Pain is scientifically defined as an unpleasant emotional and sensory experience associated with actual or potential damage. Pain is a warning signal produced by our body. It sends signals to the higher centers when the body part experience a disturbance before getting worsened.
Relation between Pain and Inflammation
Inflammation usually starts when body experience pain. It is characterized by swelling, redness, heat and pain, and if left untreated results in partial or complete loss of function of affected area. During inflammation, protease, an enzyme that aids in the assimilation of protein is liberated in the injured region, it initiates the chain reaction that compounds problems. Small particles of protein known as bradykinin are also released and interact with nerve receptors resulting in perception of pain.
Types of Pain
There are different types of body pain that might happen in different stages of our life.
1. Acute Pain
Temporary and immediate onset that often goes hand in hand with an acute injury. Eg: Fracture, sprain, abrasion, cut, etc.
2. Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is distressing and it affects the person in many levels.
- Physically: with sensation of discomfort
- Emotionally : with feeling of despondency and hopelessness
- Psychologically: with depression and dissolving self-esteem
- Socially: since they desire for isolation
- Occupationally : since they feel difficulty in doing day-to-day work related tasks.
Chronic pain is now a major health problem and it can greatly vary from person to person. It may come from different factors like
- Muscle tension and strain
- Nerve damage
Combination of these factors can also contribute to pain intensity. Here you can see a vicious cycle of pain. Hence it is very important to manage your pain and best possible way is to “Preserve Quality Of Life”.
How to Preserve Quality of Life?
Like many think, quality of life does not mean luxuries of life or technologically advanced life. Quality of Life depends on how compatible your life style is with that of Nature. Here comes the importance of Nature cure and Yoga.
Naturopathy – Healing power of Nature
Naturopathy is becoming popular among all like other medical fields. It is a drugless system of therapy.
This system of healing firmly believes that living body heals itself naturally. “Chew the nature and enhance your immunity, Feel the nature and alleviate your sufferings, Give your hands to Nature, it shows the path of healing.”
Management of Pain and Inflammation through Nature cure Treatments
As per nature’s law, there are five basic rules for good health and long life.
- – Proper Diet
- – Proper Sleep
- – Proper Elimination
- – Proper Exercise
- – Proper Rest & Relaxation
Ideal diet for pain and inflammation
Flavanoids (Vitamin P)
It acts upon collagen, which maintains the integrity of tissues, bones, ligaments and tendons.
Classification of Flavanoids
- a. Anthocyanidin : Blue or purple colored fruits and vegetables. (Blueberries, Brinjal, Cranberries, Grapes etc.)
- b. Oxoflavanoids: Vegetables like onion are rich in Oxoflavanoids..
- c. Quercetin : An anti oxidant flavanoid which is rich in Onion, apples etc.
- d. Citrus Bio Flavaniods : Vitamin C rich foods like Amla, Guava, Lemon, Orange etc.
Other foods which are rich in Flavanoids are Dried Beans, Green tea, Peanut, Tomato, Apples etc.
It inhibits the enzyme cox-2 cyclo-oxygenase. This helps to reduce the pain and inflammation. Rich sources of Resvestrol are Grapes and all Berries.
Omega -3 Fatty acids
It reduces inflammation, dilates the blood vessels and help to prevent risk factor associated with chronic diseases. This limits the pro-inflammatory prostaglandin which increases the arachidonic products resulting in inflammation and pain.
Rich sources of Omega-3 fatty acids are Flaxseeds, Walnuts, Parsley, Fennel seeds and other nuts.
All spices act as a neutralizer for body reactions. Spices and its oil contain ‘Eugenol’, which promotes digestion by enhancing the activity of digestive enzyme Trypsin and it act as a pain reliever and anesthetic.
Cinnamon and Clove are widely used spices which helps digestion.
Magnesium is needed for the production of Hyaluronic acids, a component of connective tissue that provides cushion and lubrication effect to various body parts. Magnesium deficiency causes tightness in muscles and connective tissues.
Rich sources of Magnesium are Wheat grass and Green leafy vegetables which are also rich with chlorophyll, folic acid, Vitamin A, Calcium and Beta-carotene. Other rich sources of Magnesium are Spinach, Broccoli, Drumstick leaves, Coriander leaves, Lettuce, Walnut, Almond, Cashew nuts, Millets, Apricot, Figs, Dates, Garlic, Pears, Bananas, Beetroot, Tomato, Raisins, Carrot, Celery, Cantalope, Sweet potato.
Choline is an essential vitamin B which helps in the functioning of each and every cell. It helps in the activation of Alpha-7 Nicotine receptors, which has anti-nociceptive effect in turn reduces pain and inflammation.
Rich sources of Choline are Soya beans, Wheat germs, Cardamom, Green leafy vegetables etc.
Betaine works alone or along with Choline for reducing pain and inflammation.
Rich sources are Beetroot and Spinach.
It maintains the structural integrity of cells and helps in wound healing. It produces nitric oxide which dialates or relaxes arteries. And hence it makes free blood flow and prevents clot formation.
Rich sources of L-Arginine are Walnut, Almond, Cashew nuts, Barley, Oats, Soy-protein etc.
Endorphins are morphine like substances which reduces pain perception. Tryptophan helps to maintain endorphin levels in the brain. So through Tryptophan, you will feel less pain and sound sleep.
Rich sources of Tryptophan are Nuts, Milk & Milk products, Seasame, Brown rice, Beans, Lentils, Sun flower etc.
All B-complex vitamins act on the spinal cord.
a. Vitamin B1: It suppresses transmission of impulse along nerve fibers that innervates muscles. Rich sources are Brown rice, Soya, Oats, Cashew nuts, Green gram, Green peace, Garlic, Clove, Pepper, Walnut, Almond, Pumpkin etc.
b. Vitamin B6 : Chronic pain is due to decreased Serotonin levels in body. Hence vitamin B6 helps in the conversion of tryptophan to Serotonin which modulates the perception of pain. Rich sources of vitamin B6 are Walnut, Brown rice, Banana, Spinach, Prunes, Radish, Cauliflower, Barley etc.
c. Vitamin Bl2: It maintains the acid-base balance in the body with the help of Vitamin B6. Rich sources are Milk and Milk products.
Anti-oxidants reduce free radical formation in cells and tissues. Free radicals can cause abnormal proliferation of cells and can cause serious damages leads to chronic pain. So anti-oxidants reduce the risk of inflammation and pain.
Anti-oxidants are Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Zinc, Selenium and Glutathione.
Rich sources of nutrients are Asparagus, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Spinach, Mushroom, Carrot, Pumpkin, Tomato, Avocado, Orange, Peaches, Pineapple, Papaya, Amla, Guava, Apple, Brown rice, Oats, Almond, Walnut, Ginger etc.
Copper increases production of ‘Enkephalin’. Enkephalin acts like morphine which results in reduction of pain.
Rich sources of Copper are Walnut, Almond, Barley, Carrot, Onion, Cabbage, Papaya, Apple, Garlic, Ginger etc.
Proteolytic enzymes cause inflammation after injury and thus pain. By halting the production of
Protein, the effect of inflammation can be reduced. Since the healing process and inflammation are linked, it’s not advisable to eliminate the inflammation altogether. So we should consume enough Protease. Protease should be taken on empty stomach in order to prevent the digestion by other natural enzymes present in our body.
Rich sources are Pineapple and Papaya.
Alkaline Rich foods
Alkaline rich foods maintain acid- base balance in the body. Excess acidity cause stimulation of peripheral nerves, which in turn increase pain perception and also accumulates hazardous waste products in the system. So it’s important to maintain the acid-base balance in the body.
Rich source of alkaline are Lemon, Melon, Barley, Walnut, Brown rice, Oats, Fresh fruit juices, Potato etc.
Curcumin is an active ingredient which relieves pain by blocking a number of inflammatory inducing processes in the body. Same time it increases the blood circulation to painful areas.
Rich sources of Curcumin are Turmeric and Cumin seeds.
MSM (Methyl Sulfonyl Methane)
This gives the essential pain relieving Sulfur that your body needs.
Rich sources of MSM are Legume, Garlic, Onion, Cabbage etc.
No – No Foods
- Alcohol and Cigarette
- Tea and Coffee
- Refined Sugar
- White Products (Maida, White sugar, Salt)
- Red meat
- Saturated fat
- MSG (Mono Sodium Glutamate)
Exercise increases the Endorphins (an opiate released by body). It acts as a natural pain killer and also reduces Substance-P, which in turn reduces Pain and Inflammation. Moderate exercise promotes the release of cortisone. Eg. Walking, Jogging, : Swimming etc.
Stress and Anxiety Relieving Techniques
o Pranayama: Mental disturbances like r excitement, anxiety, fear, anger, disappointment, lust for sex (lasciviousness) and other mental perversions can be calmed down by regular practice of Pranayama.
Physically, Pranayama appears to be a systematic exercise of respiration, which makes stronger lungs and better blood circulation. Pranayama makes a healthy man with longer life.
Physiology says that the air (Prana) that we breathe in, fill our lungs and spread to entire body. The body takes them to heart and then to the lungs again which throws the useless material like carbon dioxide out of the body through the act of exhalation. If this action of the respiratory system is done regularly and efficiently, lungs become stronger and blood becomes pure.
Pranayama practices like Nadisudhi, Ujjayi, Brahmari and Kapalabhathi are beneficial.
- Deep Breathing Practices
- Relaxation Techniques : IRT (Instant Relaxation Techniques)
These techniques will normalize sleep pattern, enhance self confidence and ease fatigue and tension.
Proper Rest: Proper rest is essential for our body to reduce pain and inflammation.
- Fasting: Mainly with juice diet (fresh fruits, vegetable juices and wheat grass juices).
- Colon hydrotherapy.
The temperature above the skin temperature affords relaxation which in turn reduces the muscle tension and breaking the pain-spasm-cycle. The warmth of the medium also produces the redistribution of circulation so that there is an increase of blood flow through superficial tissues. These effects may produce chemical changes within neurons and results in pain relief.
- Alternate hot and cold application to the painful area.
- Hot fomentation bag to the particular area
- Hot bath and showers.
- Hot arm and foot bath.
- Neutral packs and compress to the painful area.
- Neutral spinal spray and immersion baths
- Pool therapy.
- Ice massage to the swelling area.
Sea bath: Iodine relieves the pain and sea water maintains the acid base balance in blood and tissue. It repairs and regenerates worn out cells and tissues.
Mud therapy: Mud Application and mud packs to the painful area help in subsiding swelling and pains.
Magnets can be effective against pain, by correcting the polarity imbalances at cellular level.
It is a time honored Chinese system of healing which alleviates pain by releasing energy flow blockages throughout the body. Some specific points to reduce pain are LI 4, LI11, ST 44, ST 38, UB 11, UB 18, GB 34, GV 14, GV 20, SP 9, SP 6, K3, UB 62, etc
Massage improves blood circulation, strengthens muscles and hence relieves pain. “Prevention is better than cure.”
- – Life style modification is the best prevention method. Control your diet and its ingredients.
- – Look for the nutritive value of the diet rather than it’s taste or colour.
- – Boost the vitality of your body through proper Diet, Sleep, Elimination, Exercise and Rest.
- – Heal the body through natural elements.