Almost half of the population will struggle with musculoskeletal pain in their lifetime. Are you one of them? Maybe you’re experiencing pain from a recent sprain or strain, or dealing with symptoms from your rheumatoid arthritis. You want to feel relief and manage your pain as best as possible but don’t want to rely on conventional medication that just covers up the pain symptoms and could possibly be addictive.
I’m here to help. Whether you are a young athlete or an older adult struggling with these issues, there are some integrative methods you can use to help your symptoms. I’ll provide you the information needed to heal faster and get back to your normal activities!
What Are Symptoms of Musculoskeletal Issues?
Musculoskeletal issues can arise from bone, muscle, joint, ligament, or tendon injury. When this occurs, you may experience pain, stiffness, achiness, joint noises, decreased range of motion, and weakness. You may feel this pain in one localized spot, or the pain can spread out to other areas when you increase movement or pressure.
What Causes Musculoskeletal Problems?
While an unforeseen fall or accident may cause problems like a sprain or strain, long-term repetitive operations like lifting, pulling, pushing heavy objects, and incorrect posture can also lead to musculoskeletal disorders. Most of the time, it’s the long term overuse actions that cause the majority of the population these musculoskeletal issues.
Inflammation is a big factor behind many of these symptoms. Inflammation can be caused by tissue injury or overuse of certain movements. If you can reduce that inflammation, it can help with managing your pain.
Ways to Manage Musculoskeletal Injury
If you are suffering from a bone, muscle, or ligament injury, or are experiencing chronic pain from a musculoskeletal disorder, there are some natural ways you can help manage the symptoms faster. Conventional medicine isn’t the only answer.
Give these following methods a try:
- Physical or Occupational Therapies
- Splint to Support and Immobilize the Injury
- Reduce Stress and Increase Relaxation
1. Acupuncture for Musculoskeletal Injury
Acupuncture is a great complementary therapy for people who suffer from neck, back or shoulder pain, or osteoarthritis. Acupuncture is the technique of inserting tiny needles in specific areas of the body where muscles are tight. It can also be used to support and tone areas that are weakened. A meta-analysis of 17,922 patients showed a significant improvement in their pain from using acupuncture therapy.
2. Physical Therapy
Using these therapies can be a great front line option for trying to decrease pain and quicken recovery time. Using PT can significantly reduce the need for harsh pain medications like opioids. PT can also help educate patients on how to properly stand, lift, and sit so that further complications don’t arise. These therapies can help bring back range of motion in patients who suffered from an acute injury or even those who struggle with chronic pain.
3. Splint to Support and Immobilize the Injury
Many times, the simple act of supporting or immobilizing the injured area can help quicken the recovery. When you do this, you’re allowing that area to rest and focus on healing instead of continuing to get inflamed and damaged.
4. Reduce Stress and Increase Relaxation
Since stress increases inflammation throughout the body, stress is the last thing you want in your life when trying to heal a musculoskeletal injury. Try to incorporate relaxation and stress management techniques into your daily practice to reduce those inflammatory markers. Stress management can also help decrease muscle tension which can significantly help pain and improve daily functions.
5. Supplements for Musculoskeletal Injury
Instead of taking prescription medication for these injuries and disorders, supplementation could be a great safe alternative for you.
Turmeric Root Extract
Turmeric, which contains the powerful active chemical, curcumin, can be highly beneficial to faster healing. There are thousands of studies on curcumin showing it’s potent anti-inflammatory effects. However, make sure that curcumin is paired with piperine (found in black pepper) to increase the bioavailability of the curcumin up to 2000%. This means that curcumin can balance out the effects of inflammation caused by your injury, making your pain or symptoms much more manageable and actually treat the root cause - inflammation.
Proteolytic Enzymes are responsible for breaking up proteins into smaller segments and eventually to their building blocks of amino acids. Some of these enzymes include bromelain, trypsin, amylase, lipase, lysozyme, cellulase and alpha chymotrypsin. These enzymes have been used for many years in Europe as part of a multidimensional approach for tissue repair, wound healing, and recovery.
Flavonoids, found in plants, contain potent antioxidant properties and play a role in healthy cell signaling pathways. Some examples of these include: quercetin, hesperidin complex, hibiscus flowers, and rutin. These can help support healthy capillary permeability and aid in the stabilization of tendon and ligament function.
GABA and Glycine
GABA and glycine are amino acids that relay neurotransmitter activity within the central nervous system. Both, GABA and glycine, exert a calming effect in the central nervous system, promoting a sense of relaxation. It does this by decreasing nerve cell over-firing. This can decrease the number of signals that trigger muscle spasms.
If you are struggling with a musculoskeletal injury or disorder, an integrative approach may help quicken the recovery time and heal it instead of covering up the pain symptoms. You may even want to get in contact with a provider that provides telehealth services to save you a trip to the doctor's office. From there, they can recommend specific supplements or therapies you can do at home to help. They can let you know if an in-person visit is necessary for further treatment.
Reshma Patel, PA-C, founder of Brentwood, Los Angeles’ Ananda Integrative Medicine, is an integrative provider who offers in-person services as well as telehealth services. With over 17 years of experience in urgent care, she knows the right way to incorporate integrative techniques to your care to enhance your health.
If you are struggling with pain or injury from musculoskeletal issues, Reshma can give you recommendations on the best route for treatment. You can schedule a telehealth appointment here to get started. She will work with you to assess your lifestyle behaviors and can give you recommendations on specific supplements.
Be sure to connect with Reshma on Instagram and Facebook to get updates on the latest updates and health news.
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