Video Transcript

Living with chronic pain can be emotionally and physically exhausting, as your symptoms never seem to take time off. But you may not have considered these four little-known natural pain relievers.

Number one, spur the release of your endorphins.
Endorphins are pain-inhibiting hormones that are naturally produced by your body. Endorphins inhibit pain by binding to the opioid receptors in your brain, and they work similarly to opioid pain medications like oxycodone or morphine.

Any activity that raises your heart rate for an extended period will spur the release of pain-relieving endorphins into your system. But this raises an obvious problem: how do you exercise if you're in so much pain? The solution may be to pick a water-based exercise, or to get help from the right type of health professional—such as a physiatrist, chiropractor, or physical therapist.

Number two, take a warm soak.
Soaking your body in warm water can help relieve muscle discomfort and many types of arthritis pain. There are numerous options for a warm soak, including a bathtub, whirlpool tub, or a warm pool. Some people find that essential oils or Epsom salts improve the muscle-relaxation benefits associated with a warm soak.

If a soak isn’t for you, there are plenty of other heat therapy options for your pain. Try applying an electric blanket or using an adhesive back wrap that provides low-level heat over several hours.

Number three, keep hydrated.
Most people know that drinking plenty of water throughout the day is good for your overall health. But did you know that it may also help with your chronic pain? Drinking enough water can alleviate stiffness, and it also supports your blood flow—which enables healing nutrients and oxygen to reach the various structures of your body. As a general rule, women need roughly 2 liters of water per day, while men need 3 liters.

Number four, ease your chronic pain with ice.
Ice and/or a cold gel pack can alleviate your pain by reducing inflammation and slowing down your nerve impulses. A great option for cold therapy is an ice massage, which may provide additional relief through the manipulation of your soft tissue.

Here’s how to do it: Begin by freezing water in a styrofoam cup overnight. Once the ice has hardened, you can peel away the top inch of the cup to expose the ice. Lie on your side, and apply the ice in a 6-inch radius around the location of your pain.

None of these natural pain-relief options are prescriptive. Instead, they are intended as options for you to consider as you work in tandem with your doctor to manage your chronic pain. No single treatment option works for everyone, but try one of these above options today and you might find significant relief from your chronic pain. Thanks for watching and until next time, stay healthy!