People are taking advantage of the nice spring weather and heading back outside to sail, hike, bike, and participate in other outdoor activities. Unfortunately increased outdoor activity may also bring more strains, sprains and bruises along with it. In fact, two friends have recently had knee injuries requiring surgery. So these natural treatments for pain and inflammation can apply post-surgery as well as to arthritis and other minor inflammation.
What are some natural treatments for pain and inflammation due to minor injuries or post-surgery recovery? The number one thing you can do is cut out added sugar, immediately. You’ve heard this from me before, and I can’t emphasize it enough. 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, an important 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.
Icing your injury may do more harm than good, evidence shows. When it comes to ligaments and tendons, this is especially true. Many people with sports injuries are now using the M.E.A.T protocol (Movement/Exercise/Analgesics/Treatment) instead of R.I.C.E. This article on R.I.C.E. vs. M.E.A.T provides more information on when to use which protocol.
10 Natural Treatments for Pain and Inflammation
Herbs and spices have been widely used to treat a variety of ailments for thousands of years. The ancient wisdom traditions from China, India, Egypt and beyond have all used herbs as medicine. Today, these herbs and spices have been shown to 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 – piperine, one of the chemical compounds of black pepper, can be effective in alleviating early acute inflammation.
- Bromelain – an enzyme found in pineapple, helps reduce inflammation as well as promoting healing of muscles and connective tissues.
- Cayenne – has been shown to ease headache and arthritis pain, and chili peppers are known to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties too.
- Chai Tea – a 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 – cloves have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties as well.
- Garlic – the anti-inflammatory properties of garlic have been widely known to ease arthritis pain and swelling.
- Ginger – and 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, has been shown to help reduce inflammation in the body.
Be sure to take good care of your body, no matter what your injury, so it can heal properly before you head back to your favorite outdoor activity or sport. Happy Spring!