Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts longer than 12 weeks. Pain is a subjective physiological and psychological experience that often serves a purpose of warning – it’s your body’s way of telling you that injury or damage has occurred to one or more bodily tissues.
Conventional treatment of pain, including the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and non-opioid analgesics (e.g.paracetamol), can provide relief, however, from a naturopathic perspective, these medications should not be taken long-term as they can have negative effects on gut and liver health. Furthermore, these medications act as a ‘bandaid’ solution, simply suppressing the signs and symptoms, rather than resolving the underlying trigger.
A Naturopathic approach to treating pain involves identifying and addressing the underlying cause, or trigger, of the pain. Of course, the number one treatment aim is to reduce pain levels so that your wellbeing, comfort and quality of life is prioritised.
Herbal medicines have been used for centuries in pain management. Research has shown that herbal medicines act as analgesics by modulating the central nervous system and working upon many different neuroreceptors. As well as this, other herbs and nutritional compounds can help to reduce inflammation that is commonly associated with pain. Inflammation is one of the body’s defence mechanisms that occurs in response to substances that are produced by damaged cells such as tissue injury.
When prescribing nutritional and herbal supplements for pain management, our Naturopaths will often create an individualised ‘compound formula’, which is a specific nutritional preparation that takes into account your individual needs.
As well as this, dietary modification can play a role in managing pain conditions long-term. Foods rich in B vitamins and amino acids may assist in reducing pain associated with nerve involvement. As well as this, vitamin C, zinc and amino acids can help to repair damaged tissues. Essential fatty acids, such as omega 3, may also help to reduce pain levels.
Naturopathy can work well alongside other modalities, such as acupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractic and osteopathic treatments, to manage various pain conditions. We are always happy to work alongside your other health professionals to ensure you are receiving the best possible outcomes.
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Our $50 Naturopath Assessment with one of our expert practitioners is the ideal place to start with a complete overview of your health and your goals.