Tragically, one-third of Americans suffer from chronic pain. Needlessly. In addition, arthritis medications such as ibuprofen cause about 50,000 US deaths a year, with a 35% increased risk of heart attack and as many as 16,500 bleeding ulcer deaths. Meanwhile, prescribed narcotics cause over 15,000 overdose deaths yearly.
Although the benefits of these medications can outweigh the risks, and they are often needed, most people can get pain-free without them. Simply by using treatments that cause “side benefits” instead of side effects.
A Key Concept
It is critical to realize that unlike infections, pain is not an outside invader. Rather, it is part of the hour body’s natural warning systems, telling us that something needs attention. Kind of like the oil light on our dashboard.
Standard medical management of pain would be like putting a Band-Aid over your oil light. And you can understand how poorly that works out. Then as physicians, our next step would be to smash the oil light or cut it out.
But what if you simply put oil in the car instead?
Research Proven Pain Relief
Numerous studies have shown that if you give your body what it needs, the pain goes away. Let’s take a look at this for some of the most common causes of pain.
This is caused by excessive inflammation in the body, along with joint wear-and-tear. Arthritis medications simply and too aggressively block a single inflammation pathway called prostaglandins. Some prostaglandin function is necessary for proper heart and stomach protection. Which is why we get the side effects.
A simple three-step program can improve and often eliminate arthritis. It can be combined with medications if needed.
It takes six weeks to start seeing the full effects, and I find that in many people I treat, I can begin to wean their medications at that time.
Here is a three-step program to heal your joints:
- Decrease Inflammation
- Rebuild joint cartilage
- Use your joints
A number of herbals do this very effectively. But it is important for some of them, especially curcumin (a derivative of turmeric) to use the proper forms. By simply adding in the turmeric essential oil (called Turmerone), absorption is increased about sevenfold. So, one tablet replaces seven curcumin tablets and 350 turmeric tablets.
I recommend a mix called Curamin (by Terry Naturally). This contains the highly absorbed curcumin, plus Boswellia (also known as frankincense) which balances another part of the inflammation pathway called lipoxygenase (LOX).
Meanwhile, it also “dissolves” information with nattokinase, and increases your body’s own natural pain relief (called endorphins) with DLPA.
Several head on studies with Celebrex and diclofenac have shown that this natural combination is as or more effective for both regular arthritis and even rheumatoid arthritis.
Willow bark, the natural source for aspirin, is also quite effective. I use a form combined with Boswellia and cherry (called End Pain). It can be combined with the Curamin.
For this, I use a combination of glucosamine sulfate 750 mg twice a day plus chondroitin 400 mg three times a day. These also been shown to be about equal in effect to arthritis medications. But instead of causing 50,000 deaths year, glucosamine has been associated with a 22% lower risk of premature death.
A new product called Be Mobile combines these with the Boswellia and Hyaluronic Acid, which also improves joint healing.
I recommend taking two twice a day instead of the one capsule three times a day recommended on the label.
Meanwhile, topical comfrey (available as TraumaPlant) rubbed over affected joints was also found to be as effective as arthritis medications)
Often people with arthritis lose joint mobility. To maintain this, it is important to stretch the affected joints. Gently. It is easiest to do this after putting on a heating pad for about 15 to 20 minutes. With the heating pad in place, gently stretch the joints.
But only as is comfortable. This will allow you to reclaim the full range of motion, which makes a major difference in function.
In my experience as a pain specialist, this is the most common source of pain. It has a major contributing role in most other kinds of pain including arthritis, migraines, and autoimmune disease.
Unfortunately, physicians are simply not taught how to do a proper muscle exam. So it is usually missed. This is a major reason why pain is so poorly treated by standard medicine.
Instead, physicians rely on x-rays. But virtually everybody over time develops normal wear-and-tear in their skeletal structure, and very often even severe x-ray changes are not causing any pain at all.
In fact, the research shows that x-ray changes often bear no relationship to the pain.
A simple properly done muscle exam will identify muscle pain triggers quickly. Then these can be properly addressed. It can be as simple as beginning with a good massage therapist or chiropractor.
Most muscle pain is caused by chronic shortening. This occurs because of inadequate energy in the muscles. It actually takes more energy for muscles to relax than to contract. This is why after a heavy workout your muscles are all tight instead of limp and loose.
Fibromyalgia is an excellent model of the most severe widespread muscle pain. It comes from a body-wide energy crisis caused by dozens of conditions. This causes widespread muscle tightness, chronic pain, and secondary “brain pain” (called central sensitization).
Fibromyalgia is easy to diagnose. If you have the paradox of severe exhaustion paired with the inability to sleep, along with widespread pain, then fibromyalgia is likely.
A simple free quiz at vitality101.com will tell you if it is present. Other information on the site will guide you on how to recover.
Our published double-blind placebo-controlled study showed that by addressing the underlying biochemistry of the energy crisis, 91% of people who have fibromyalgia improved, with an average 90% improvement in the quality of life and a marked decrease in pain. Most no longer qualified as having fibromyalgia by the end of the study.
This approach to optimizing energy in the muscles is called the SHINE Protocol. It addresses:
- Hormone Optimization – thyroid, adrenal, and reproductive.
- Nutritional Support – this can be done powerfully and easily by simply taking a single drink each morning. I combine one scoop of the Energy Revitalization System multinutrient powder and a 5 g scoop of SHINE Ribose.The latter was shown in a study we published to increase energy an average of 61% while markedly decreasing pain.
- Exercise as Able.
Although medications can be helpful, natural supplements are very effective at preventing these headaches. For example, vitamin B2 (riboflavin) 400 mg a day decreases migraine frequency by 67% after six weeks. Magnesium 200 mg a day (present in the multinutrient powder above) also markedly decreases frequency.
It is also very helpful to address food allergies for persistent migraines. For migraines which occur mostly around menses and ovulation, using bioidentical hormones around ovulation and menses can be very helpful. This is especially common in people who fail other treatments for migraines.
In my over 40 years of treating chronic pain, I have found that most pain can be effectively treated using a combination of natural and prescription therapies.
In closing, I would add that a new tool has been very helpful for many people. Hemp Oil helps all seven major components of pain. Making it very unique. It is very effective but good forms will be somewhat expensive.
Quality and potency are major issues in many brands, so I use a form called Hemp Select (three tablets twice a day for pain is optimal and five for sleep, although higher or lower doses can be helpful as well). Alternatively, forms from marijuana dispensaries also are more likely to be of good quality.
Put very simply, pain is optional! Are you ready to be pain-free?
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