Earlier today, I warned you about the unspoken risks of ibuprofen and other NSAID pain relievers. From internal bleeding to heart dangers, they can be downright dangerous.
But let’s be honest; when you hurt you want relief NOW. And it’s still tempting to pop a pain pill. After all, getting the pain to stop can feel far more important in that moment than any good intentions.
But the longer your pain lasts, and the more often you give in and take the over-the-counter drugs, the higher your risk runs.
Which is why it’s crucial to come up with a plan that includes safe, drug-free pain relief solutions. Effective natural ways to soothe the hurt, so you don’t have to keep popping pills.
- Hot compresses, ice packs, and massage are all at-home options that can bring quick pain relief.
- Supplements such as curcumin, bromelain, magnesium, Devil’s claw, and ginger work for many folks (me included).
- Topical pain relievers such as DMSO, MSM, and capsaicin or menthol creams can be as effective as drugs, in many cases.
But those aren’t your only drug-free options. Some other natural pain relief solutions are a bit more off the beaten path. But they can still make a BIG difference when you’re battling pain.
Weird but effective drug-free solutions to fight pain
Following are six weird things you won’t believe can help you fight pain…
If you start your day with a jolt of caffeine, you could be helping manage your pain, too.
Researchers from the University of Alabama found that folks who regularly downed caffeinated drinks during their day felt significantly less pain than their non-caffeinated counterparts.
Drinking a cup of coffee or tea won’t give you instant pain relief, of course. But making it a regular part of your routine can help you minimize how much you feel it.
No matter whether you’re battling acute pain from something like a twisted knee, or ongoing chronic pain, music could help.
Independent studies from all around the globe, including France, Denmark, and Mexico have found that turning on some tunes can help with pain relief. When volunteers listened to music which they identified as relaxing, they reported feeling far less pain.
Experts believe the music works primarily by distracting from the pain. Plus it makes time appear to pass more quickly. So you end up feeling as if the length of time you’re in pain is shorter too.
But here’s the kicker… the researchers found music didn’t JUST fight pain in the moment. In many cases, folks in the studies experienced longer-term relief too.
In other words, we know it works, but we’re not completely sure how yet.
3. Touch what’s tender:
There’s a reason you instinctively reach for and rub a bump, stub, or ache. Scientists say it literally does help fight the pain.
Researchers at the University College London say it changes how your brain registers the pain. Apparently, touching what’s tender “remaps” your brain’s perception of the incident easing the hurt.
The weirdest part? This trick only works when YOU clutch the area that hurts. If someone else tries rubbing your pain away in that moment, it doesn’t work.4
4. Lean on your love:
You know how having the person you love around can simply make you feel good? Well, that’s not just your imagination.
According to a study published in the journal Scientific Reports, holding hands with the person you’re in love with can cause pain levels to plummet.
Even more surprising another study found that just LOOKING at a picture of your sweetie could fight pain. Talk about the power of love.
5. Rely on religion:
Your faith can do more than help keep you strong when you’re in pain. It turns out it can help you literally hurt less too.
A study published in the journal Pain compared folks of faith to atheists and agnostics and confirmed what you probably already have guessed. People of faith experienced more peace and relaxation than the other groups.
And being more relaxed came with a HUGE side benefit. It lowered their pain levels.
But that wasn’t even the most surprising finding. It turns out the scientists could, essentially, view people’s faith working while they were in an MRI machine. The religious folks had brain activity which changed the way they experienced pain compared to those without faith.
6. Trust yourself:
If there’s one good thing you can say about pain, it’s that it can make you realize how strong and capable you are. And experts say just knowing that you CAN handle the pain could have a direct impact on your pain levels.
Known as “the confidence cure,” researchers out of Norway proved that believing you can manage and live through pain makes it easier to, well, manage and live through pain.
It most likely works because it reduces your anxiety around the pain. And it allows you to keep it in perspective. When the pain shows up instead of getting discouraged, you know you’ve got it handled.
Popping pain pills is a risky game. The next time you need a little relief try one of these weird but effective tricks to fight pain instead.