Relieving Pain Naturally

An estimated 50 million people in the US experience chronic pain, which is defined as pain lasting longer than 3 months. At the same time, the opioid epidemic continues to be a serious concern as health professionals and consumers alike look for alternative solutions to manage pain without a prescription. From fears of developing a dependency to experiencing adverse side effects, a desire for natural alternatives makes a lot of sense. A pharmacist can help people find over-the-counter (OTC) pain relief options that address pain naturally.


Going the herbal route

From helping with sleep to improving energy levels, different supplements can help with various health issues, and pain is no exception. When chronic pain is triggered by inflammation, options such as turmeric, cherry juice extract, collagen, and Boswellia can help. People suffering from chronic lower back pain or osteoarthritis (OA) can get relief from willow bark, while rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients may want to try Devil’s claw. Before starting any new supplement, check in with a pharmacist. This health professional can advise on proper dosing, possible drug interactions, and how long the herb needs to be consumed before an improvement in pain should be noticed.

What about vitamins and minerals?

In some cases, the answer to chronic pain comes in the simple form of an essential vitamin or mineral. Sufficient levels of vitamin B12 can make a difference for patients with diabetic neuropathy and individuals suffering from postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) after a case of shingles. Vitamin C has been shown to help with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and treating different forms of arthritis. Magnesium can improve pain from migraines, PHN, and fibromyalgia. All adults can benefit from taking a daily multivitamin, but chronic pain sufferers may get relief from taking higher doses of specific vitamins. A pharmacist can recommend the necessary vitamins and minerals and preferred amounts depending on the type of pain present.

OTC medications

Another option for managing chronic pain without a prescription medication is to consider an OTC option. Analgesics can help to block pain signals in the brain, while non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can decrease inflammation. In some cases, a topical NSAID can be applied to the skin in the form of a patch or gel to treat localized pain. OTC pain medications work fast, and relief can last for hours.

Speak with a pharmacist

People struggling with chronic pain should reach out to a local pharmacist to discuss all the options available for treating pain with OTC medications. Pain relief is possible, whether trying an herbal approach, a higher dose of a specific vitamin, or more traditional OTC medications. By steering clear of prescription medication, pain patients can avoid side effects and dependence while still adequately treating chronic pain and maintaining a good quality of life.


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