Home General Info & Awareness 6 Ideas for Natural Chronic Pain Relief

6 Ideas for Natural Chronic Pain Relief

by InvisiblyMe
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Chronic pain is a chronic problem, so every little helps in trying to make managing it a little easier. Chronic pain is complex and what works for one person may not work for the next. In my opinion, it may require a combination of things, for many individuals that includes medications, as part of a more holistic approach to managing pain. For most people it’s a case of trial and error to see what can be of benefit to you personally in some way. Today I’m sharing a guest post with 6 ideas for natural pain relief.

Note: My MacBook is going to the Apple partner store for some TLC 5th August. I will be without a laptop for a few days so I may be behind on blog posts and emails for a little while. My laptop is my life, so I’m lost without it already! Apologies in advance.

While medication can be useful for some in treating chronic pain conditions, there are various ways to effectively treat and help manage chronic pain naturally. You might think that sounds too good to be true, but these methods are proven to help reduce symptoms and provide relief for pain patients.

Natural Pain Relief

Let’s take a look at 6 ways you can naturally relieve your chronic pain. 

1. Mind-Body Therapy

Our mind and body are intrinsically connected: every process in our body is controlled by our brain, even pain! This doesn’t mean that your pain is ‘all in your head’, as stigma so often dictates. In fact, all pain including acute pain (meaning the type of pain you get when you are injured or have an accident) is created in our brain. 

Our brain sends out pain messages in reaction to outside threats, to help keep us safe. However when pain becomes chronic, the brain has ‘learnt’ to continue producing pain messages, even when there’s no threat present! The good news is, the brain can learn to stop producing these pain messages.

Mind-body therapies treat the patient as a whole, using this mind body connection to help patients manage and reduce their symptoms. There are lots of types of mind-body therapy which can be useful for chronic pain patients. Three of the more well known types include:

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

You’ll likely hear of this one a lot, but for good reason! CBT helps patients to replace negative perceptions of pain and behaviours which may be contributing to the pain cycle, with positive thoughts and coping strategies to reduce pain.

  • Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)

Rather than focusing on changing thought processes, ACT helps you to accept your thoughts and understand that even if your thoughts are negative, they don’t need to lead to negative behaviours. Instead, ACT teaches you to commit to helpful coping behaviours to reduce pain. 

  • Mindfulness

Mindfulness focuses on being present in the moment, reducing stress and promoting complete relaxation. Stress can contribute to chronic pain, so this can be incredibly helpful. Mindfulness can also help you to sleep more restfully, to regulate your emotions and to make more positive decisions.

Mind-body therapies can be accessed through a referral from your doctor; privately if your resources allow; through local charities; online; or through a chronic pain therapy app like Pathways. 

Pathways is developed and run by pain patients who understand the experience of chronic pain, and have had success in overcoming their own chronic pain. The app focuses on mind body therapies which you can do in your own time, wherever you choose, to help you achieve long lasting pain relief. 

2. Exercise 

As cliche as it can sound, exercise can be so useful for those with chronic pain. It can feel impossible at first, but with a slow, manageable approach you can build up your fitness and your confidence! Exercise can help to reduce stiffness and inflammation; reduce pain; help you sleep; decrease fatigue; boost your mood and more! I know that personally, exercise has been an absolutely pivotal part of my chronic pain recovery journey with fibromyalgia and arthritis. 

3. Massage

Massage involves the use of varied pressure on specific areas of your body to release muscle tension, promote relaxation and ease pain as a form of natural pain relief. You can access massage from a trained massage therapist, or you could use an at home massager to provide some relief. I have a full body massage mat which I can lie on for 15 minutes a day; it makes the world of difference for my muscle tension and stiffness. 

A man lying on his side receiving massage from a therapist as a form of natural pain relief with hands on his back and shoulder.

4. Heat & Cold For Quick Natural Pain Relief

Using heat and cold can be a great way to relieve pain and provide some comfort at home. You can use hot water bottles, microwavable wheat packs and heating pads. Heat can also be very comforting and even help you to drift off to sleep at night.

Cold pads, ice packs or even cloths dipped in cold water can help to ease pain and reduce inflammation. Sometimes alternating between heat and cold can be really helpful, especially on high pain days. 

5. Supplements 

Natural supplements can be an effective way to reduce symptoms by providing some some indirect natural pain relief over time, such as by reducing inflammation. It’s important you do your research to see which supplements are backed by appropriate research and what the potential side effects are. Always consult your GP before starting a new regimen & seek professional advice if you have any queries.

Some supplement options include:

  • Turmeric

Turmeric comes from the root of a plant in the same family as ginger. It’s often used as a spice in currys. Turmeric is proven to reduce inflammation, which can help to ease joint pain and stiffness. 

  • Devil’s claw

Devil’s claw comes from an African plant. It reduces inflammation and eases pain. It has been found useful in reducing, “arthritis, low back pain, and headache.”

  • Willow bark

Willow bark simply comes from the bark of a willow tree, with an active ingredient called salicin. This article explains that willow bark, “has been used for centuries as a pain reliever”.  The salicin works in a similar way to aspirin to relieve pain and inflammation. 

  • Fish oil

Fish oils are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, which can help improve your immune system function, reduce joint inflammation and help to maintain healthier joints. 

These are just four of the many supplement options. It’s always a good idea to check with your doctor before taking any new supplement (even if it’s natural) to ensure it’s safe for you. 

6. Self-Care

One of the most essential ways of managing your chronic pain is practicing good self-care. Self-care refers to any positive habit you use to look after your physical and mental health. This can include:

  • Practicing good sleep hygiene: This includes going to bed and waking up at roughly the same time each day; making your bedroom a relaxing place; winding down before bed; and practicing relaxation techniques.
  • Eating well: Giving your body and mind the right nutrients helps it function optimally.
  • Exercising: Keeping active helps to keep you fit and boosts your mood.
  • Making time to relax: Finding ways to relax and do things you enjoy are great ways to keep you feeling more positive.
  • Resting: As much as it’s important to keep active, it’s vital not to overdo it and cause a flare in your symptoms. Taking rests when you need them and pacing your activity is helpful.
  • Finding purpose: Setting goals for the future and having things to work towards keeps you motivated and enhances determination. 

There are natural ways that you can manage and reduce your chronic pain to improve your quality life. There’s always hope, so don’t give up and remember to be kind to yourself! 

References : David Kiefer, MD, Traci Pantuso, MS, (2011), “Guide to Dietary Supplements Most Commonly Used in Pain Management”. Practical Pain Management, Volume 11, Issue 6. Rena Goldman, Kathryn Watson, (2017), “Willow Bark: Nature’s Aspirin”. Healthline.

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[ This is a sponsored guest post & as such the ideas expressed here are that of the author ]

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25 comments

Janis August 5, 2020 - 9:57 am

thanks for the tips!! i love turmeric! plus it is a natural chelator so it can remove harmful chemicals from your body!!

how do you use devil’s claw?

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InvisiblyMe August 11, 2020 - 9:51 am

Turmeric seems to be increasingly popular these days as more people become aware of its potential benefits. Good question on Devil’s Claw; you can actually buy oral supplements, like in tablet form, to take the extract I believe. x

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mentalhealth360.uk August 5, 2020 - 10:18 am

Wow, a terrific post Caz – well researched, well thought out, and informative. I’ve used most of these ideas and have varied success from them. CBT (even though I’m a skilled CBT practitioner) just didn’t do it for me. ACT was helpful sometimes, but Mindfulness is certainly my favourite of the ones you’ve listed. It doesn’t relieve the pain totally, but I love being in ‘that’ space.

Self hypnosis (as a practitioner) helps, again not in relieving the pain, but at least I can get into ‘that’ space where I’m ‘floating’, I’m calm and able to let any negative thoughts just be! I can just be, and that feels wonderful.

Obviously I can’t walk around in a permanent hypnotic state lol.

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Daily Doses of Sanity August 5, 2020 - 1:28 pm

I was trying self hypnosis once. By listening to audios available on youtube. I didn’t really think they could induce a trance as such but they did give a relaxed feeling which at times eased my headache…
But one day, during one such attempts with music playing I had a weird experience after which I never ever tried self hypnosis. LOL.

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Benn Bell August 5, 2020 - 10:54 am

Excellent post!

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Dolphin Girl August 5, 2020 - 11:33 am

Some great suggestions here Caz. Good post to share…. been thinking of you….

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Daily Doses of Sanity August 5, 2020 - 1:21 pm

I have a low intensity right sided frontal headache since 10 years which has no diagnosis. Some say it’s stress related, functional, migrane… I have been on several medications without much relief. SInce it’s just mild to moderate in intensity I am able to live with it. It does increase in intensity when I am upset or conflicted about something. But they told it’s very unusual to have stress related headache on only right side. I will try some on your methods to see if they work

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Masha August 5, 2020 - 1:50 pm

Excellent post, Self-care, turmeric, fish oil, mind body connection. Mindfulness, focusing on the present moment, I believe in all of these remedies, this is all great advise, thank you for sharing xoxo

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Sandee August 5, 2020 - 3:02 pm

There are so many different approaches to pain management. Finding the right one is key. You’ve done a great job researching and presenting.

Have a fabulous day, Caz. ♥

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pikachu1014 August 5, 2020 - 4:42 pm

Thank you!

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gemmaorton August 6, 2020 - 10:50 am

A great in depth list. Really been missing my head and shoulder massages this year. It’s not pain related for me, but definitely helps with tension and relaxation.

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Holly August 6, 2020 - 1:41 pm

Absolutely brilliant guest post, Caz! This is going to be one of those go-to resources for people in pain, I believe. Every single one of these tips have been helpful to me at one point or another in life.

This full body massage mat… wha?!? ???? Wow! I must find one of these, haha. I had no idea such a luxury existed outside of heading to a massage therapist! And to think all I’ve been using was a lowly head, neck, shoulder shiatsu massager! A full body massage mat sounds heavenly, don’t you think?

I’m a BIG believer in natural supplements and exercise for pain relief. The exercise sounds counterproductive to pain relief, but it honestly has helped me the most. I started small and have worked my way to intense workouts. Admittedly, I don’t necessarily always enjoy working out, but I do appreciate less stiff joints, less pain overall and dramatically improved mental health!

I agree about the turmeric too. The antioxidant and anti inflammatory power of that one spice is incredible! There were a couple on the list that I’ll be looking into as well.

Thank you, dear friend, for another informative, but encouraging post. You share some of the best tips for good health and a good life. ♥️ I hope your MacBook comes back good as gold. Sending my very best your way. ~ Holly ????

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Svet Pavlovsky August 6, 2020 - 2:46 pm

I love those tips, Caz! And it is also quite fascinating that through your mind and working on your thoughts and focus you can relief the pain. I think people do not realize also how important is self care and nutrition for the individual well being. I hope you are having a good week. Svet

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Despite Pain August 7, 2020 - 5:09 am

Great post again, Caz.

When you’re living with constant pain, any small measure that can give even just a small bit of relief is helpful. I have a massage mat and keep forgetting I have it! It’s been stuck in a cupboard for a while. I must look it out! Glad you mentioned self-care – it is definitely extremely important.

Hope you get your Macbook back soon. I’d be lost without mine.

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Darnell Cureton August 7, 2020 - 9:47 am

I find that getting rest does wonders. Part of stress and pain problems come from not giving your mind and body time to relax. My best days are on the weekends, because I’m not working and getting more rest. I hope you have a good peaceful weekend Caz.

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Gemma August 8, 2020 - 2:16 pm

Such a thoroughly researched post and some extremely useful tips! It’s amazing how powerful the brain can be in helping to alleviate pain in the body. Thanks for sharing.

Gemma x

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Mrs. Ram Jam August 9, 2020 - 10:21 am

I haven’t had a massage in months; I’m desperate for one. Shakes fist ruefully at the coronavirus. I might try to sneak out and get one today, but they can leave me drained for a day or after—and do I really do that the day before the students come? Ahhhhhh. I might.

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Mrs. Ram Jam August 9, 2020 - 10:22 am

Day or two after!!!! Ahhhhhh! My mush for brain is at it again!

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forresting365 August 9, 2020 - 1:24 pm

These are all great suggestions!!! I need a massage. ????Thank You!!! And I hope Your computer is feeling better sooooooon!!!!! Cheers and Huge hugs Your way, Caz!!! ????❤️????

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My Healthy Addictions August 9, 2020 - 4:15 pm

What a great post. I d add meditation as per Joe Dispenza to your point no 1. I also use acupressure mat when can’t get a massage and use feverfew drops for my tension headaches…

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Positively Alyssa August 10, 2020 - 12:12 am

Thank you for this valuable information Caz. I live with chronic pain everyday of my life, some days are worse than others. I have never heard of Devil’s Claw before so I am thankful you enlightened me with this!

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Lindsay August 10, 2020 - 1:30 am

Great post! I could definitely go for a massage about now!

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Equipping Site August 24, 2020 - 8:48 pm

Thanks for your like of my post, “End Times 21;” you are very kind. Please keep up your good work.

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Jo (A Rose Tinted World) October 20, 2020 - 2:17 pm

Some great ideas here. I am on certain drugs that interact with some painkillers (NSAIDS), and so I am always looking for good ways to manage my everyday aches. My other half swears by his TENS machine for his shoulder injury. He does exercises and take drugs, but the tens really helps too, which just goes to show that there are plenty of drug free ways of getting the body healthier.

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jo arosetintedworld June 20, 2021 - 10:07 am

Some fabulous ideas here. Going to read your post on CBD too, as I do want to try something, but just haven’t really got a clue.

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