My naturopathic medical clinic is a general family practice, so I see a little bit of everything. Most of my adult patients have areas of pain or tension that range from mild to severe. Then there are the acute injuries- sprains and strains, overuse, and poor body mechanics are practically epidemic in the early spring. If you live out east, you may also be likely to strain muscles shoveling snow lately!

I have many treatments to offer for and my naturopathic colleagues as a collective whole have a comprehensive number of modalities for pain relief. I specialize in therapy, a gentle form of bodywork. Other NDs do -style adjustments, , , and many other physical medicine modalities to treat pain.

In addition to the above hands on treatments, naturopathic doctors like me suggest natural anti-inflammatories. There are a myriad of these: the anti-inflammatory diet, turmeric and other herbs, proteolytic enzymes like bromelian (the pineapple enzyme), and such as castor oil.

There are some amazing that ease pain. These include: Black cohosh, California poppy, Valerian, Jamaican dogwood, Skullcap, Corydalis, Kava kava and more. I usually mix up individualized tinctures for each patient and find this approach to be quite effective.

Simple, inexpensive , known also as ““, is one of my favorite home treatments for pain. My favorite is Contrast hydrotherapy. Here’s how it works:

Conditions this treatment used for: Musculoskeletal Pain, injuries
Supplies needed: Hot & cold water, towels or basin
Instructions: 3 minutes hot, 30 seconds cold, repeat 3 times
Frequency and timing: 3 times a day, takes about ½ hour each time

are another excellent water therapy. Epsom salts are sulphate. is a mineral muscle relaxer. It is absorbed from the skin in a bath or can be taken orally in 500mg increments.

Exercise, including physical therapy for serious injuries or after surgery, is also a crucial part of healing and preventing . Stretching, yoga, water aerobics and swimming are good low-impact exercises. Pilates can strengthen core muscles and ease lower back pain from over-strain.

, proper body positioning for preventing injury while working, are another important aspect of pain control. There are many more pain relieving strategies out there including homeopathy. Arnica montana is the injury remedy most people have heard of, for example. I hope this introduction to naturopathic pain control has given you some ideas on how to ease your aches and pains. Consider visiting a licensed naturopathic doctor to help you find the best path to natural muscle and support.

Yours in health,

Margaret Philhower, ND