Let’s talk about painkillers. Opioids and painkillers in general.
In its simplest terms, opioids are medications that relieve pain. They work by reducing the intensity of pain signals that reach the brain.
Examples of drugs that fall into this category include the following:
Hydrocodone and Vicodin
Oxycodone, oxycontin and Percocet
Morphine, Kadin and Avinza
Hydrocodone is a popular option for people ]dealing with dental pain or injury related pain.
Morphine is usually administered before and after surgery to alleviate pain.
Codeine is usually given for mild pain.
Make no mistake, painkillers are definitely needed sometimes. After I had my wisdom teeth pulled I needed those painkillers! But this is where it gets tricky:
Painkillers can be addictive. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it is estimated that between 26 and 36 MILLION people abuse opioids worldwide.
Now for some people, if they try and stop taking painkillers, they may experience some of the following withdrawal symptoms:
- Muscle & joint pain
Not only are they addictive, they can be deadly: the number of overdose deaths from painkillers has quadrupled since 1999. It is also estimated that more people die from LEGAL prescription drug overdoses than from cocaine and heroin overdoses combined. Michael Jackson and Prince are 2 such examples.
It’s important to know what medications you’re taking and how it can affect you. This is especially important when taking multiple medications.
Natural Pain Remedies
While most of the attention is focused on medication obtained from the doctor or over-the-counter to deal with pain, there are many natural pain relievers available as well:
Black seed oil: Decreases, symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, stomach cramps and pain.
Ginger. Used for muscle and joint pain.
Turmeric. Helps ease chronic pain and arthritis. Note: for best results, add a dash of black pepper to turmeric as it helps the body absorb this powerful spice.
Apple cider vinegar. Used to treat arthritis and inflammation.
Pineapples. Contains bromelain, which helps ease inflammation.
Epsom Salts. Natural muscle relaxant.
Black Cohosh. Used to alleviate PMS symptoms.
Oregano. Believed to be as effective as morphine for pain relief.
Acupuncture. Used to treat a variety of pain, including low back pain and fibromyalgia.
With natural pain relievers, the key is to incorporate them into your lifestyle. Pain medications from the doctor may help ease pain and discomfort temporarily, but consuming turmeric, apple cider vinegar, oregano, or ginger daily may be beneficial over the long term. They may also prevent future pain episodes or some situations that could cause feelings of discomfort such as illness and disease.
One particular study found that traditional herbal Chinese medicines had an anti-addiction effect, along with less negative side effects than opioid medications.
Unlike pain meds from the doctor, these spices should be consumed even when a person is not in pain because of their other health benefits. Magnesium, manganese, fiber, iron, vitamin K and other nutrients can be found in a many spices.
A surprising way to manage pain is by taking a cold shower:
Pain can severely impact a person’s life. Learning how to effectively deal with those intense feelings is vital to overcoming it and resuming a normal, healthy life.
A healthy body (and mind) is key to having good health. Pick up a copy of my books The Diet of Success: Healthy Eating Tips for Hardworking Professionals,and The Three Pillars of Strength: Increasing Your Physical, Mental and Spiritual Fitness. Both available on paperback, kindle and audible formats on Amazon.