Alternative Pain Relief:
Substances That Can Diminish Pain
The following substances
have shown to be somewhat effective in reducing pain:
- MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) is
a food. It is an organic form of sulfer, which is found primarily
in fruits, vegetables, meat, milk and seafood. It can offer a natural
way to reduce pain without serious side effects, including reducing
or eliminating muscle soreness and cramps. People with arthritis
report substantial and long-lasting relief with MSM supplements.
Taken along with glucosamine, MSM can offer pain relief and help
repair worn or damaged cartilage in joints with healthy, flexible
- Calcium is
recommended for arthritis, more as a preventive than as a painkiller.
Recently, the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology reported
that pain from pre-menstrual syndrome was reduce by half in women
given supplemental calcium.2
- Magnesium, found
in soybeans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fish, has
long been valued in treating migraines because it acts as a muscle
relaxant. It is considered one of the most promising nutrients in
headache research.3 In a 1996 German study of 81 migraine
patients published in the headache journal Cephalgia, 41.6 percent
of subjects taking oral magnesium reduced both the duration and intensity
of migraine attacks. They also reduced their reliance on medications
to control their migraines.4'
sulfate has shown effectiveness in reducing arthritis
pain, which may be due to its ability to repair joints.5 Used
together, glucosamine and chondroiten can reduce joint pain and
may help build new cartilage, according to a study at Boston University
School of Medicine. The treatment worked so well for Jason Theodosakis,
M.D., who suffered from severe osteoarthritis, that he is now medication
Fatty Acids are important to pain-free health. American
researchers suggest that a combination of magnesium taurate and
fish oil may help prevent migraine headaches, based on the ability
of both to reduce blood vessel spasms.6 A 1997 study
showed that gamma-linolenic (GLA) and alpha-linolenic (ALA) fatty
acid supplements reduced the severity, frequency and duration of
total migraine attacks by 86 percent. During the six month study,
22 percent of the 169 patients no longer had migraine attacks,
and 90 percent experienced less nausea and vomiting.7
- Arnica's anti-inflammatory
action can be used topically to ease the pain of bruises and sprains.
- Cayenne contains
capsaicin, which stimulates the brain to secrete endorphins that
help block pain signals. A recent trial showed that cayenne helped
reduce arthritis pain.8
- Chamomile contains
bisabolol, which has anti-inflammatory properties and relaxes the
muscle lining of the digestive tract. Several studies indicate that
chamomiles is a good digestive aid.
biloba extracts have been shown to reduce leg pain.9
- Total Health 1998. "MSM".
Feb/Mar., Vol. 20, No. 1. pp. 30-31.
- Calcium Helps PMS,
Study Shows, New
- Batchelder H.,
PMS Naturally, Rocklin, CA, Prima Health, 1998.
- Piekert A., et
al, "Prophylaxis of migraine with oral magnesium: results from
a prospective multicenter, placebo-controlled and double blind randomized
study". Cephalagia 1996;16:257-63.
- Kelly, G.S., The
role of glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfates in the treatment
of degenerative joint disease. Alt Med Rev, 1998; 3(1):27-39.
- McCarty, M.F.,
Magnesium taurate and fish oil for prevention of migraine. Medical
Hypothesis 1996 Dec; 47(6):461.
- Wagner W, Nootbaar-Wagner
U. Prophylactic treatment of migraine with gamma-linolenic and alpha-linolenic
acids. Cephalagia 1997 Apr:17(2)127-130.
- Milla SY, Jacoby
RK, Chacksfield M, Willoughby M. Effect of a proprietary herbal medicine
on the relief of chronic arthritis pain: a double blind study. Br.
J. Rheumatol. 1996; 35(9):8740878.
- Drabaek, H., Petersen,
J.R., Weinberg N., Hansen, K.F., Mehlsen, J. The effect of ginkgo
biloba extract on patients with intermittent claudication. Ugeskr
Laeger, 1996; 158(27): 3928-393
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