Worried surgery might be the only solution for your aches and pains? Before going under the knife, consider these alternatives to surgery and natural remedies to see if your body can heal on its own!
Good news: At least 90 percent of back injuries heal on their own within six weeks. And for chronic pain, physical therapy and medication offer as much relief as surgery, University of California scientists say. Before booking a visit with a surgeon, try taking 250 mg. of boswellia (Buy from iHerb, $16) daily. Scientists at Connecticut’s Manchester Memorial Hospital say the herb’s boswellic acids curb inflammation and speed healing, easing back pain by as much as 70 percent in one week. Tip: Back injuries rarely require X-rays, MRIs or CT scans. Oregon Health & Science University scientists say folks who healed at home fared just as well as those who had pricey scans.
The number of people getting knee surgery has doubled in the past few years, yet a Canadian study suggests at-home TLC provides the same relief. One option: Twice daily, massage a mixture of eight drops of wintergreen essential oil (Buy at Amazon, $15) and 2 Tbs. of lotion into your knees. This could cut joint stiffness and pain by 60 percent in 10 days. Scientists say wintergreen’s methyl salicylate relaxes tight muscles and calms pain nerves.
Hand and wrist pain can be treated without surgery almost 85 percent of the time, British doctors say. Turns out, a roll of tape may be all you need to get relief. University of Kentucky research suggests that sitting up straight (instead of slouching) eases pressure on nerves in your wrist, calming inflammation and pain by up to 67 percent. Simply stick a 6″ piece of medical or duct tape vertically along your lower spine. When you slouch, you’ll feel a gentle tug reminding you to straighten up!
By age 50, up to 80 percent of women have one of these benign growths, which can cause painful abdominal pressure and other symptoms. A natural fix: Take 3,000 IUs of vitamin D-3 (Buy at Amazon, $11) daily. Scientists at Nashville’s Meharry Medical College say D-3 shrinks fibroids by up to 75 percent and reduces the risk of future growths by 40 percent by encouraging uterine cells to grow and divide normally.
If surgery is necessary…
Ask for an a.m. slot. Duke University scientists say you’re four times less likely to have anesthesia complications if your surgery is early instead of near dinnertime. Just like us, doctors think more clearly and make fewer mistakes earlier in the day.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.