Did you know that up to 1.5 billion people worldwide deal with chronic pain? In the United States alone, such pain affects an estimated 50 to 100 million individuals.
Chronic pain doesn’t just last for months or even years; it can also be debilitating. Moreover, researchers say that chronic pain and depression often co-exist. Some studies even found that up to 85% of chronic pain patients have severe depression.
The great news is that certain supplements can help with pain management.
To that end, we came up with this guide listing some of the vitamins and minerals that can help manage pain. Read on to learn what they are and how they can help.
Supplements that contain Salix alba, also known as white willow, may be helpful for pain. It’s one of the plants from which scientists discovered acetylsalicylic acid (ASA). ASA, in turn, is aspirin, one of the most common medications used for pain and inflammation relief.
White willow bark contains flavonoids, tannins, and salicin glycosides. The latter appears to be behind the plant’s potential pain-relieving benefits. After ingestion, the body metabolizes them to create salicylic acid.
This is why some people use willow bark for natural pain management. It also seems to help reduce inflammation, which may keep even more pain at bay.
Several studies have looked into white willow’s effectiveness for pain conditions. Some findings suggest that it may help treat musculoskeletal pain disorders. Some researchers also regard it as having a similar efficacy to aspirin medications.
India’s use of turmeric as a spice in food dates back to at least 4,000 years ago. Aside from its culinary uses, it has also been a part of ancient herbal medicine. From there, its use as both a spice and a medicine spread throughout the world.
The most well-known beneficial compound in turmeric is curcumin. It’s this component that gives turmeric its bright, vivid color. Scientists also say that it’s behind the plant’s anti-inflammatory, anti-pain, and antioxidant effects.
For those reasons, some people with arthritis pain and post-operative swelling use turmeric. Those with irritable bowel syndrome and stomach ulcer pain also take this root crop.
You can add this plant to your diet, but it may be easier to take turmeric-containing supplements.
Vitamin B-2, or riboflavin, is one of the eight vitamins that make up the B vitamin complex. You’ll find it in food products like cheese, dairy milk, eggs, yogurt, chicken breast, and lean red meat. Salmon and beef liver also contain riboflavin.
Studies found that vitamin B-2 may help prevent or reduce the frequency of migraines. However, scientists still aren’t sure how exactly it works to combat headaches.
Moreover, most of these investigations involved high doses (400 mg) of the B vitamin. Most riboflavin-containing food products can’t supply that much.
Vitamin B complex supplements may help close this gap. Be sure to speak to your physician before you take higher doses, though. This way, your doctor can discuss its potential side effects, such as diarrhea.
A recent review concluded that there’s a link between magnesium deficiency and headaches. The reviewers also noted that deficiency in this mineral is a migraine risk factor. Moreover, they reported how a lack of magnesium intake could pose gastrointestinal issues.
Magnesium deficiency can also cause painful muscle cramps and spasms. Fatigue and even personality changes can also result from a lack of this mineral.
The good news is that magnesium is in healthy food options like nuts, seeds, beans, and dark chocolate. Lean chicken, ground beef, spinach, broccoli, yogurt, and oatmeal also contains this mineral. The recommended intake for women is 310 to 320 mg, 400 to 420 for men.
You can also take magnesium-containing supplements to help you reach your daily goals. This is even more important if you’re already low on the mineral. Your doctor may advise you to raise your intake to bring your supplies back up to speed.
Many products for arthritis relief focus on easing joint swelling. They help dampen the pain by reducing inflammation, which in itself can be painful. Swelling can also activate sensitive nerves, further adding to the pain.
Fish, especially their polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, are potent anti-inflammatories. In this way, they may help ease pain caused by RA (rheumatoid arthritis). These fish compounds can also help reduce stiffness in RA patients.
Salmon and tuna are two of the top sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Hemp oil is also rich in these healthy ingredients. If you don’t get enough of them from food, you can take supplements with these fish compounds.
Vitamin D deficiency isn’t that common worldwide, but in the US, as many as 42% of adults have had it. Either way, the main reason is that this vitamin isn’t present in many food sources. The sun is where most of it comes from, which is why beach lovers use the term “vitamin sea.”
People who have low vitamin D supplies may experience bone and muscle pain. Severe deficiencies in children can result in rickets. Too little of this vitamin may also raise women’s risks of painful menstrual cramps.
For those reasons, vitamin D may be one of the top vitamins for chronic pain. Raising your intake may help lower your odds of developing bone, muscle, or menstrual pain. As always, be sure to check in with your doctor first before you start taking these products.
There you have it, your ultimate guide on supplements that can be useful for pain management. There’s a lot of them, from vitamins B-2 and D to curcumin and magnesium. These may help you combat pain while also helping you cut back on pain medications.
So, as early as today, be sure to reach out to your doctor to get approval. This way, they can determine which supplements are safe for you to take.
If you’re ready to get supplementing, our team here at Kiwi Drug can help. Please feel free to check our extensive collection of vitamins and mineral supplements!