In today’s wellness-focused world, millions of people are turning from symptom-based treatment and switching to preventative care through natural solutions. This is easy to do when you’re healthy and trying to stay that way or your ailment is mild. But when you’re dealing with something as life-disrupting as chronic pain, you might think your only options are prescription medications.

The reality is that pain can be managed without an addictive and dangerous substance making things worse in the long run. In fact, some of the best Oklahoma pain management clinics gradually ease their patients off of those addictive medications and into lifestyle changes that put them back in control of their symptoms.

How is this possible? With the right pain management techniques, you, too, can avoid dependency on synthetic medications. While it’s always best to talk to your doctor before quitting any medication or starting a new regime, there are natural methods of pain relief, like these 5 lesser-known options, that can help you move from medicine to management.

1. Curcumin

You may not have heard of curcumin, but you’ve likely cooked with or eaten its more familiar counterpart, turmeric. This spice is common in curry-based foods, and it’s frequently taken in supplement form for joint support. However, the active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, and research shows that it can help control pain.

Curcumin targets molecules or pathways in the cell cycle that cause inflammation, making it particularly helpful for those with arthritis. Research on curcumin use in patients with this degenerative joint condition shows that many people found relief from their pain and stiffness that was comparable to or better than what they received with prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories. Curcumin may also help reduce pain from inflammation caused by other medical conditions, as well.

2. Boswellia

Have you heard of frankincense? This natural remedy comes from the resin in Boswellia trees. The official name for this is Boswellia, but it’s more commonly called frankincense.

Boswellia comes in pill, tincture, and topical form and is used to treat asthma, arthritis, general inflammation, colitis, and brain swelling.

This ingredient is deemed generally safe but can cause allergic reactions when used topically. It can also interact with anticoagulants and other medications, so it’s vital that you talk to your doctor before introducing Boswellia into your daily routine.

3. Cloves

Cloves are a staple in recipes all over the world. However, very few people know that these pie-enhancing ingredients can also help relieve pain.

Eugenol is an active ingredient in cloves that has natural pain relief properties used in topical pain creams and ointments. You can also ingest clove in oils, capsules, and powders.

Cloves are beneficial in reducing symptoms of nausea and vomiting, headaches, indigestion, inflammation from arthritis, colds, and toothaches. Keep in mind that side effects from this herbal supplement include allergic reactions, increased bleeding, and liver issues.

4. Acupuncture

If you don’t have an extreme fear of needles, acupuncture could be exactly what you need to get relief from your chronic pain. This Chinese medicine has been around for thousands of years and works by balancing the energy pathways in the body.

Trained acupuncturists use tiny needles to do the job, inserting them into specific locations in your skin that relate to the symptoms you have. Although this pain management technique has its share of skeptics, many professionals recognize it as a legitimate Eastern medicine source that reduces stress levels releases serotonin (the feel-good hormone) into your body, and promotes overall healing.

5. Ice and Heat

Have you ever stood in a shower or sat in a hot bathtub and been instantly amazed at how good you feel? It’s more than just relaxing. The hot water soothes your muscles, causing instant relief from inflammation and pressure on the nerves.

However, when to use heat and when to switch to an ice pack can be confusing. You don’t want to apply heat to an early injury. Ice is necessary to reduce the swelling and inflammation that rushes to the site of damage. But after 48 hours, heat can help reduce the discomfort from the injury.

Heat and ice packs can help with relief from headaches, neck, shoulder, and back pain. Moist heat is best for arthritis and joint pain.

You can even use ice when your tooth hurts. If it’s due to an infection, ice applied against the sore side of the face can reduce the swelling and speed up healing.

Help is a Natural Step Away

Pain relief doesn’t have to be in the form of a prescription medication bottle. It could be a natural remedy away. However, always discuss any changes in your daily routine with your doctor before you begin taking herbal supplements.