If you’re suffering from chronic inflammation, you may know how debilitating and painful it can be. It can often seem like there’s no way to get relief from the constant aches and pains without powerful prescription painkillers with harsh side effects. Luckily, there are plenty of other ways to help your body handle the stress and damage caused by chronic inflammation without pharmaceutical help.
Looking for a more natural and less invasive remedy for your chronic inflammation? Keep reading for some small but important tips.
1) Get a Good Night’s Sleep
While you sleep, your body produces healing nutrients and reduces inflammation, but that’s not all! Sleep also improves your brain function and allows you to recover properly once you’re awake. However, if you’re suffering from chronic inflammation you know it can be difficult to get a fulfilling night’s rest.
Between pain in your muscles or joints, stress and other issues that commonly accompany chronic inflammatory conditions (such as fatigue or digestive distress), it might be tough getting enough shut-eye. One study found that participants who slept four hours per night saw significant reductions in markers of inflammation compared with those who slept less than four hours each night.
2) Look to Natural Remedies
A review of studies has shown that natural anti-inflammatory agents work just as well as prescription drugs at reducing inflammation. For example, scientists have found that curcumin, a compound in turmeric (an herb commonly used in curry), can be as effective at relieving inflammation and pain as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. However, commercial turmeric has poor bioavailability and is often not enough on its own. Look for encapsulated, liposomal form factors if you’re looking to add it to your supplement regime.
When it comes to relieving inflamed joints, there are a plethora of natural options available, most notably omega-3 fatty acids (found most commonly in fatty fish like salmon) and lutein (found in spinach and kale). While there’s no doubt natural remedies are simple and effective, they are not intended to replace over-the-counter medications. As always, consult your physician regarding your diet, supplements and medications.
3) Prioritize Physical Activity
One of the most effective ways to manage chronic inflammation is with a regular physical activity routine. Even if you suffer from joint pain, there are excellent low-impact choices like walking and swimming that provide enormous benefits. No matter what your accessibility or comfort level, the key is to get moving! If you’re too sore or stiff to start up with something more strenuous right away, do what you can (even if it’s just a brisk walk around your neighborhood) and work up from there. Try not to be discouraged—as long as you stay active, your health will improve over time. Some days will be better than others, and that’s just life.
4) Manage Your Stress Level
Stress is directly linked to an increase in inflammation, so naturally, we can assume that with a decrease in stress you’ll see relief from inflammation. This doesn’t mean you can (or even should) avoid stressful situations altogether—difficult challenges can actually push you forward in life! However, keeping your cortisol (your body’s main stress hormone) levels in check is important for your overall well being.
Busy lives can be tough to manage, but setting aside time for yourself to relax is crucial! Try to implement at least one self care regimen into your day, whether that’s mindful meditation, breathing exercises, walks in nature or reading a book. Not only will naturally help bring your cortisol levels down, helping to regulate both inflammation levels and blood pressure, but can also greatly improve your
5) Try Out Cryotherapy
So you just heard us say that you should “chill out” and relax, right? But what if you took that a step further?
Various studies suggest that whole-body cryotherapy can reduce inflammation by helping to manage antioxidant levels. Anecdotal evidence suggests whole-body cryotherapy helps chronic pain patients feel better, too. While you might be wary at the thought of freezing your body, think about how when you put an ice pack on a recent injury. Cryotherapy can be isolated to specific problem areas, simulating the same effects but in a much more potent session.
Cryotherapy has been used to manage pain for a variety of conditions, ranging from mood disorders to arthritis. While it is not intended to replace medications or medical treatment, it is a viable, less invasive option to try if you’re looking for something cool to try!
Take Care of Yourself
Now more than ever, it’s important to listen to your body and be your own self-advocate. Sometimes, it’s little symptoms here and there that you may brush off, but could be a sign of inflammation. Small steps often make the biggest impact. Plus, who doesn’t want a good excuse to slow down and relax? It’s good for your health!
DISCLAIMER: This article is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Statements made are not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any condition or disease.