When many people start to feel an ache in their head or discomfort in their joints, their first instinct is to reach for a bottle of pain medicine. But there are numerous ways to relieve pain naturally through solutions such as natural supplements, acupressure and even water. Here are seven natural pain remedies to try the next time you face aches and pains. (Remember to check with your doctor before trying new supplements.)
White Willow Bark
Known as “nature’s aspirin,” white willow bark lowers inflammation, which may help with minor aches and pains. (Note: This supplement might not be safe for young adults under the age of 18.)
Acupuncture has been a way to relieve pain naturally in China, Japan, Korea and other Asian nations for hundreds of years. It can be used for short-term pain—and headache or muscle aches that pop up—or for more chronic issues such as fibromyalgia and the nerve pain caused by shingles.
With acupressure, a trained practitioner applies deep pressure to one part of the body to remove or ease pain in another part. It is similar to acupuncture but typically done without needles.
Acupressure has been used as a natural way to relieve pain in the back, head and even stomach; it’s sometimes used as a way to block nausea or vomiting after chemotherapy treatment or surgery.
Heat or Cold
Muscle or joint ache, insect sting or bite, inflammation or crush injury giving you problems? Heat or cold may be very effective natural ways to relieve pain.
Make sure to check whether heat or cold will be better for your specific type of injury. In general, ice is better for acute injuries such as a strain, sprain, bite or finger slammed in the door. It will constrict the blood vessels, which lowers pain and inflammation. Heat is better for natural pain relief when the issue is older injuries, sore muscles and inflamed joints.
Cramps or aches settling into your legs, arms, back or shoulders? Doing some basic stretches or gentle walking may get the blood flowing back into those areas, relieve the pressure on nerves and remove tension.
Many headaches are caused by dehydration. Make sure you drink plenty of water, consume fruits and vegetables, and stay hydrated throughout the day to avoid headaches. If a headache comes on, try water; even if it doesn’t actually help a pounding head, the act of drinking water may be enough to help you feel better.
The Arthritis Foundation also notes that consuming plenty of water can help keep joints lubricated, which helps to lower inflammation and serve as a natural pain remedy.