Wouldn’t it be great to sail through crisp winter days without any niggling aches and pains? Thankfully, these safe, study-proven pain killers mean you can!
Rub in a cold cream.
Massaging comfrey cream into achy knees three times daily cuts pain by 95 percent in four days, suggests research in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Explains study co-author Chris Staiger, PhD, comfrey compounds reduce inflammation and speed healing. And British researchers say storing cream in the fridge speeds relief. Cold cream quiets pain signals to the brain, making soreness plunge by almost 50 percent — in a minute!
Put ice here.
When University of Hawaii researchers asked migraine sufferers to place an ice pack across both sides of their neck and base of the throat for 30 minutes, pain plummeted for 77 percent of them. Why? The ice packs cool the carotid arteries responsible for bringing blood to the brain — and cooler blood dials down migraine pain!
Relax on the couch.
Stretch out, then gently tighten and relax your small groups of muscles, from your toes to your head. Research in Alternative Therapies suggests this technique, called progressive muscle relaxation (PMR), can cut back pain by 68 percent in 10 minutes, and by 80 percent if done daily! PMR stimulates the branch of nerves that relaxes muscles and calms pain nerves, explains Sidney Sen, MD.
From baking goodies to online shopping — it’s no wonder 70 percent of us are prone to neck pain this time of year. For instant aah, try this: Tuck your chin to your chest, then lift your chin toward the sky. Next, tilt your head to your right shoulder, then to your left. Finish by turning your head to the right, then left. Hold each stretch for 3 seconds and repeat six times daily. A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that doing so cut neck pain by as much as 75 percent — better results than pain killers in the form of medications!
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.