A warning light came on, on my car dashboard, last week. I immediately contacted my garage to book my car in for investigations. Unfortunately for me, on the drive to the garage more lights came on and my car suffered a major failure ending with me losing the ability to steer or break! Thank goodness I was doing a few miles an hour and was able to haul it onto the side of the road to await rescue.
I had to pay £102 to get my car picked up to take it the last 500 yards of the journey to the garage – perhaps the most expensive journey for such a short distance that I’ve ever had!
You may be wondering where I am going with this but it is pertinent to the problem of pain. Pain is the equivalent of a warning light in your car and should always be listened to. Would you ever consider ignoring the car warning light and carrying on regardless? That would be a road to catastrophe with your car. The same is true for your body.
The habitual use of painkillers and anti inflammatories is effectively putting a sticking plaster over your warning lights so you can carry on regardless and may well eventually lead to the destruction of joints, damaged soft tissues, serious gut problems and even heart disease.
Before ever considering pain relief you should always ask one simple question: Why have I got this pain? Once you have established the ‘why’ you may then head down a suitable pathway to find an answer to your problem.
At this point you may then begin looking at whether pain relief is required or not. It is also worth noting that pain can also help wounds heal quicker.
Fortunately the natural pain relievers are often gentler acting than modern pharmaceuticals so do not come with the same associated side effects.
For traumas and sports injuries arnica creams are excellent, they can provide natural pain relief but also aid repair. If your sports injury involves a bony injury then use comfrey oil – its folk name is ‘knitbone’ and it has active ingredients in it that help bone fractures heal naturally, it is the only safe, effective way to help a cracked rib.
We also know that Omega 3 EFAs are a really useful anti inflammatory and have other widespread benefits so a good quality fish or flax seed oil should be a staple part of everyone’s diet.
Feverfew is an excellent herb for migraine relief and for congestive headaches one of the simplest things you can do is put your feet in a basin of hot water for a few minutes. I had a patient who would lose his eyesight when his headaches hit but he found the feet in hot water trick would stop the headache in its tracks.
is also excellent for muscle pain and cramps – bathe in it, use an oil on your skin or take one of the many excellent supplements now available.
One of the most potent new supplements now available is CBD oil. This can be taken under the tongue or if you get the newer water based versions this can be added to a drink. To ensure it is the highest quality and not an over priced rip off make sure it is made from a full spectrum plant extract – most on the market are not I’m afraid so you will not get the full potential of the miracle that is the cannabis plant. CBD can work within minutes and has many other useful qualitites too, however, it can take 8-12 weeks to get optimum results so do be patient.
Interestingly, if you are taking an opiate based pain killer from your doctor CBD will allow you to take a smaller dose to get the same effects and will also slow down your build up of tolerance to the drug meaning you will get good effects from your opiates on a lower dose for a lot longer.
Do you suffer from back pain? If your back ever ‘goes’ then rule number one is to carefully go down onto all fours, we are after all merely quadrupeds that decided to stand up, and gently move your hips from side to side for 5-10 minutes to allow the blood flow to keep moving and to remove the strain of gravity bearing down on the injury. This can often rapidly help the problem settle.
However, above all else – never ignore your pain!