Natural Anti-Inflammatories Are Not Just Pills to be Popped

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photo credit: superfamous.com

Anti-inflammatory aids include over-the-counter medicines like Non Steroidal Anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), or foods like Turmeric, Ginger, Boswelia and nutrients like quercitin and enzymes.  But did you know that some of the most consistently effective anti-inflammatory measures aren’t necessarily in the form of a pill?

If you’ve started following the Stop Everyday Pain blog, you know that inflammation is the painful result of a build up of one of these three things:

  1. broken down parts of injured or stressed tissue
  2. the body’s own inflammatory response molecules
  3. natural byproducts of regular tissue metabolism

So, while it can be very helpful to take in substances that chemically disable and reduce the impact of these three things in our body, there are also very simple steps we can take to address this inflammatory build up and back up, which would in turn forestall the painful effect in the very first place.

Flush and Move to Speed Elimination of Inflammation…Literally

The first thing always to do is to stay as active as you can without increasing your pain while doing so.  In the case of a sprain, sometimes that means using your hands to gently move the injured area in all of the available ranges of motion with as little pain as possible – this way you spare yourself the use of your injured muscles and tendons that need to rest in order to recuperate.  Other times, when it’s not as obvious as a sprain, it just means taking a gentle walk and trying to avoid  more than 20 consecutive minutes of immobility. The human body is like a hydraulic system in some regards.  You have to mechanically pump the fluids to encourage movement and drainage.  Movement will activate your sump pump and get the garbage out.  Lack of movement will allow fluids to pool and fester.

How else do you get inflammatory “garbage” out of your body?  You flush it out with water.

Drinking water will act on the hydraulics with pressure, pushing from one end creating movement internally emptying out at the other end.

A fair amount of waste from inflammation is also excreted fecally, so doing what you can to make sure you keep regular bowel movements is just as relevant.  The ironic thing here is that many people react to pain killers and / or some NSAIDs with constipation –  creating another kind of back up of waste molecules. It’s considered a common and expected side effect.  Unfortunately it’s not the only ironic action of over the counter medication but one that is often overlooked as being significant in the role of pain.

Neutralize, Devour and Disable

So, you can probably see by the brief discussion of ways to mechanically move inflammation-causing chemicals and other irritating molecules out of the body, that these tactics are things we should all employ on a daily basis to prevent inflammation.   We are all our own best anti-inflammatory machines.  We already make our own enzymes which help to break down, neutralize and digest a good deal of the irritating molecules around an injury, but when the pain and inflammation overwhelm our natural capacity, it’s important to send in some help.

Another way to buffer your tolerance and capacity for pain is to capitalize on your natural inclination to break down inflammation-causing waste by what you choose to eat on a daily basis – as was discussed in this previous post: “Are You Eating Your Inflammation?”.  Your system’s ability to deal with adversity depends on the quality of it’s fuel.

Aside from making those low impact food choices, here are a list of other key anti-inflammatory herbs and nutrients for those time when you need to supplement for a short time in order to restore your balance:

  1. Turmeric
  2. Ginger
  3. Boswelia
  4. Full spectrum Enzymes
  5. Quercitin

I highly recommend the reference website www.examine.com for a really thorough scholastic treatment of these herbs and nutrients and their pharmacology.

What has your experience been with natural vs. pharmaceutical anti-inflammatory aids? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

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