According to the American Pain Society (americanpainsociety.org), "Nearly 50 million American adults have significant chronic pain or severe pain." No wonder then, according to Medscape (http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/816117-overview), "More than 70 million prescriptions for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are written each year in the United States. With over-the-counter use included, more than 30 billlion doses of NSAIDs are consumed annually in the United States alone."
30 BILLION DOSES PER YEAR.
Let's do some math.
30 billion doses per year divided by 50 million people = 600 doses per year per person.
600 DOSES PER YEAR PER PERSON.
You may be thinking (and you'd be right), "Not everyone with chronic pain uses NSAIDS or if they do, take 600 doses a year." The disturbing thought though is this, if there are folks with chronic pain that don't take NSAIDS, then the flip side of the coin is "some people with chronic pain may be taking more than 600 doses of NSAIDs a year."
The Washington Post has reported, "In a 2005 study, one in four people who used over-the-counter pain relievers every day routinely took more than the recommended dose. That's risky, since even nonprescription NSAIDS can cause serious side effects, including kidney problems or stomach ulcers and bleeding."
Is there an alternative to NSAIDs and prescription pain killers?
The following excerpt provides a number of alternatives to NSAIDs of which many are available at Freshlife. You must remember though that although it has a label of "natural" does not necessarily mean it's a good fit for you. The best advice? Do your research, come in and talk to a Freshlife wellness coach, and always consult your doctor.
While over-the-counter pain relievers are generally safe when used occasionally, these products can damage the liver and even lead to long-term health problems when used too often – and it can be easy to overuse them. Pain relievers like acetaminophen, ibuprofen and aspirin are included in all sorts of remedies for pain, colds, fevers and even insomnia. In fact, acetaminophen is the most-used drug in the United States.
Whether you suffer from chronic pain or just the occasional ache, you don’t have to rely on traditional pain killers to take the edge off. From creams and ointments to supplements, a variety of natural pain relief remedies can give you the relief you’re looking for. Here’s an overview of these natural remedies:
Topical Pain Relief
Capsaicin cream: Formulated with a compound extracted from cayenne pepper, this pain relieving cream helps soothe the discomfort of arthritis by interfering with pain signals from nerves to the brain. Doctors can prescribe stronger concentrations, but weaker capsaicin creams can be purchased over the counter.
Arnica: Topical gels, ointments, and creams that contain arnica take advantage of this herb’s anti-inflammatory properties to reduce swelling from muscle sprains and similar ailments. Arnica should never be used on or near an open wound.
Food, Supplements & Herbs for Pain Relief
Fish oil: This tested remedy for inflammation comes in capsule form to make it easier to swallow than the old “spoonful of cod liver oil” remedy. People who take medication or suffer from health conditions should consult with their doctors before taking fish oil in therapeutic doses.
Glucosamine sulfate: Healthy knees normally have abundant amounts of this substance in the fluid that cushions joints, and it may help rebuild cartilage and prevent further damage.
Devil’s Claw: This African herb has been prized for its anti-inflammatory properties for more than a century. In fact, it became so popular that it almost went extinct, so be sure to check for sustainable sources.
Natural Pain Therapy
Acupuncture: This ancient remedy has become so widely accepted that many major medical insurance companies cover acupuncture from a licensed therapist. Expect to visit a therapist multiple times for the best results when seeking relief from migraines, other headaches, or other kinds of pain.
Infrared sauna: Used to treat arthritis, muscle injuries, fibromyalgia, and other chronic and painful conditions, infrared heat penetrates muscles and joints to increase blood flow and oxygen circulation.