was contributed by Alexandria DeVito, MS, a functional nutritionist, Eating Psychology Coach, yoga teacher and personal trainer. With a background in nutrition and fitness, she brings the best of both disciplines to help clients address any areas they may want to optimize in their lives (e.g., increasing energy levels, relieving digestive distress, losing or maintaining weight). Prior to becoming a nutritionist, she was a consultant to the pharmaceutical and medical device industry. Alexandria holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration from Georgetown University, a Master’s of Science in Nutrition from University of Bridgeport and a Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.