With baby boomers making up a huge percentage of the population in the U.S., many seniors are beginning to manage those everyday little aches and pains using more “natural remedies” rather than potentially addictive or dangerous painkillers. As San Jose senior care experts, we thought seniors who read our blog may be interested in learning more about natural pain relief.
A National Health Interview Study conducted in 2012 among baby boomers revealed that 11.2% of adults experience pain on a daily basis, whether a headache, stiff neck, or the aches/pains that come with arthritis. Even more concerning is the fact that in 2015, more than 11 million adults in the U.S. were prescribed long-term painkiller therapy, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
Many painkillers are highly addictive and abused. Some of these prescription painkillers include oxycodone, Vicodin, Fentanyl, even tramadol. Because of the dangers of certain prescription drugs, many older adults have opted for natural pain relief. Some of the most popular natural pain relief options among seniors who are ready to take back control of their health include:
Glucosamine and chondroitin. When used together, according to The New England Journal of Medicine, these natural compounds have been found to cut pain in half among 53% who used them. Supplements containing glucosamine and chondroitin can be found at Walmart, health stores, and other retailers.
Ice and heat. While using an ice pack or moist heat is certainly nothing new, it’s an effective way to reduce muscle stiffness and swelling while relaxing tight tissues and relieving joint pain. Depending on whether you have a headache or have sprained/strained a muscle, some people alternate ice and moist heat to relieve both pain and swelling.
Willow bark and turmeric. Willow bark contains salicin, a chemical that’s very similar to the primary ingredient in aspirin, acetylsalicylic acid. It has been used for centuries to relive pain and ease inflammation, and can be found as a dried herb for brewing tea today. Turmeric contains the natural antioxidant curcumin, which assists in fighting tissue and cell damage in the body. We’ve all heard (and perhaps cooked with) turmeric!
If we can eliminate those ordinary little aches and pains we often experience on a daily basis using natural remedies, why not?
At Care Indeed, our mission is to help seniors live fulfilled, happy lives in their own homes for as long as possible. If you’re a caregiver for a loved one in San Jose and need relief, give us a call today! Compassionate care is what we do.