Natural Pain Relief

Natural pain relief solutions

The best natural pain relief solution for you to use at home is likely to be a combination of topical creams used with PEMF Therapy, Laser Therapy or a sauna blanket. This will, of course, depend on the root cause of the pain you are trying to treat and because it is such a huge topic with lots of options available to you, I have researched and written blog posts about the pros and cons of various natural pain relief treatments that you can use at home.

Natural Pain Relief Products

For acute pain in specific areas, a topical cream, lotion or gel may be the best option, but because they tend to be very strong it is always advisable to do a patch test first. Depending on the cause of the pain, I tend to opt for magnesium and CBD cream which is light and can be easily rubbed in or tiger balm which is thicker, stronger and better for massaging into tight muscles. Ideally this would then be combined with a FIR (Far Infra-red) therapy for maximum effect.

Best Chronic Pain Relief

The best chronic pain relief for home use tends to be devices that you can use. Most people are familiar with hand-held massagers, but I find FIR therapy and PEMF therapy to be much more effective and well worth the up-front investment compared to on-going short term relief. There are so many options available that I have written blog posts about the pros and cons of each option. The biggest challenge is that whilst they are all recommended in the alternative therapies field, there is little scientific evidence for many of the devices, which is perhaps to be expected given the vast profits being made by big pharma in the opioid-driven pain relief market.

Shoes for Back Pain

If you have musculo-skeletal pain anywhere in your body, the chances are that your hip girdle will be out of alignment with your shoulder girdle. This puts added pressure on your knees and ankles making them more likely to develop weaknesses, twists and strains. Of course we ideally want to get rid of the pain itself, but having the right footwear can go a long way towards slowing down any deterioration. Adequate support and cushioning will also help act as a ‘shock absorbed’ to ease impact of walking or going down stairs.

I love the range from OrthoFeet who invite you to ‘shop by condition’ EG back pain, plantar fasciitis, flat foot, hammer toes, heel pain, bunions, diabetes, arthritis etc. What a great idea!


LASER therapy at home

Several years ago I did some training in LASER acupuncture for pain relief, but the equipment was too expensive for me to purchase for use in the clinic. I am delighted to see how the technology has moved on to allow people to use laser therapy for pain relief in their own homes.

Thre is a huge amount of research that has been conducted into the use of Low Level Light Therapy (LLLT) also known as PBMT (Photo-biomodulation therapy) or LASER therapy for pain relief. I have been particularly inspired by James Carroll, CEO of Thor and his presentation to the United Nations Global Health Impact Forum about the benefits of PBMT and how it could address the growing opioid crisis problem Sadly, I didn’t have a spare £10k for the equipment for my clinic and the 7 month closure during the pandemic did not help matters! Now, however, I have been able to find companies that offer this type of treatment for home use. Ideally PBMT would be done for 15 minutes three times a week, so home use is indeed a very practical and accessible way to benefiting from this treatment. I had intended to take it to a military veterans group that I have been involved with for the last 12 years so there would be several people ‘under one roof’ who could benefit, rather than individuals coming to my clinic because it is not only excellent for pain relief, but there is a growing body of research that demonstrates excellent mental health benefits and improved cognitive function as well.

The company I would recommend is Kineon Labs. At the time of writing they have 229 reviews on TrustPilot with an average of 4.2. When I read through the reviews is seems to be just one among many that is bringing the score down and even then it was not clear what the problem was. Other feedback was that if anything did go wrong such as loose leads, then the customer service was excellent and faulty items were replaced without any quibble and the company DID pay for the return (unlike many others!). The one drawback is that their device is primarily for the knee joint at this time. People have used it on elbows and other areas but the straps are not designed for that so locating it correctly can be a challenge. But if you are waiting for knee surgery, this could be an ideal way of keeping you mobile and in less pain.

Do Infrared Sauna Blankets Work?

Sauna blankets use infra-red light which heats the body by stimulating the water content at a molecular level. This is why it heats your body but does not heat the surrounding air.  The benefits of infra-red therapy continue to be discovered but already look very exciting. Research has shown that the far-infrared light (FIR) penetrates about 4 cms into the body and affects the bonds between molecules in cells in a way that stimulates a healing response. The waves of heat and light at this frequency are believed to heal deep tissue.     Current research is looking at infra-red therapy for treating heart disease, chronic kidney failure, high blood pressure as well as joint and muscle healing in athletes. Although results look very encouraging, it is important to remember that this is still a relatively new therapy and research is preliminary at this time. What is certain is the psychological benefits of the warmth and comfort they bring.

The Independent wrote a review of the Higher Dose infrared sauna blanket and concluded “its safe to say, we are converts”. Another review that I found particularly helpful is from EMF Solutions because as you may be aware, all electrical appliances emit electro-magnetic frequencies. This Higher Dose sauna blanket review by EMF Solutions who measured the EMF output was really informative.

What is a PEMF Device?

PEMF stands for Pulsed Electromagnetic Field and refers to the application of a pulsed magnetic field to the whole body that stimulates and exercises dysfunctional cells. This is not to be confused with a TENS machine which stimulates nerves using a gentle electrical current. Most people have heard about ‘magnet therapy’ which is when magnets are placed around a painful area, so this is just a more ‘active’ version of that. It has been reported to produce “anti-inflammatory and bone-healing effects by decreasing the production of free radicals and stimulating osteoblasts.” according to Biologics in Orthopaedic Surgery, 2019 A randomised placebo-controlled trial concluded that “PEMF combined with exercise protocol exerts a potent role for treating osteoporosis” according to research published by the National Library for Biotechnology Information in 2021.

There are two options for using a PEMF device depending upon where you want to use it most. If, for example, you experience a lot of back pain whilst working at your desk, you may want a PEMF mat that is portable and can be placed on your chair to use at work such as the Higher Dose Go Mat. If, on the other hand, you prefer to lie down at home and make it more of a therapeutic session that you can do at the end of the day, you may want the full length PEMF mat to go on your bed.

When I checked out the reviews for the portable PEMF mat, I found that it got 5 starts from 171 reviews.

Yoga for Back Pain

Gentle movement encourages strength and flexibility as well as encouraing your body to flush out the toxins so they do not ‘stagnate’ and cause further stiffness and pain.

I have used Yoga Download for several years now and find that although there is an enormous range of classes for yoga, meditation, mindfulness, stretching and also sections for specific ailments, I definitely have my preferred routines that I stick to like the early morning stretch. What a difference that makes in avoiding pain in the first place!

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