If the Covid pandemic demonstrates the power of a flu gone rogue, the worldwide opioid epidemic shines a light on the lack of real solutions for pain relief. According to a recent study published by the NIH, as many as 20% of adults suffer from pain globally and 10% are newly diagnosed with chronic pain each year. The four largest causes of pain are cancer, osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis, operations and injuries, and spinal problems, which means that diagnosing the causes of pain becomes a complex, transdisciplinary affair.
In India, 14% of the population seeks a doctor's help every year for joint disease. That makes it more common than well known diseases like AIDS and cancer, and surprisingly, even diabetes! The trouble with chronic pain isn't the pain itself, but what it keeps you from being able to do. Most of us, depending on our jobs, have experienced lower back pain and shoulder pain (desk workers), or knee and ankle pain (hospitality and other service jobs that involve standing for long periods of time). Some of us have old injuries that flare up from time to time. When this happens, we take a couple of days off to recuperate.
But what if this happened everyday?
That's the challenge for those with chronic pain: to keep working, keep active, to do what's expected of them, despite the pain.
There lies the danger. So far in India, opioid medications have been highly regulated.
Even if we set aside addiction, the use of painkillers NSAIDs long may cause unwanted effects like nausea, stomach pain, stomach bleeding or ulcers. Large doses of NSAIDs can also lead to kidney problems, fluid retention and high blood pressure. Risk of these conditions increases with age and in the presence of other health problems, including diabetes, a history of stomach ulcers or reflux, and kidney disease. With long term use of painkillers, the body adapts and they bring less and less relief. This phenomenon is called tolerance, and means that you need more and more of the medication to achieve pain relief as time goes by.
What's the alternative?
It is important to understand that painkillers don't manage pain, they mask it. The root cause for the pain remains as is. The first step is to try and manage the source of the pain. Unfortunately, in most cases of chronic pain, that isn't an option.
Physiotherapy can be a viable option for some, massage for others, and alternative therapies like acupuncture for others still. However, if one doesn't have access to a skilled practitioner of choice, painkillers become the default choice. For those of us who live in India, however, we also have access to the rich tradition of Ayurveda, which often yields excellent results with chronic ailments. Pain relief, in particular, is one of those conditions where Ayurveda trumps other forms of medication.
Killing Chronic Pain Naturally
Gandhapura Oil is one of the richest natural sources of Methyl Salicylate with excellent counter irritant action. What that translates into is that the oil provides immense relief for those suffering from acute rheumatism, sciatica and neuralgia. It is also useful for general aches and pains as it reduces joint stiffness and swelling. Another hidden gem is Mahanarayan oil, which is generally effective in cases of arthritic disorders, mainly osteoarthritis. The oil works wonderfully to reduce local inflammation and is also helpful in providing strength to the bones and muscles while bettering joint flexibility.
However, as with all things Ayurvedic, where you source these oils from is critical. Fortunately, the trusted house of Dabur has a Gandhapura and Mahanarayan Oil product with a devoted following for over 25 years: Rheumatil. Available in tablet, gel, oil and spray form, Rheumatil can be used just as effectively on a sore shoulder or sprained ankle, as it can with arthritic knees and fingers. In fact, this is an ayurvedic product that most doctors trust, when it comes to the care of their chronic pain patients.
Given the side effects of most allopathic painkillers (not to mention the risk of addiction), this makes perfect sense. After all, those who suffer chronic pain are likely to need pain relief more frequently, and Dabur's Rheumatil being an ayurvedic product, is perfectly safe even when used regularly. Additionally, Dabur's Rheumatil combines Gandhapura and Mahanarayan Oil with other ayurvedic oils and essences that unlock even more of their ability to relieve pain, inflammation and stiffness. It is, in fact, the only pain relieving oil with over 90% active ingredients.
As with all things Ayurvedic, the time to start is today. Why burden your body with chemicals when it is already busy fighting what's causing you pain? Go natural instead.
Moneycontrol journalists are not involved in the creation of the article