by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
A man asked,
Is there anything that is not ototoxic that I can take for pain?
A woman queried,
What is a good pain-killer alternative to take since all pain-killer drugs are known to be ototoxic to some degree?
There are a number of pain-killing drugs available, but as you have discovered, they all have nasty side effects (including ototoxic side effects). Furthermore, taking pain-killers doesn’t address the cause of your pain. As a result, you have to take them long-term.
The good news is that God made a number of natural pain-killers for us to use.
For example, I was just reading a recent article that showed that proper levels of testosterone in your blood act as a good pain-killer in men (and also in women). (1) Now here’s the kicker—taking opioid pain-killers such as Hydrocodone deplete testosterone in your blood. Thus, when you try to get off of such drugs, your pain is even worse because you suppressed one of your body’s natural pain-killers (not to mention messing up other body functions). As a result, it is ever so much better not to get hooked on such drugs in the first place.
Here are 12 alternate medicine practices Dr. Mercola recommends that you may want to try in order to help relieve your pain.
1. Make drugs your last resort for pain, not your first line of attack. This is the most common mistake most people (and doctors) make. The truth is that many of the people succumbing to drug overdoses didn’t start out with the idea of becoming “druggies”. Rather, they started out innocently trying to control their pain by taking the pain-killers their doctors prescribed. They would have been far better off if their doctors had worked to determine what was really triggering their pain, and then addressed the underlying cause rather than drugging their symptoms away.
2. Try the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), which is a drug-free approach for pain management of all kinds. “EFT borrows from the principles of acupuncture, in that it helps you balance out your subtle energy system. The good news is that the EFT helps resolve underlying, often subconscious, negative emotions that may be making your physical pain worse. By stimulating (tapping) well-established acupuncture points with your fingertips, you re-balance your energy system, which tends to dissipate pain.” (2) “The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) works very effectively for relieving headache pain.” (3) You can learn about the Emotional Freedom Technique here.
3. Consider Astaxanthin. “Astaxanthin is one of the most effective fat (oil)-soluble antioxidants known. It has very potent anti-inflammatory properties and in many cases works far more effectively than many anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Higher doses are typically required and you may need 8 mg or more per day to achieve this benefit.” (2)
4. Try Ginger. Ginger also is a “potent anti-inflammatory and offers pain relief and stomach-settling properties. Fresh ginger works well steeped in boiling water as a tea or grated into vegetable juice.” (2)
5. Give Curcumin a try. Curcumin is the primary therapeutic compound identified in the spice turmeric. Curcumin has been shown in over 50 clinical studies to have potent anti-inflammatory activity. (3) In one “study of osteoarthritis patients, those who added 200 mg of Curcumin a day to their treatment plan had reduced pain and increased mobility.” (2) Another study found that “a turmeric extract composed of curcuminoids blocked inflammatory pathways, effectively preventing the launch of a protein that triggers swelling and pain.” (2)
6. Consider Boswellia. Boswellia is also known as boswellin or “Indian frankincense”. “This herb contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which have been prized for thousands of years.” (3) Dr. Mercola notes, “This is one of my personal favorites as I have seen it work well with many rheumatoid arthritis patients.” (2)
7. Look into Cetyl Myristoleate (CMO). “CMO oil, found in fish and dairy butter, acts as a “joint lubricant” and an anti-inflammatory. (2) Dr. Mercola explains, “I have used this as a topical preparation myself to relieve ganglion cysts and a mild annoying carpal tunnel syndrome that pops up when I type too much on non-ergonomic keyboards.” (3)
8. Investigate Krill Oil: “The omega-3 fats EPA and DHA contained in krill oil have been found by many animal and clinical studies to have anti-inflammatory properties.” (2)
9. Use Bromelain. “This protein-digesting enzyme, found in pineapples, is a natural anti-inflammatory. It can be taken in supplement form but eating fresh pineapple may also be helpful.” (2) “Keep in mind that most of the Bromelain is found within the core of the pineapple, so consider leaving a little of the pulpy core intact when you consume the fruit.” (4)
10. Try Evening Primrose, Black Currant and Borage Oils. “These plant oils contain the essential fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA), which is useful for treating arthritic pain.” (2)
11. Use Cayenne Cream. Cayenne cream is also called capsaicin cream. “This spice comes from dried hot peppers. It alleviates pain by depleting the body’s supply of substance P, a chemical component of nerve cells that transmits pain
signals to your brain.” (2)
12. Investigate K Laser therapy. “K Laser therapy treatment helps reduce pain and inflammation and enhances tissue healing—both in hard and soft tissues, including muscles, ligaments, and even bones. It increases oxygenation of tissues and allows injured or damaged cells to absorb photons of light, which speeds healing.” (3)
In addition, think outside of the box. Try things such as yoga, osteopathic (chiropractic) manipulation, (4) acupuncture, meditation, hot and cold packs, and even holding hands. These can also result in astonishing pain relief without any drugs.” (2)
(1) Treating Low Testosterone May Relieve Pain. Bottom Line Publications.
(2) Prescription Drug Death. Mercola.com.
(3) Acetaminophen Skin Reaction. Mercola.com.
(4) Osteopathic Manipulation. Mercola.com.