These days, so many of us spend hours slouched in front of the computer or hunched over the steering wheel. Throw in a past injury, a family history of arthritis, or maybe pick up a heavy box the wrong way, and you can suddenly find yourself among the 116 million Americans living with pain each and every day.
Dr. Oz presents seven solutions to help make that pain a thing of the past.
Back and Neck Pain Relief
The most troublesome spots tend to be in our back and necks. That’s because every time you move, you bend your spine, squishing and compressing the discs between its bones. Sometimes too much spinal pressure on a disc can cause it to bulge out and press on a nerve, causing the nerve to get inflamed and signal pain that just won’t let up. Our bodies have more than 50 nerves off the spinal cord.
A vitamin B12 supplement boost helps to ease your back pain by encouraging your body to thicken its protective coating around your nerves, so they don’t “short circuit” and cause pain. Take just 1 to 2 mg daily.
Block your nerves’ pain impulses with a capsaicin cream. Rub the healing cream on your neck and back muscles for relief. You’ll probably experience a burning sensation; capsaicin is the same ingredient that gives chili peppers their spicy kick! Apply it three times daily for any chronic pain. Believe it or not, two sprays of capsaicin spray can also help stop a headache in minutes!
Joint Pain Relief
Of course, pain doesn’t just confine itself to the neck and back. Many of us experience aches in our joints, especially as we age. As the years pass, our joints’ smooth surfaces roughen as natural lubrication and cartilage diminish, resulting in friction and pain. The following two solutions will help to combat joint pain.
Boswellia, also known as Indian frankincense, is an herbal extract that alleviates joint pain by reducing cartilage damage. Available at health stores, be sure to purchase boswellia extract with a concentration of at least 40% to get the most benefits. Take at least 300mg daily to reduce joint pain and increase mobility.
The oils contained in ginger reduce inflammation at the site of the joint. Take a half-teaspoon a few times a day for the next 7 days by adding the powdered ginger to hot water in the mornings, stirring it into your lunchtime lemonade, or concocting whatever ginger drink tastes best to you! You can also take a ginger tablet or capsule in doses of 1 to 4 grams every day either all at once or divided into smaller doses.
Finally, here are three all-over pain solutions to help you lead a pain-free lifestyle.
Intense Pain Relief: Arnica
When your pains intensify without warning – say a sore back, shoulder or knee – try all-natural arnica gel. It’s made from a type of flower, is available in any health food store, and – according to one study – reduces stiffness and pain as effectively as ibuprofen gel with fewer side effects. You can even use arnica gel to treat arthritis pain! Apply it up to 3 times a day, making sure not to rub it on broken skin so as to avoid irritation.
Full-Body Pain Preventer: Pelvic Power Tilt
This simple move stops pain before it starts, by taking a whole-body approach. When one part of your body hurts, the rest of it compensates by taking on additional muscular stress and strain, leading to even more pain and creating a vicious cycle. The pelvic power tilt stabilizes and strengthens your whole body by targeting your core.
Simply lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Pull your belly button in toward your spine and hollow it out. Then lift your pelvis slightly off the floor – only an inch – then slowly lower back down, repeating 20 times.
This easy move can be done anytime, anywhere around the house. Do it 2 to 3 times a week to protect your entire body from pain.
Pain Reset: Positional Release Therapy
Before you endure another day with spasms or sore muscles, shut down your pain in 90 seconds or less with positional release therapy.
This technique is strong enough to get rid of your pain, but gentle enough to be used in any age group, and only needs to be done once a week. It’s a low-risk way to reset the body by positioning the body in a strain-counter strain method, alleviating any type of pain from your neck, elbow, leg, arthritis pain, or even menstrual cramps.
Find the tender point that hurts the most. Then, take a pencil and use the eraser end to press down on the tender point for about 90 seconds. As you press down, rotate the eraser to work out the muscle while simultaneously relaxing the area by taking deep breaths.
Positional release therapy breaks the pattern of pain in the muscle, melting away tightness. When you hold the eraser down on the spot, it signals your nerves to relax that spasm of pain, providing the instant relief your body needs.
As you work on reducing and managing your pain, take the opportunity to strengthen your body. By changing the structures of the body, you can minimize pain. You can achieve this through the pelvic power tilt, yoga practice, or other core-strengthening exercises to will help you lead the pain-free lifestyle you deserve.