Pain is one of the most extended ailments in our modern societies. Indeed, there is an ever-increasing number of patients that visit the doctor due to this problem. In fact, according to a survey conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), at the end of 2017 more than 25 million Americans suffer from daily pain. Moreover, 23 million of those report that they suffer a lot of pain.
Most of us know someone who suffers from some form of pain or chronic pain – or even suffer from it ourselves – and we know the difficulties that they must endure in their day to day life. As a matter of fact, many individuals who suffer from chronic pain are not even able to work. Others need the aid of their family members or friends to carry out the easiest daily tasks.
Recently, we are witnessing how many chronic pain sufferers have started using kratom as an alternative to prescription pain medicines. Additionally, many kratom users report that kratom have helped them ease their pain and get their lives back. But, not everyone has access to kratom or they simply don’t want to use this plant, but they still want to find a natural remedy for their condition. So, in this article we will try to explore some of the best kratom alternatives for pain relief that are available in the market.
Why Do We Feel Pain?
All of us have felt pain some time in our lives. But how does this process work exactly? We feel pain when our nerves tell our brain that we have suffered an injury or that something is wrong in our body. Let’s say that, for instance, you trip and twist your ankle. In that very moment, the pain receptors (nociceptors) in the area, will send a signal to your brain through the spinal cord. Then, your brain will interpret those signals and identify where the injury or the problem is located and will make you feel pain in your ankle. Also, your brain won’t let you stop feeling pain until the injury is healed or the physical problem is solved. That’s why we feel pain in various degrees during the healing process.
Types of Pain
There are many types and degrees of pain and many different injuries, illnesses or conditions that can cause pain. Also, there are several categories to classify pain. For example, according to its duration, pain may be acute or chronic. According to its source, it may be physical, psychological or emotional. Pain’s intensity can also be mild, moderate or severe.
To summarize, there are three generic categories in what we can classify pain:
- Nociceptive pain: this is the pain that we feel as a reaction to a stimulus. Consequently, this is the type of pain that we feel when we suffer an injury. It’s also the pain related to osteoarthritis or post-surgery pain. This kind of pain typically changes with movement and position.
- Inflammatory pain: It typically appears as a result of a previous nociceptive pain. This is what we feel when there’s tissue inflammation. Some examples include rheumatoid arthritis and appendicitis.
- Neuropathic pain: it is often a result of a damage or disease of the nervous system. Some of the conditions that cause this type of pain are diabetes, amputation, AIDS, thyroid problems or chemotherapy, to name a few. Consequently, this is the type of pain that typically leads to chronic pain.
Conditions that Cause Chronic Pain
As opposed to acute pain (shorter duration) when pain lasts longer than 6 months it is considered to be chronic. This type of pain can remain even after its cause has gone away. As a result, people who suffer from chronic pain, not only have to deal with the physical effects of pain itself, but also with the emotional side of it. Suffering from chronic pain can be psychologically exhausting and can lead to anxiety and depression.
But, what are the typical conditions that can cause chronic pain? There are many illnesses and conditions that can cause it. Some of them are:
- Nerve damage
- Back injuries or back problems
- Past injuries
Depending on the type and intensity of pain, doctors will prescribe anything from non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications to opiate painkillers. But there are also natural alternatives that can help mitigate chronic pain.
Opiate Painkillers for Chronic Pain
Many times, doctors prescribe opiate painkillers, such as oxycodone, fentanyl or hydrocodone to treat chronic pain. But, although most of the times, opiate painkillers may be very effective, their side effects can be devastating. In fact, opiate painkillers are one of the most abused substances in the United States, due to their addictive properties.
But addiction is not the only problem of opiate painkillers. Other side effects include:
- Breathing problems
Over-the-Counter Pain Medicines for Pain
Those who doesn’t want to deal with the potential problems and side effects of opioid painkillers use over-the-counter medicines to treat their chronic pain conditions. The problem with these type of medicines is that they are not as effective as opiate painkillers for severe pain.
Some of the most used medicines to treat pain are Tylenol, ibuprofen or naproxen. Probably the most important side effect to all of them is the stomach and intestinal problems after prolonged use.
Kratom Alternatives for Pain Relief: Alternative Medicines for Chronic Pain
Alternative medicines have gained popularity in recent times among people who suffer from chronic pain. Their main advantage is their minimal side effects or even the lack of them. Their main problem? They don’t work for everyone.
Some of the most popular alternative medicines include:
- Ayurvedic medicine
Kratom Alternatives for Pain Relief: Natural Pain Relievers
All things considered, many individuals who suffer from chronic pain have turned to natural remedies to help mitigate their condition. There are many natural products and plants that may help with it. Let’s explore kratom and some of the most popular kratom alternatives for pain relief:
Original from Southeast Asia, kratom has gained popularity in recent years due to its many properties. One of the most popular is pain relief. People that suffer from chronic pain have reported that kratom has helped them reduce the intake of opiate painkillers. Kratom has been reported to be helpful with arthritis, musculoskeletal injuries, or fibromyalgia among others. But let’s see below some of the best kratom alternatives for pain relief.
Picralima nitida or akuamma seeds alkaloids are similar to the ones contained in kratom. Akuamma has been used in many countries of western Africa for generations due to its properties. Probably, akuamma seeds most popular use is as an analgesic, but they also have anti-inflammatory effects, which makes it one of the best kratom alternatives for pain relief.
Mitragyna hirsuta is a relative to mitragyna speciosa (or kratom). So, its properties are very similar to those of kratom. Its main use is to help relieve opiate withdrawal symptoms, but it also has mild analgesic effects. Although not as effective as kratom, it can help alleviate mild or moderate joint pains.
Also from Southeast Asia, Sakae naa or Combretum Quadrangulare has pain relieving properties. Due to its anti-inflammatory effects, it can help with muscular tension and joint pain. In China some use it to ease sore throat.
Cannabidiol, or CBD oil has become popular lately due to its many properties. CBD oil has been reportedly effective in many types of conditions, being chronic pain one of them.
White willow’s bark has been used for centuries to treat pain and ease fever in China. It’s anti-inflammatory and antipyretic properties have even granted it the name of “herbal aspirin”.
Do you know any other kratom alternatives for pain relief? Let us know in the comment section!