Pain is a natural part of life and nearly everyone has experienced pain as a result of injury or illness.
However, long-term pain, known as chronic pain, is a disorder and often requires medical treatment.
Various estimates of chronic pain suggest that approximately 20 to 40% of adult individuals in the U.S. suffer from chronic pain.
Pain is a normal nervous system reaction, alerting individuals that there may be something wrong in the body.
In some cases, acute pain persists and may develop into chronic pain.
Chronic pain is defined as pain persisting longer than 12 weeks, which is generally considered to be a normal tissue healing time.
Individuals with chronic pain may experience a decreased quality of life, as well as an increased risk of suicide and health conditions such as anxiety, depression, and substance abuse.
Current standard interventions for chronic pain, such as opioids and surgery, may not be beneficial long-term and may be associated with risks, such as overdose-related deaths.
Researchers have indicated that certain dietary components may reduce pain as a result of managing inflammation and oxidative stress.
An anti-inflammatory diet that includes a number of these components may prevent chronic conditions associated with pain.
Additionally, the elimination of nightshades and gluten from the diet may help alleviate chronic pain conditions.
Results from a systematic review identified the dietary supplement types with the most consistent results for reducing pain severity or intensity in individuals with chronic pain.
It found that amino acid supplementation, including collagen, carnitine, and Theremin, most often demonstrated significant pain reduction results.
Manual therapies for chronic pain include chiropractic medicine, a licensed healthcare profession focused on the prevention and treatment of neuromusculoskeletal disorders.
A systematic review and meta-analysis examined the association between chiropractic treatment and opioid prescriptions in patients with spinal pain, including back and neck pain.
In the included studies, the prevalence of individuals who were receiving chiropractic care ranged from approximately 11 to 53%.
The study results suggest that individuals with spinal pain undergoing chiropractic care have 64% lower odds of receiving a prescription for opioids than individuals without chiropractic care.
Physical activity has been associated with improvements in individuals with chronic pain, such as reduced pain severity and improved physical function and quality of life.
During and following exercise, the body releases various compounds that modulate pain perception, including anti-inflammatory cytokines, endocannabinoids, serotonin, and endogenous opioids (produced within the body).
Chronic pain is a complex symptom implicated in various health conditions.
Fortunately, certain natural pain relief interventions may benefit individuals with chronic pain with few adverse effects.
If you suffer from chronic pain, consult with your integrative healthcare practitioner to determine which natural pain management approaches are best for your wellness plan.