Though over-the-counter drugs or OTCs such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen are good pain killers, long-term use has side effects. Similarly, prescription drugs can have adverse effects or even be addictive. So, what are the alternatives? Read on to find out about effective natural ways to alleviate pain.

Swimming

Swimming has for a long time been used by people with arthritis to reduce pain. Its weightlessness feature minimizes the effect on joints while the enhanced blood circulation and exercise reduce joint pain. Taiwanese studies also show that water exercise considerably enhances hip and knee flexibility, aerobic fitness, and strength. 

Similarly, Australian studies indicate that swimming programs usually result in minimized pain and enhanced overall functionality. You can do some research online about swimming exercises that are specifically designed to reduce pain.

Capsaicin

Capsaicin, the substance responsible for the burning sensation in chili, is also an effective pain reliever. The agent causes a tingling or burning sensation when an individual applies it topically.  A 2011 study indicates the essential role that capsaicin patches and creams play in pain relief. Actually, many pain-relieving products nowadays contain capsaicin. 

Though its mode of action in relieving pain is still unclear, some people believe it minimizes the body’s sensitivity to pain through nociceptor fibers. These are transmitters that move pain signals in the body.

Stir in some turmeric

The spice found in ballpark mustard and curries has a  powerful substance known as curcumin that inhibits proteins and enzymes that trigger inflammation. Multiple studies indicate that turmeric is very effective at reducing swelling and pain in arthritis patients.

In another research of osteoarthritis patients, those who consumed 2 grams of turmeric per day had increased mobility and pain relief equal to those who used 800mg of ibuprofen. 

So, how do you get this powerful compound in your diet? Simple, sprinkle a teaspoon on vegetables or rice every day.  Alternatively, you can keep some ballpark mustard in your pocket or bag and then break them during lunch break. It is one of the most effective ways of relieving arthritis-related pain. 

Ginger

When it comes to pain relief, ginger is more effective than medications such as ibuprofen. According to a study published in 2013 in the journal Arthritis, drugs such as Advil or Tylenol inhibit the formation of pain-causing compounds. 

On the other hand, ginger works by blocking the production of leukotrienes and prostaglandins (inflammatory compounds). Similarly, it has antioxidant features that counter acidity in synovial fluid within joints.

CBD

Cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD, is becoming increasingly popular, particularly due to its ability to reduce the symptoms of various conditions such as insomnia, anxiety, and pain.  It is available in several forms, including oils, lotions and CBD infused in drinks and food. 

What makes this compound ideal is that the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD will not get you high. It is usually extracted from the Cannabis plant, and it does not have psychotropic effects as its counterpart tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).  Also, CBD has zero adverse side effects as well as a low-risk addiction profile. 

That said, studies indicate that 60% of people who use the compound for various medical conditions are using it for joint pain, anxiety, arthritis, and chronic pain.  

The specific dosage or amount that will work for your pain will largely depend on the percentage of CBD in the product you are using, how you are taking it(topically, inhalation or by mouth), and your body weight. Many websites have calculators that can help you determine your starting dose.  

However, the best approach is to talk to a budtender or doctor before settling on a dosage. If a physician or a dispensary pharmacist does not approve a dose, it is good to start with small amounts and then slowly increase until you achieve that desired effect.

Increase calcium intake

Having too little calcium in your system increases the risk of getting osteoporosis (a brittle bone disorder).To be safe, purpose to take at least 1000mg of calcium every day.  Men over 70 and women over 50 years old should go for at least 1200 per day.  

Now, though diary is the main source of calcium for human beings, you can also get it from veggies such as kale, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, turnip greens, broccoli, and cabbage.