Tuesday, April 21, 2015

10 Effective Natural Painkillers That May Surprise You!

Patients are inquiring frequently about what else they can do for pain relief.  Here's a great article that can help them and you as well.

This is on the Bel Marra website. One of my favorites! Enjoy!

10 Effective Natural Painkillers That May Surprise You!

By: Bel Marra Health | Friday, April 17, 2015

Painnatural-cure-for-pain affects all of us at some point, but it seems the older we get the more pain we experience. Sure it’s easy to take a pill to combat this pain, but throughout the day you may be topping up to six pills! The damage these can do to your body isn’t good, so finding effective, natural painkillers is ideal.

No matter your level of pain or location of your pain, natural cures for pain are available and should be given a fair chance. If you’re looking for natural painkillers that work, here are some of the best and most effective natural pain-relievers you should try!
Natural painkillers

From foods, to spices to even heat and ice, there is a long list of effective natural painkillers out there suitable for all levels of pain. So whether your pain stems from long-time exercise or just old age, here are our top picks for natural painkillers that work.

Cherries: Not just a delicious fruit, cherries are natural cures for pain as well. Cherries contain compounds called anthocyanins. These not only provide cherries with their bright red color but are natural painkillers that work.

Anthocyanins block inflammation which causes pain, similar to aspirin. Cherries are also high in antioxidants which are necessary in the treatment of arthritis.

Whether you have tart cherry juice – no artificial sugars added, of course – or enjoy the fresh fruit, cherries come in as one of the best and most effective natural pain-relievers.

Heat and ice: This effective natural painkiller you may have already heard of or are currently doing. But it’s important to know which to use on a particular pain for highest effectiveness.

Heat is commonly applied as a natural cure for pain when the pain is a result of arthritis. Cold, on the other hand, is used when the pain is a result of a muscle, tendon or ligament strain. This is because cold works to reduce swelling and inflammation. Furthermore, once the ice has been applied to reduce the swelling, heat can then be used to alleviate stiffness. Both are great natural painkillers for moderate and severe pain.

Cloves: A common spice in cooking and baking, cloves contain a special property called eugenol which makes them natural painkillers that work. Eugenol is a natural pain-reliever and is most effective when dealing with toothaches, headaches and arthritis inflammation. Cloves can be used topically and simply rubbed onto the painful area, but they do come with some warnings: People who use blood-thinners should use cloves with caution as they can lead to abnormal bleeding.

Willow bark: Use of willow bark to combat inflammation and as a natural cure for pain has been done for centuries. Willow bark contains salicin, which is similar to one of the main ingredients in aspirin. Willow bark is a natural painkiller that works on headaches, arthritis pain, osteoarthritis and lower back pain. It can either be chewed directly or steeped as a tea.

Although willow bark is an effective painkiller, it can also cause side effects similar to aspirin; so if you cannot take aspirin, willow bark may not be the best option for you.

Turmeric: Turmeric, most commonly found in Indian cuisine, has been used in situations to help upset stomachs and indigestion, but it’s also an effective natural painkiller. Turmeric contains curcumin which is an antioxidant that can help ward of free radicals preventing damage. It may also help combat inflammation brought on by osteoarthritis, making tumeric a natural remedy for pain.

Cod-liver oil: Cod-liver oil is continuously praised for its health benefits so it’s no surprise that it’s one of the best and most effective natural pain-relievers. In a Scottish study of participants with rheumatoid arthritis, 40 percent of those who took cod-liver oil every day reduced their use of anti-inflammatory medications by one-third. Furthermore, the University of Pittsburg performed a similar study on participants who had neck and back pain. After 10 weeks, these individuals stopped using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Cod-liver oil is great to incorporate into your daily health routine as it  is ideal for optimal health.

Ginger: Not only an effective treatment for nausea, ginger is a natural cure for pain as well. Research published in the Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine revealed that women taking ginger found it to be an effective means to relieving menstrual pain.

Ginger can be easily consumed, either in a tea, stir-fry or even in backed goods, but if you’re going to have it in a cookie, opt for a low-sugar variety.

Oranges: Oranges’ vitamin C isn’t just to ward off a cold. Oranges are also effective natural painkillers. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that vitamin C can help reduce the risk of anti-inflammatory conditions which can eventually lead to pain. So while you’re taking your vitamin C to keep your immune system strong, you’re also protecting yourself from developing pain.

Qigong: Pronounced “chee-gung” is an ancient Chinese exercise which involves the body and mind to increase energy flow. Robert Wood Johnson Medical School studied the benefits of qigong on women with fibromyalgia. The women in the study reported 73 percent less pain after five to seven sessions. Qigong is definitely a natural painkiller for severe pain.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Patient Outcomes Proves More Effective with Chiropractic Combined with Standard Medical Care Than Standard Medical Care Alone in the Military

Friends & Patients,

Here's a great article that I think you will find interesting. It proves what we all know already that Chiropractic care is an important part of health care, even in the military. Now if we can have chiropractic care covered by Tricare and at VA Hospitals for our military vets!!

Patient Outcomes Proves More Effective with Chiropractic Combined with Standard Medical Care Than Standard Medical Care Alone in the Military

BY: D. Scott Ferguson
DC, William J. Owens DC, DAAMLP
 Mark Studin DC, FASBE(c), DAAMLP, DAAPM

Many people suffer from lower back pain at some point in their lives.  Most will seek the advice of a healthcare professional. However, many times this care is fragmented and not based on current evidence and can result in poorer outcomes. When considering outcomes, all doctors must consider creating a diagnosis, prognosis and then conclude a treatment plan. It is that treatment plan, which then determines the outcome after an accurate diagnosis. Many times, low back pain patients seek solely standard medical care and bypass a more effective chiropractic solution. This type of self-referral and physician triage has also been prevalent in the military and asks the question based upon outcome studies, is that in the best interest of both the military and the general public?  

In a recent paper by Goertz et al. (2013), the objective was, “To assess changes in pain levels and physical functioning in response to standard medical care (SMC) versus SMC plus chiropractic manipulative therapy (chiropractic adjustments) for the treatment of low back pain  among 18 to 35-year-old active-duty military personnel” (p. 627).  The authors stated, “Lifetime prevalence of low back pain has been estimated to be as high as 84%, with a median cost per quality-adjusted life year of $13,015” (p. 627).  The fact that lower back pain is a major source of disability and abuse of pain medication makes providing the best care possible a priority based upon outcome studies.  In this paper, it was reported that, “The majority of systematic reviews find that chiropractic manipulative therapy (adjustments) seems to reduce pain and disability at least moderately for many patients with low back pain” (p. 627).  Therefore, the questions are, “Should chiropractic care be part of your treatment plan and should it be included with standard medical treatment for lower back pain?” 

In the Goertz et al. (2013) study, the patients were allowed to seek standard medical care in an unrestricted fashion which meant they could go to their medical doctors as they normally would for lower back pain.  “Standard care included any or all of the following: a focused history and physical examination, diagnostic imaging as indicated, education about self-management including maintaining activity levels as tolerated, pharmacological (drug) management with the use of analgesics and anti-inflammatory agents, and physical therapy and modalities such as heat/ice and referral to a pain clinic” (p. 628).  On the chiropractic side, the authors stated “Treatments consisted of HVLA [high velocity low amplitude a.k.a. chiropractic adjustment] manipulation as the primary approach in all cases, with ancillary treatments at the doctor’s discretion, including brief massage, the use of ice or heat in the lumbar area, stretching exercises, McKenzie exercises, advice on activities of daily living, postural/ergonomic advice; and mobilization” (p. 628).  This is important since chiropractors view the spine as an entire system and the approach to patients is different as well as the therapeutic intervention.

In conclusion, the authors reported, “The results of our pragmatic pilot study indicate a statistically and clinically significant benefit to those receiving chiropractic manipulative therapy (adjustments) in addition to standard medical care” (p. 631).  Finally, they report, “The results of this trial suggest that chiropractic, in conjunction with standard medical care, offers a significant advantage for decreasing pain and improving physical functioning compared with only standard medical care, for active-duty men and women between 18 and 35 years of age with acute low back pain when delivered in a pragmatic treatment setting” (p. 633).

This study concurs with a previous study by Liliedahl et al. (2010) who studied 85,402 patients and adds to the growing body of evidence in diverse forums that chiropractic for mechanical back pain is more effective and cost-effective than standard medical care. Evidence such as this helps to dispel the partial truths and overcome the prejudices to help the public make informed choices.

1. Goertz, C. M., Long, C. R., Hondras, M. A., Petri, R., Delgado, R., Lawrence, D. J.,…Meeker, W. C. (2013). Adding chiropractic manipulative therapy to standard medical care for patients with acute low back pain: Results of a pragmatic randomized comparative effectiveness study. Spine38(8), 627-634.
2. Liliedahl, R. L., Finch, M. D., Axene, D. V., & Goertz C. M. (2010). Cost of care for common back pain conditions initiated with chiropractic doctor vs. medical doctor/doctor of osteopathy as first physician: Experience of one Tennessee-based general health insurer. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 33(9), 640-643.