4 Ways Women Can Fight Chronic Pain
By Julia Westbrook
Article reprinted from www.RodaleNews.com
You don’t have to live with the pain anymore. Here are 4 natural solutions for common painful problems for women.
Men may have a reputation for sucking it up and soldiering on, but it’s women who are the ones suffering in silence from chronic pain, according to a research review by the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA). To add insult to already-painful injury, the study revealed that most of this pain is unnecessary and treatment is often ineffective or, worse, harmful.
“I can’t tell you the number of women I see who have been told they just have to live with the pain,” said Donna-Ann Thomas, MD, a member of the ASA’s committee on pain medicine. “It’s just heartbreaking because many of these women have been suffering a long time. Women, especially older women, are less likely to speak up and seek treatment for their pain.”
And when women do report pain, the medical solutions can do more damage than the original cause. For instance, the researchers found that 1 in 7 expecting mothers were prescribed opioids for pregnancy pains—a practice that is unhealthy for both the mom and baby.
Even seemingly safe over-the-counter painkillers often harbor unpleasant side effects. “People take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like breath mints and think nothing of it,” says Gary Kaplan, DO, author of Total Recovery: Solving the Mystery of Chronic Pain and Depression. “In fact, there are more than 32,000 hospitalizations each year as a result of complications from taking NSAIDs and more than 3,200 deaths a year. These are not benign drugs.”
Instead of ignoring the pain or reaching for painkillers, try these natural solutions for women’s common aches and pains:
#1. Fix magnesium deficiencies. “Because of the blood loss during their menstrual cycles, women are more prone to magnesium deficiencies than men,” says Dr. Kaplan, and deficiency can lead to a whole host of painful issues, from migraines to muscle pain. He recommends adding foods high in magnesium to your diet. Indulge in leafy greens, dried apricots, avocados, almonds, cashews, and bananas, as well as other magnesium-rich foods.
#2. Opt for a rose oil massage for cramps. Rose oil doesn’t just smell nice; it can also ease menstrual pain. Research has found that rubbing rose oil on your abdomen relieves menstrual pain, whereas using unscented almond oil was found to be ineffective.
#3. Say “om” to eradicate back pain. It sounds counter-intuitive: Twist and bend your spine to reduce pain? Research says yes. In a 12-week yoga program, those who completed the program had less back pain, while those who didn’t do any yoga said their back pain worsened.
#4. Bring your playlist into the delivery room. Welcome your baby into the world with a fanfare of music. A study of 156 women found that those who listened to music during labor reported less pain and anxiety during labor and needed less pain relief afterward.
Published on www.RodaleNews.com on January 21, 2015