Are You Frustrated by Chronic Pain?

Is chronic pain robbing your vitality? It did mine. Perhaps nothing wears on the human spirit as much as persistent pain. Americans seek pain relief in staggering numbers, including alternative natural methods without the side effects of drugs.

Chronic pain affects more than 50 million people in the U.S., most of whom work full time, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on October 22, 2006 in the online publication of Nature Medicine.

More than one-third (36%) of U.S. adults aged 18 years and over use some form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). CAM are non-pharmaceutical treatments. Nineteen percent use natural products such as dietary, herbal and botanical supplements, according to a June 12, 2004 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) survey.

"These new findings confirm the extent to which Americans have turned to CAM approaches with the hope that they would help treat and prevent disease and enhance quality of life," said Stephen E. Straus, M.D., Director, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM).

My husband and I have chronic pain from the disease of osteoarthritis for many years. Mine is neck arthritis the result of a lateral whiplash injury, his is knee arthritis in both knees from sports injuries. We’re finally able to control pain through natural dietary supplements, but our arthritis is incurable. Our pain remains chronic and, without treatment, will likely return.

'Chronic pain' is continuous pain for at least six months

Chronic pain is any physical discomfort lasting for at least six months. Pain associated with arthritis is most common chronic complaint.

Other common forms of chronic pain include backaches, headaches, and joint trauma caused by sports injuries and accidents. The knee is the most common site of joint pain.

Due to drug side effects, there’s a growing aversion by pain sufferers in this country to automatically accept traditional prescription and over the counter (OTC) pain killers.

Our health is all we’ve got. Chronic pain requires long-term treatment. This issue raises questions concerning overall long-term health affects.

The attraction of natural alternatives for long-term arthritis pain relief, for example, is no harmful side effects. In fact, natural treatments not only relieve pain, some, like glucosamine, can help the body rebuild.

Drug side effects can create prescription cycles

It seems everyone knows someone on endless cycles of prescriptions where each new prescription is designed to relieve side effects of the previous. Have we forgotten the objective was to simply relieve the pain?

Are you still in pain or discomfort? If so, you’re more likely to consider your overall health as ‘not good’, and to blame chronic pain for interfering with your mood, activities, sleep, and ability to enjoy life.

If you suffer from chronic arthritis pain or another form of chronic pain, you may be fed up with or wary of traditional drug treatments.

Are you ready for natural? Don’t know where to begin? I’ll admit, it’s a jungle out there with regard to natural supplements.

So how do you find the best product? How do you find the safest product? How can you be sure that it will perform? How do you find the best company and how do you know it? I had the same questions when I began my research in 1991.

It motivated me to devise a list of 30 “standards of excellence” questions to help me find the best supplement company in the dietary supplement industry.

Five tips about natural dietary supplements for pain

Dietary supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) like pharmaceutical drugs. Dietary supplements are considered a food, and do not have to pass rigid clinical testing to prove the product's efficacy. As incredible as it sounds, they can be marketed without the power to produce an effect in the body.

This seems very strange to me, especially since people use dietary supplements to treat the same diseases that doctors treat with highly-regulated drugs.

Therefore, the dietary supplement industry has been described as a “buyer-beware” market. If you are considering a natural approach to chronic pain, here are five “beware” cautions:

First, beware of hype. You know what I’m talking about….something that sounds too good to be true.

Second, beware of the product. How can you be sure of its safety? What if the ingredients are contaminated? Where is the source of the ingredients?

Third, beware of the company. What do you know about the manufacturer? How long have they been in business? What’s their track record and credibility? What’s their integrity? Can they be trusted?

Fourth, beware of their testimonial claims. Because of the placebo effect, there’s always going to be testimonials. Endorsements are bought and sold.

Fifth, and most important, what’s the scientific evidence? Be careful on this one. The only reliable scientific studies you should be impressed with are random double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical studies on the finished product.

Don’t be fooled by the claim of “clinical studies” that were done by others, not on the product you’re considering, but by other researchers on its ingredients separately. What you want to determine is whether any clinical studies have been completed by the manufacturer on the product you’re using or considering.

Ask them, "how can I be sure of the safety of your product? Do you have clinical studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals?" If they do, you’ve found a winner.

Only one dietary supplement company has a 20-year landmark study

When investing in dietary supplements, consider it first as an investment in your health. This way, you won't want to waste your money on poorly formulated or synthetic supplements containing artificial colors, sweeteners, binders, fillers, etc. that will not be readily absorbed into your bloodstream.

Instead, you'll want a high quality dietary supplement with ingredient purity, potency, and guaranteed efficacy that your body's cells will happily absorb.

The answers to the 30 standards-of-excellence questions led my husband and I to the company referenced in the Landmark Study below. It's the only one that we trust for nutritional and pain management supplementation.

There's only one natural nutrition company that can claim a 20-year clinical landmark study on its consumers that verifies from blood samples that its supplement users retained normal levels of blood pressure, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, C-reactive protein and homocysteine.

The 2006 study was conducted in collaboration with researchers from the U.C. Berkeley School of Public Health comparing one company's supplement users to people who took either no supplements or other brands of multivitamins from difference companies. For details, go to:

Find a company that shows you their clinical studies

A company worth its salt is happy to provide its published research studies because they’re proud of this aspect of their business. The dietary supplement company we use meets the above criteria and openly publishes their clinical studies in their product guide and online.

They’ve been in business for 50-plus years and are known as the #1 natural nutrition company in the United States. They’ve invested more than $250 million in clinical testing, research and development and have over 90 published studies in peer-reviewed scientific journals—more than any other nutritional company! Now that's impressive.

Their pain relief and health products are manufactured to pharmaceutical standards according to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), which the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires for drugs, but is not required of food supplement companies.

Featured natural supplements for chronic pain relief

This company has designed a natural pain relief program for people with chronic or temporary pain from arthritis and other causes. More and more people today are choosing safer alternatives to treat pain and these products ease symptoms and help people lead a more comfortable life.

The bold links for the supplements listed below will take you to the manufacturer's product pages for prices and additional information on each:

Glucosamine & Cat's Claw Joint Relief

Clinical studies indicate that glucosamine hydrochloride is most effective when arthritis symptoms are moderate to severe. Glucosamine has the ability to rebuild cartilage for joint health and comfortable movement. Formulated with the addition of clinically proven cat's claw extract, this product provides faster relief in as little as one week as it lubricates and cushions joints to provide enhanced mobility and range of motion.

Boswellia and Safflower Oil Pain Relief

When the boswellia herb and oil from the safflower are used in combination, it creates a potent, natural arthritis pain relief supplement without gastrointestinal side effects. In studies, these two ingredients together are more effective when combined, that they are separately. Boswellia extract is a very potent 5 Lox inhibitor. The safflower extract contains a potent ingredient that is a very selective Cox 2 inhibitor. Therefore, this product is effective against both the 5 Lox and Cox 2 pain pathways--both of the major pathways--which is the only product on the market of its kind. Its formulation and synergy is so unique that there's a patent pending on this supplement.

Menthol Pain Relief Rub

This topical menthol analgesic provides temporary relief (up to four hours) for minor pain associated with backache, arthritis, bruises and sprains. It offers fast absorption and deep penetration to soothe aching joints and muscles on contact. In addition to menthol, it contains a proprietary blend of natural ingredients that targets the source of discomfort and provides quick relief by improving blood circulation in the affected area.

Fish Oil (EPA) - (Essential Omega-3 Fatty Acids)

This fish oil supplement provides a full spectrum of seven ultrapure omega-3 fatty acids, naturally found in cold water fish (tuna, mackerel, halibut, cod, salmon). High in DHA and EPA, it supports joint function due to its anti-inflammatory properties and is easy to digest with low odor and no aftertaste. It also helps to maintain a healthy heart and cardiovascular system.

GLA and Vitamin E Complex

Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) from borage seed oil is used as an anti-inflammatory. GLA helps our bodies form prostaglandins - potent hormone-like substances that help regulate many bodily processes. When combined with Vitamin E and sunflower seed oil, the formula helps maintain cellular integrity.

Valerian, Passion Flower and Chamomile Sleep Aid

As a natural alternative, valerian root side effects are few, and minor by comparison to pharmaceutical drugs. In fact for an insomnia remedy it has good tolerability. Most studies suggest that it’s more effective when used continuously rather than as a one-night sleep aid. However many individuals successfully use it on a need-only basis. An advantage of valerian over drugs is the lack of sleepiness on awakening when used at recommended dosages. This supplement also contains a complementary blend of two additional herbs, chamomile and passion flower. Together, they provide a calm state and promotes restful sleep.

Any one or possibly several of the above products may be suited as natural, safe treatments for your chronic pain.

Recommended supplements for chronic pain relief

Since 2003, my husband and I have successfully used a trio of natural pain relief products from the above list as safe remedies for the chronic pain of arthritis. We use each daily and can't imagine life without them. For further details, click on three natural pain products.

We’ve been very happy with their ability to relieve our arthritis symptoms without any side effects whatsoever. Over time, these pain treatments have dramatically improved our flexibility of motion and reduced or eliminated pain, swelling and stiffness.

Best of all, we no longer use pain medication of any kind!

From personal experience, I’m happy to recommend this very effective trio of products as safe natural remedies for relief from chronic pain.

Disclaimer: Health statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Arthritis Symptoms. Joint pain, tenderness, stiffness, inflammation, aching, swelling and sleep problems are all linked to arthritis symptoms that natural remedies can relieve. Click here to find out more

Arthritis Prevention. Exercise, weight control and natural dietary supplements have become popular alternative treatments for early arthritis symptoms without side effects of over-the-counter or prescription drugs. Click here for more

Joint Pain Relief. Would you like to get away from the side effects of drugs and still control your joint pain and symptoms? The future is now. Natural supplements from the right company are now available and guaranteed completely safe. Click here for more information.

Natural Arthritis Pain Relief. The body doesn't recognize drugs as nutrients at the cellular level. Plant-based natural pain relief products not only manage symptoms, they promote the rebuilding of cartilage or damaged tissue at the pain source and assimilate the natural ingredients as nutrients. Click here for more on dietary supplements.

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