A safe, effective and holistic pain protocol to assist in anti-inflammation nutrition for patients
ACCORDING TO THE CDC, AT LEAST ONE-FIFTH OF ALL AMERICANS report dealing with chronic pain, and the National Institutes of Health report that millions of Americans suffer acute pain. 1,2
Whatever the causes — acute pain from physically-demanding jobs, chronic inflammation due to rheumatoid arthritis, muscle recovery from intensive workouts, or for any other reason — effective, safe and holistic solutions are within reach.
Curcumin for chronic pain
Chronic pain may be a primary driver behind most of your patients’ initial visits. And because it becomes so hard to ignore, it may also drive patients to taking unhealthy levels of over-the-counter or prescription pain medications.
For situations like this, a clinically-studied curcumin blended with turmeric essential oil (BCM-95) may be the best choice. Curcumin fights COX-2 inflammation, and modulates every other inflammatory pathway as well. This particular curcumin has been used in numerous clinical studies, including a rheumatoid arthritis trial where it performed better than the prescription drug diclofenac sodium, reducing joint pain and swelling with no side effects. 3
Turmeric essential oil is a component in this curcumin to help it absorb and remain in the bloodstream longer. It also provides turmerones (specifically ar-turmerone) with actions similar to curcumin as well. 4,5
Omega-3 for joint pain
For joint discomfort, omega-3 consumption is consistently linked with lower incidence of rheumatoid arthritis, and can certainly benefit patients dealing with pain due to other causes. 6-12
One way to bolster this is to build DHA and EPA levels in patients with daily supplementation. It can go a long way to stopping acute and long-term joint pain with anti-inflammation nutrition.
An omega-3 supplement that is bound to phospholipids (beneficial in their own right) provides peptides that krill and fish oil supplements can’t offer. Just a couple of tablets each day help balance levels of omega-3s. A phospholipid form is more stable too, and virtually guarantees compliance, because it requires fewer dosages than fish oil and doesn’t cause fishy-tasting burps. Because the absorption of omega-3s is much better with phospholipids than with triglyceride-bound oils, it is a more natural fit for the body, as well.
Acute pain and muscle recovery
Some of the best results for acute pain and muscle recovery can be seen with the clinically-studied curcumin mentioned earlier along with 5-LOX fighting boswellia, DLPA to boost natural endorphins, and nattokinase to efficiently shepherd these ingredients through the bloodstream. This pain reliever is fast-working and can easily take the place of over-the-counter NSAIDs your patients may be using. It has been an anti-inflammation nutrition pain-relief miracle for the people I treat, even helping when narcotics cannot.
Curcumin has been clinically studied for its effects on delayed onset muscle soreness, and was found to reduce pain, inflammatory markers, and muscle damage and improve performance. 13,14
The boswellia in this combination has been studied along with curcumin in a clinical trial of patients with osteoarthritis, although its 5-LOX balancing ability makes it a good choice for patients with rheumatoid arthritis, too.
In the osteoarthritis study, the two botanicals were compared to a generic celecoxib. One group received celecoxib, 100 mg, twice daily while the second group received a 500-mg blend of the high-absorption curcumin and the high-AKBA boswellia extract twice daily.
For pain relief, 64% of those taking the herbal ingredients versus 29% in the drug group improved from “moderate to severe arthritis” to “mild to moderate arthritis.” 15
Additionally, a topical cream for dealing with sprains, strains and abrasions may be one of the best all-purpose recommendations. A recommended one is made from the flowers, stems and leaves of a specialized comfrey (Symphytum x uplandicum NYMAN) that is free of pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs). Aside from soothing inflammation and muscle pain, this comfrey cream relieves knee and ankle sprains and strains, and the scrapes and abrasions that are common with an active life or occasional stumbles. 16-22
The right nutrients and botanical medicines complement and support regular adjustments for a holistic anti-inflammation nutrition approach to pain relief. Whatever the reason for the pain, these interventions do more than mask symptoms — they can stop damaging inflammation and help your patients begin to heal.
JACOB TEITELBAUM, MD, is director of the Practitioners Alliance Network, which fosters communication between all health practitioners (vitality101.com/pan). He is also an internationally-known expert in the fields of chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, sleep and pain. He is the author of the perennial bestseller From Fatigued to Fantastic; Real Cause, Real Cure; Pain Free 1-2-3; and the free iPhone and Android app Cures A-Z. He can be reached at 410-573-5389 or through endfatigue.com.
- “Prevalence of Chronic Pain and High-Impact Chronic Pain Among Adults — United States, 2016.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6736a2.htm. Accessed: April 25, 2019.
- “Pain Management.” National Institutes of Health (NIH). Available at: https://report.nih.gov/nihfactsheets/viewfactsheet.aspx?csid=57. Accessed: April 25, 2019.
- Chandran B, Goel A. A Randomized, Pilot Study to Assess the Efficacy and Safety of Curcumin in Patients with Active Rheumatoid Arthritis. Phytother Res. March 9, 2012 doi: 10.1002/ptr.4639.
- Aggarwal BB, Yuan W, Li S, Gupta SC. Curcumin-free turmeric exhibits anti-inflammatory and anticancer activities: Identification of novel components of turmeric. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2013 Sep;57(9):1529-42.
- Liju VB, Jeena K, Kuttan R. An evaluation of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antinociceptive activities of essential oil from Curcuma longa. L. Indian J Pharmacol. 2011 Sep;43(5):526-31.
- Navarini L, Afeltra A, Gallo Afflitto G, Margiotta DPE. Polyunsaturated fatty acids: any role in rheumatoid arthritis? Lipids Health Dis. 2017 Oct 10;16(1):197.
- Skoczyńska M, Świerkot J. The role of diet in rheumatoid arthritis. Reumatologia. 2018;56(4):259-267.
- Di Giuseppe D, Wallin A, Bottai M, Askling J, Wolk A. Long-term intake of dietary long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and risk of rheumatoid arthritis: a prospective cohort study of women. Ann Rheum Dis. 2014 Nov;73(11):1949-53.
- Corder KE, Newsham KR, McDaniel JL, Ezekiel UR, Weiss EP. Effects of Short-Term Docosahexaenoic Acid Supplementation on Markers of Inflammation after Eccentric Strength Exercise in Women. J Sports Sci Med. 2016 Feb 23;15(1):176-83. eCollection 2016 Mar.
- Dyall SC. Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and the brain: a review of the independent and shared effects of EPA, DPA and DHA. Front Aging Neurosci. 2015 Apr 21;7:52.
- Analysis at the Nancy-Universite, INPL-ENSAIA; Laboratoire de Science et Genie Alimentaires, Vandoeuvre-les-Nancy, France.
- Lee YH, Bae SC, Song GG. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis: a meta-analysis. Arch Med Res. 2012 Jul;43(5):356-62.
- Nicol LM, Rowlands DS, Fazakerly R, Kellett J. Curcumin supplementation likely attenuates delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Eur J Appl Physiol. 2015 Aug;115(8):1769-77.
- Drobnic F, Riera J, Appendino G, et al. Reduction of delayed onset muscle soreness by a novel curcumin delivery system (Meriva®): a randomised, placebo-controlled trial. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2014 Jun 18;11:31.
- Antony B, Kizhakedath R, Benny M, Kuruvilla BT. Clinical Evaluation of a herbal product (Rhulief™) in the management of knee osteoarthritis. Abstract 316. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2011;19(S1):S145-S146.
- Barna M, Kucera A, Hladicova M, et al. Wound healing effects of a Symphytum herb extract cream (Symphytum x uplandicum NYMAN): Results of a randomized, controlled double-blind study. Wien Med Wochenschr.2007;157:569-574.
- Niedner R. Effect of an Active Substance Complex from Symphytum on Epithelialization. Acta Therapeutica. 1989; 15:289-297.
- Kucera M, Kalal J, Polesna Z. Effects of Symphytumointment on muscular symptoms and functional locomotor disturbances. Adv Ther. 2000;17:204–210.
- Kucera M, Barna M, et a Topical Symphytum Herb Concentrate Cream against Myalgia.Adv Ther. 2005;22:681–692
- Hess H. Effect of a Symphytum Ointment with Sports Injuries of the Knee Joint. German J Sports Med.1991;42:156–162.
- Mayer G. The Local Treatment of Contusions and Distortions of the Knee Joint with a Symphytum Active Substance Complex Ointment. Erfahrungsheilkunde. 1992;12:888–891.
- Kucera M, Barna M, Horacek O, et al. Efficacy and safety of topically appliedSymphytum herb extract cream in the treatment of ankle distortion: results of a randomized controlled clinical double blind study. Wien MedWochenschr. 2004;154:498–507.