Turning From Opioids To Supplements
Pain management is essential for people with chronic illness, surgical recovery, or long-term injury. Most pain management starts with over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers. However, some patients move to more potent opioids. Today, as much as 33% of American adults have used opioids. When used in moderation, these powerful narcotics can provide significant pain relief. However, there is an increasing risk of dependence, addiction, and overdosing, which can be fatal. Patients who want to avoid opioid use or need alternative pain management solutions may consider turning to supplements.
Supplements Step In For Pain Relief
When used in excess, all pain medications come with some degree of risk. For example, taking too many non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can lead to kidney damage, digestive problems, and increased bleeding. As a result, doctors and pharmacists have been looking for safe, holistic alternatives to pain management. Studies have revealed that supplements can help relieve pain and even replace opioids in certain situations. The following 4 supplements may help people effectively control pain.
1. The magic of minerals
Magnesium is an essential mineral that the body needs to function correctly. This mineral is involved in hundreds of enzymes and chemical processes, including nerve health, muscle development, and sleep. Additionally, magnesium is helpful in the management of pain. Since this mineral impacts the nervous system and muscle contraction, studies have shown that magnesium can treat muscle cramps. Some other uses include treating migraines, chronic back pain, and fibromyalgia.
2. The power of glucosamine and chondroitin
Within any form of healthy cartilage lies glucosamine and chondroitin. These compounds help cushion the joints and relieve inflammation. Osteoarthritis, the wear and tear of joints, is a common condition affecting over 30 million adults. The pain and stiffness caused by the disease lead to the need for NSAID and opioid use. Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements can reduce pain and help maintain cartilage health naturally. Speak with a doctor or pharmacist to determine the appropriate dose.
3. Try some willow bark
Derived from the willow tree, willow bark has many valuable properties. This supplement is anti-inflammatory and contains antioxidants. Willow bark also contains salicin, a compound similar to that of aspirin. For hundreds of years, Willow bark has helped with painful conditions like headaches, lower back pain (LBP), menstrual cramps, osteoarthritis, and much more.
4. A devilish way to heal the pain
The use of devil’s claw may sound evil, but for pain, this herb is on the side of good. A native to Africa, devil’s claw is known for having expansive anti-inflammatory properties. These qualities are on par with NSAIDs without the unwanted side effects. Devil’s claw is often used to treat migraine headaches, chronic LBP, and osteoarthritis.
Put pain in its place
Effectively managing pain is a challenge for many and can impact the quality of life. As a result, opioids have led the way in providing robust, long-term relief. However, the risks of addiction and the ongoing opioid epidemic are too dangerous to ignore. Some supplements can help relieve pain without harmful side effects. However, a doctor or pharmacist should still guide supplement use to recommend the correct dose and avoid drug interactions. With the right herbals, avoiding opioids long-term is possible.