Many who live with chronic back pain would really love to be less dependent on painkillers to manage their pain. But how? Natural pain relievers may be the answer. Here’s a list that might help – each of these won’t be for everyone, but any number of these natural pain relievers might help you be able to rely less on pain medications and feel more in control of your life.
- Release your inner endorphins. These natural chemicals block pain signals from reaching your brain. Endorphins are the body’s natural pain relievers, and they can be as strong as many of the strongest pain relievers. Endorphins also help alleviate anxiety, stress and depression — conditions that often accompany and exacerbate chronic pain. The body produces endorphins during aerobic exercise. A “runner’s high” is not just for those running long distances — any activity that gets your blood pumping for a sustained period will release pain relieving endorphins into your system.
- Find good company. Those who have regular contact with others dealing with similar forms of chronic pain find that their pain becomes more manageable. An online group that is both active and supportiveis best. Members of the Spine-health.com Back Pain and Chronic Pain discussion forums say that it is quite simply “free therapy”.
- Eat cookies. Research shows that eating sweet foods like cookies, chocolate or ice cream, helps reduce the sensation of pain.
- Or just bake the cookies. Enjoying a smell that is both sweet and pleasant has been shown to reduce the perception of pain.
- Feel the heat. Applying some form of heat — a hot water bottle, gel-filled pad heated in the microwave, electric heating pad, or hot bath — can go a long way in easing your pain. Benefits of heat are twofold: it increases the flow of healing oxygen and nutrients to the damaged area, and it suppresses pain signals being sent to your brain. Some find that wearing a heat wrap, such as Thermacare heat wrap, is best because it releases a low level heat for several hours and can be worn under clothes so you remain mobile.
- Cool it with ice. Ahh, how this cools down inflamed and sore tissues. Back pain almost always comes with some level of inflammation, and ice is the best natural way to reduce it. Ice also helps by acting as a local anesthetic, and by slowing the nerve impulses, which in turn interrupts the pain-spasm reactions between the nerves in the affected area.
- Loosen up. Almost everyone can benefit from stretching the soft tissues – the muscles, ligaments and tendons – in and around the spine. Your back is designed for movement, and if your motion is limited it can make your back pain worse. If you suffer from chronic back pain, you may find it takes weeks or months of stretching to loosen up your spine and soft tissues, but you will find that meaningful and sustained pain relief will follow the increase in motion.
- Enjoy the outdoors. People who got the recommended daily 400 to 800 IU of vitamin D experienced less pain than those who didn’t, according to a Boston University study of 221 men and women withknee osteoarthritis. Researchers surmised that Vitamin D helps relieve pain by aiding in the absorption of calcium, which is needed for bone growth and repair. Other research shows vitamin D may directly help soothe pain. 93% of 150 people with unexplained sources of pain were recently found to be deficient in Vitamin D levels, according to recent research at the University of Minnesota. About 15 minutes of sun exposure on your face and hands a day is enough to get your daily dose of D, or a 200-IU supplement of Vitamin D and as much calcium as is found in two glasses of milk.
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The passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (which I’ll just call the Law) in 2010 was regarded as a landmark event in U.S. history. Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court, which largely upholds the Law, should also be viewed as a landmark event—whether one agrees with it or not.
Why? Three reasons: Everyone wants health care when they need it. Everyone wants to be spared financial devastation from the cost of that care. And health care accounts for 17% of the total U.S. economy, and is growing at a faster rate than the rest of the economy—putting the rest of the economy under enormous strain.
Before the Law was passed, I saw two huge challenges facing U.S. health care. The first was the fact that so many people did not have health insurance. The second was the high cost of health care.
For decades, the percentage of Americans with health insurance has been lower than in other developed nations. Passage of the Law did not immediately change things. At the time of a survey by the National Center for Health Statistics in 2011, 46 million Americans—15% of the population—had no health insurance. These people lived an automobile accident, a heart attack, or a stroke away from becoming destitute.
Who are they? Relatively few are unemployed adults. People who are chronically unemployed have often been able to get health insurance through Medicaid. In fact, most of the uninsured are working adults whose employers did not provide health insurance. Many are children—often, the children of employed but uninsured adults. A smaller fraction are adults under the age of 65 who are out of the labor force.
Another group of people without health insurance are healthy young adults who have simply decided not to pay for health insurance—and to take their chances. They know that if they become seriously injured or ill, they will receive health care somewhere—effectively paid for by the insurance payments that other people are making. They are “free riders.” In passing the Law, the President and Congress basically said to them, “That’s not fair.”
What does the Supreme Court’s decision mean?
It means many more people will have health insurance. That does not, however, mean universal health insurance will be provided to everyone.
It means that health care will continue to be provided largely by the private sector—private doctors and hospitals. And for people under age 65, it will largely be financed by private insurance companies, not the government. The charge by some that the Law is “socialized medicine” is simply misinformed.
It means that many very popular provisions of the law will remain in force:
- Insurance companies won’t be able to deny an individual coverage because he or she has a chronic medical condition, drop coverage if an individual becomes sick, or put limits on the amount of lifetime coverage a person can get.
- Young adults under age 26 can still be covered on their parents’ health plans.
- More low-income people will probably be covered by Medicaid, a health insurance program financed by both the federal government and the states
It means that several unpopular provisions of the law also will remain in force:
- Starting in 2014, individuals will have to pay for health insurance: no more free riders. The Law creates mechanisms that make the cost of health insurance much more affordable for people who don’t have coverage through employers, Medicaid or Medicare. But nearly everyone will have to pay. That’s the contentious “individual mandate” that many people had speculated would be ruled unconstitutional. It wasn’t.
- Starting in 2014, many employers who do not currently offer health insurance as a benefit will be required to do so, or pay a stiff penalty.
Read the rest of this article at The Harvard Health Blog
Fortunately, most accidents are not fatal, but even minor ones can cause long-term effects on the body. The reason for this is that most injuries go undetected for long periods of time, but when these injuries remain hidden, they become the cause to many of your ailments down the road!
HERE’S THE PROBLEM! Most people who suffer from an auto accident have one thing on their mind – their automobile! Between the questions about auto-insurance and car damages, most people forget to ask themselves the most important question of all: “Am I okay?”
SEE YOUR CHIROPRACTOR! Of course there are the obvious side effects that come from being in an accident like muscle stiffness or spasms, neck pain, and headaches. But did you know that you may be injured and feel nothing at all? And most doctors are not trained in the detection of these hidden injuries!
LONG TERM SIDE EFFECTS OF AN AUTO ACCIDENT:
- Severe breathing problems
- Numbness and tingling in the arms/legs
- Abnormal body temperature
- Chronic pain
There are about 450,000 people living in the United States who suffer from a spinal cord injury. Most of them were the result of car accidents. If you or someone you know is in an accident, spread the word – get checked! Avoid a life full of pain!