Natural Pain Relievers through Endorphin Release
Endorphins are hormones produced and released within your body and work as natural pain relievers. They bind to the opioid receptors in the brain which block the perception of pain, similar to opioid pain medications such as morphine or oxycodone.
Working to increase production of endorphins can substantially help reduce pain and provide other benefits as well. Any physical activity that gets the blood pumping for a sustained period will release these pain-relieving endorphins into your system.
The obvious issue is: How do you exercise if you're in too much pain to exercise? The solution is to pick an activity that is tolerable and also begin with help from the right type of health professional, such as a physical therapy professional or personal trainer.
Essential Oils for Pain Relief
Essential oils have long been valued for their analgesic effects in many cultures. Several essential oils have a pain relieving effect, including peppermint oil, rosemary, and lavender.
There are many ways to benefit from essential oil, they can be inhaled or applied through a carrier, such as in a massage oil and part of a therapeutic massage.
Heat Therapy and Hot Water Soaks to Relieve Pain
Applying some form of heat can go a long way in easing pain. Try a hot water bottle, gel-filled pad heated in the microwave, electric heating pad, or a hot bath.
The natural pain relief benefits of heat therapy are twofold: it increases the flow of healing oxygen and nutrients to the damaged area, and it naturally suppresses pain signals.
Soaking in a hot bath has been found to alleviate muscle pain and muscle spasm, as well as arthritis pain. Additionally, adding essential oils or Epsom salts can help improve the muscle-relaxation benefits.
Soaking in a warm tub can also help warm up the muscles before stretching, helping to make stretching and exercise more tolerable and beneficial.
Wearing a heat wrap, such as one from ThermaCare, can help as it releases a low level heat for several hours and can be worn under clothes so you can remain mobile.
Massage Therapy for Pain Relief
Studies have shown that massage therapy not only helps with relaxation, but can also help diminish the body's perception of pain.
A high quality therapeutic massage spurs blood flow, which in turn helps nourish and heal the soft tissues in throughout your body. Massage also releases endorphins, which are your body's natural analgesics.
Like many complementary therapies, there is no substantial agreement in terms of how much massage therapy can help reduce pain, or which type of massage is best for which type of pain, so you may need to try more than one approach to find what works best for you.
Cupping to Relieve Pain
Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which a therapist puts special cups on your skin for a few minutes to create suction.
People get it for many purposes, including helping with pain, inflammation, blood flow, relaxation and well-being, and as a type of deep-tissue massage.