8 Proven Ways to Manage Chronic Pain Without Medication

8 Proven Ways to Manage Chronic Pain Without Medication

Vitamin D

From good old vitamin D and chicken curry, these natural remedies can provide the relief you need from osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, migraines, and more..

Vitamin D

What can’t D do? In one new review in the Journal of Endocrinology, Brazilian researchers point out the role that D may play in both chronic pain management and sleep.

For one, lack of sleep can have downstream inflammatory effects that make you more sensitive to aches. Lack of vitamin D has also been linked to both pain conditions (like fibromyalgia) and poor sleep.

The conclusion: Taking supplements of D plus making sure you have good sleep hygiene practices (like keeping technology out of the bedroom) may both help you sleep better and manage discomfort. How much D is right for you? Talk to your doctor before popping a supplement. Avoid doing these things that only make pain worse.

Mediterranean diet Style Eating

The style of eating has people eating in a seriously delicious way: heaps of fruits and veggies, fatty fish (like salmon), nuts, legumes, and olive oil.

“There’s evidence that blood sugar control can reduce the progression of pain in knee arthritis and that following the Mediterranean diet can reduce pain sensitivity,” says Dr. Bonakdar.

One study published by researchers from Ohio State University, he points out, suggests that an anti-inflammatory diet can decrease long-term discomfort, particularly in those who are obese. That’s why he tends to recommend his patients follow a low sugar, high omega-3, anti-inflammatory diet. (In fact, he plans to give his patients cooking demonstrations on how to use food to reduce pain.)

Try cognitive behavioral therapy

Also called CBT, the mind-body approach helps you identify and change self-defeating thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that trigger pain.

You may learn how to relax, identify and change destructive thought patterns, as well as identify behaviors that increase and lessen pain.

Simply put, it’s a problem-solving approach. CBT, along with other psychotherapeutic techniques, like biofeedback and mindfulness “can help reduce pain levels while also modulating brain activity similar to acupuncture,” says Dr. Bonakdar.

Use more turmeric

There are so many ways turmeric can boost your health, including cognitive functioning. Add another one to that list: chronic pain.

Turmeric contains an anti-inflammatory compound called curcumin (which gives it its yellow hue), which “has historical and now solid clinical evidence for reducing inflammation and pain,” says Dr. Bonakdar.

One meta-analysis published in the Journal of Medicinal Food concluded that turmeric extract was effective in treating arthritis, though more research is needed, the authors point out. Still, it’s worth it to add the spice to your meals (throw fresh root into a smoothie, sprinkle it into water while rice cooks). Ask your doctor if supplements are right for you. Here are 16 more anti-inflammatory foods that you can eat to reduce pain.

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