How to Eliminate Pain: Dr. Paul Stallone recommends natural supplements for optimum relief.
Jun 30, 2014 10:40AM
● By Dr. Paul Stallone
Pain is one of those broad-spectrum symptoms that could signify numerous problems within the body. Most are minor, but chronic pain could be an indicator of something more severe. For those that have unexplained pain, it is ill-advised to silence a message our body is sending us. Chronic or sharp pain may be evaluated by a naturopathic physician to rule out serious causes. Many people are very successful treating their pain at home with supplements customized by a skilled naturopathic physician trained in natural pain management. Pain relief programs are going to vary, depending on many factors considered during an office visit. These recommendations are for general pain and safe for most; however, meeting with an experienced doctor can ensure proper dosage and prevent interactions.
Magnesium is an essential mineral responsible for hundreds of biological functions in the body. The benefits of supplementing magnesium are many, and superior pain relief is one of them. Magnesium is incredible in addressing headaches, migraines, restless leg syndrome, PMS, muscle pain, muscle spasms, muscle cramping, joint pain, fibromyalgia and most pain-related disorders. There are many forms and different strengths, although most find relief with 400 to 500 mg of magnesium glycinate daily. If loose stools develop, then one may decrease the dose.
Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is an organic form of sulfur. Like magnesium, it is a vital mineral found naturally in the body. MSM may help reduce inflammation, soften scar tissue, reduce muscle pain, spasms and joint pain and aid in healing. When used topically, it may help improve blood supply to the applied area. The body may also use MSM to create and repair connective tissue like ligaments, tendons and cartilage. Approximately half of the MSM in the body is found in muscles, skin and bones, but is also used by every single cell in the body. Supplementing can benefit our whole body beyond pain relief. MSM should be taken twice a day as it is only active in the body for 12 hours.
Astaxanthin is sometimes referred to as a “supernutrient” and a very powerful antioxidant. Inflammation and oxidative damage from free radicals can put tremendous stress on cells, body tissue and organs, which is why an antioxidant is extremely important. Astaxanthin may also help circumvent muscular soreness from strenuous activities or workouts. Synthetic astaxanthin should be avoided, because it is made from petrochemicals. There are only two natural sources of this amazing anti-inflammatory: the microalgae that produces it and the marine animals that eat it. Aim for eight to 12 mg daily. Research the brand to see if hexane gas is used in the extraction, as this should also be avoided.
Turmeric contains the active ingredient curcumin that causes the yellow-orange color, but more importantly, is the force behind its astonishing pain-relieving capabilities. Research shows Turmeric may have incredible anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, antiviral, antibiotic and antioxidant properties. Many prefer turmeric over aspirin or ibuprofen because it naturally reduces inflammation and pain by blocking inflammatory pathways without damaging the liver or kidneys. Not only can it help pain and inflammation, but it may actually help prevent it, by stopping the production of a protein that triggers swelling. Overloading on this herb has shown to be the most effective, but this can be tricky, as it is not absorbed easily.
There are countless combinations of vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids and other nutrients that can provide serious pain relief, all without the possible dangers and complications of OTC pain relievers and prescription-strength narcotics. As multiple supplements and varying dosages will be needed, an experienced naturopathic physician should be involved in making a supplemental protocol. They will also be able to determine if more involved treatment is needed to eliminate pain.
For some people, supplements will only provide minimal relief, because the damage may be too great. For those with moderate to severe pain, in-office treatments like prolotherapy, prolozone, and platelet-rich plasma therapy may provide the fastest, most permanent pain relief. Only a naturopathic doctor experienced with these treatments will be able to determine who will respond to supplements and who needs a more hands-on approach. Relief for pain is possible with the right guidance.
Paul Stallone, NMD, founded the Arizona Integrative Medical Center, located at 8144 E. Cactus Rd., Ste. 820, in Scottsdale. He combines natural/alternative/conventional treatments to best fit and benefit each individual patient’s needs. For more information, call 480-214-3922 or visit DrStallone.com.