With spring in the air, people are taking advantage of the nice weather and heading back outside to sail, hike, bike, and participate in other outdoor activities. Unfortunately this increased outdoor activity may also bring more strains, sprains and bruises along with it. Two friends have recently had knee surgery, and these natural treatments for easing pain and inflammation apply to surgeries as well as arthritis and other minor inflammation.
So what are some natural treatments for easing pain and inflammation due to minor injuries or post-surgery recovery? You’ve heard this from me before, and I can’t emphasize it enough: The number one thing you can do is cut out all sugar, immediately. Sugar is the most inflammatory food you can eat. So if you have inflammation from injury, surgery, or even arthritis, sugar will only serve to exacerbate that inflammation. Other natural treatments for easing pain and inflammation include…
R.I.C.E vs. M.E.A.T
You’ve likely heard of RICE (rest/ice/compression/elevation). However, one thing to keep in mind is that inflammation is actually part of the body’s own response to healing. So when you have an injury, you may not always want to stop inflammation immediately.
There is some evidence to show that icing, especially when it comes to ligaments and tendons, may do more harm than good. Here is an article about R.I.C.E. vs. M.E.A.T (Movement/Exercise/Analgesics/Treatment), a protocol many people are now using with sports injuries.
10 Natural Treatments for Easing Pain and Inflammation
For thousands of years, from China to India to Egypt and beyond, herbs and spices have been widely used to treat a variety of ailments. These herbs and spices can help ease pain and inflammation in soft-tissue injuries as well as arthritis.
- Arnica Montana – Homeopathic Arnica can be taken sublingually (under the tongue) or Arnica gel, liniment, cream, or salve can be rubbed topically onto areas of trauma, bruising, sprains and strains. Avoid getting it in open wounds.
- Black Pepper – Studies have shown that piperine, one of the chemical compounds of black pepper, can be effective in alleviating early acute inflammation.
- Bromelain – This enzyme found in pineapple helps reduce inflammation as well as promoting healing in muscles and connective tissues.
- Cayenne – Cayenne has been shown to ease headache and arthritis pain, and chili peppers are known to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
- Chai Tea – This traditional Indian tea includes the anti-inflammatory spices ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, and cloves, which makes it a great anti-inflammatory drink. Try making your own with this Chai Tea recipe.
- Cinnamon – The anti-inflammatory properties of cinnamon can help to ease swelling.
- Cloves – Some studies indicate that cloves may have anti-inflammatory properties as well.
- Garlic – The anti-inflammatory properties of garlic have been widely known to ease arthritis pain and swelling.
- Ginger – Scientific studies have confirmed what healers have known for centuries, one of the many benefits of ginger is its anti-inflammatory property.
- Turmeric – Curcumin, a phytochemical found in turmeric, can help reduce inflammation in the body.
No matter what your injury, be sure to take good care of your body so it can heal properly before you head back to your favorite outdoor activity or sport. Happy Spring!