In addition regular chiropractic care, there is a great deal you can do at home for pain and inflammation. It might be helpful to remember that pain is almost always caused by swelling or inflammation. And both inflammation and pain are a normal part of the healing process. So, pain is not our enemy. It’s a lot easier to say that when you are not in pain. When the body is injured, the trauma causes bleeding and seeping of fluid into the tissues. This “goo” forms a matrix for collagen fibers to grow into to heal the area.
In order to heal itself, your body needs these basic building blocks to repair sick, damaged tissues: a healthy, subluxation-free nervous system (maintained by chiropractic adjustments), good nutrition, plenty of water, and oxygen (from deep breathing and exercise).
Here are some effective, common sense strategies to deal with pain. These apply to pain from a recent injury, surgery, or chronic pain which has not resolved.
- Ice – Use ice as needed not only for pain, but to reduce inflammation and swelling. Use ice 20 minutes on, 40 minutes off, then repeat. Ice can be your best friend when in pain and should be used consistently. The proper use of ice allows many people to eliminate or reduce drugs which interfere with healing and mask symptoms. The nerves that carry the message of “cold” to the brain are faster than pain nerves, so the brain will feel the cold, and shut out the pain signals for minutes to hours after the use of ice. Do NOT use heat! Heat causes more inflammation as blood will tend to pool in the injured area.
- Nutrition – Eat plenty of green leafy vegetables, beets, broccoli, celery, chia seeds, blueberries, salmon, pineapple, walnuts, turmeric, and fruit. Stay away from packaged and processed foods i.e. bread, cereal, pasta. Eat a small amount of protein every 2 hours, and consume at least 75 grams per day. Your body is in repair mode for 2 hours after eating protein, and then goes back to maintenance mode. You want to stay in repair mode.
- Pure Water – Drink at least ½ your weight in ounces, i.e. if you weigh 150 lbs., you need 75 oz. per day. You only absorb 1 cup per ½ hour, so sip all day. Increased cell energy requires adequate tissue hydration while helping the body flush out toxins and waste products.
- Inflammenz – A natural, proteolytic enzyme which reduces inflammation and pain without interfering with the healing process. Take 1 capsule, 3-5 times per day on an empty stomach whenever you have pain, swelling or inflammation. Inflammenz has been used post-op on plastic surgery patients to accelerate healing and prevent scar tissue.
- Tuna Omega 4,000 mg per day– Necessary for cell membrane absorption and detoxification. It has also been shown to eliminate the need for pain medication in patients suffering from chronic pain from degenerative spinal disease by consuming adequate levels of omega-3 essential fatty acids. (Surgical Neurology, 2006)
- Glucosamine Synergy 4,000 mg per day– Encourages healthy joint function by supporting the body’s natural cartilage, ligament, and bone regeneration.
- Collagen C – 2 per meal – Vitamin C is necessary for production of collagen.
- NSAID’s (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) – These include Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Alieve, and Naproxen. They interfere with collagen production, causing you to heal slower.
- Consume aspartame or glutamate. Removing these toxins from your diet for 4 months can eliminate chronic pain symptoms. (Annals of Pharmacology, 2002)