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When you're in pain, you forget how good relief feels until you start to feel better. Rather than pump your already hurting body with artificial painkillers and chemicals, go the natural route and opt for natural remedies. Of course, speak to your doctor before making any major changes in your daily healthcare; you both need to be on the same page.

1. Medical Marijuana

Since the men in the lawmaking offices have yet to see the light, keep in mind that marijuana is still federally illegal and is a crime to ship or transport across state borders. Be smart and safe if you choose to partake whether you live in a legal state or not.

That being said, marijuana is a hugely effective natural medicine that has more benefits than it has drawbacks. You will likely hear the words THC and CBD tossed around when you start looking into it, but here's a quick breakdown:

  • Cannabidiol, or CBD, contains no psychoactive elements that will get you high. It works well for pain, partnering with the receptors in your brain to block them from sensing pain. It is legal in most of the United States and comes in the same formats as its counterpart: Flower for rolling and smoking, edibles like CBD oil gummies and oils and tinctures.

  • Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the Bob Marley variety that you're probably imagining. THC will give you a high, but that doesn't mean that it has no medical benefits. THC helps with physical pain as well, but can also alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression, PTSD, epilepsy and so much more. 

Decide for yourself what works best for you. If you're not totally sold on the idea, start small and see if you notice a difference. Everybody is different, and yours might respond well or decide that marijuana is not for you. Just stay safe and make wise choices.

2. Exercise

Despite what you might think, certain exercises can reduce the symptoms of pain and help you feel better while giving your body a workout as well. The next time you start feeling aches and pains, try one of these forms of exercise.

Yoga

The millennia-old practice has gained more traction in recent years. A series of stretches and breathing routines make you more flexible and get your blood flowing more easily. Yoga is known to help with anxiety, chronic pain (think muscle injuries, migraines or fibromyalgia) and heart health. Oddly, it is the most relaxing workout you will ever get.

Swimming

Since the water cradles your body and allows you to float without pressure, swimming is a fantastic form of therapy to ease the symptoms of pain. It aids you when you're suffering from muscle pain or an injury of some sort, but can also help with gastrointestinal conditions like IBS.

Walking

The simplest of all exercises is more beneficial than you might realize. Taking a walk every day helps your joints, keeps your heart healthy and also helps you to maintain your weight. If you have a dog, take him with you to help spur you along.

If working out isn't your favorite thing, that's okay; you simply need to find a form that you do enjoy. Speak to your doctor and discuss what kinds of exercise are best for your brand of pain. They might have a suggestion that you had never considered before.

3. Multivitamins and Supplements

Your body is a machine that is meant to produce and consume vitamins and minerals to keep you healthy, strong and pain-free — but sometimes that machine needs a little extra maintenance. Although it's important to get a well-balanced dosage of what you need in the foods you eat, it's possible that you aren't getting enough of something specific...which, in turn, could be at the root of your chronic pain. In these cases, it might be necessary to take supplements to help you.

Men's or Women's Multivitamins

For an all-in-one package, consider taking a multivitamin that is specific to your gender. This is not one of those silly, unnecessarily-gendered marketing schemes like pens or shampoo; men and women are built differently internally, and what one gender produces regularly the other might need an extra boost. For example, as women age, they are more likely to lose bone density thanks to a decrease in calcium over the years. Women's multivitamins usually contain more calcium than what you might find in a bottle for men. Do some good detective work when you're researching brands; not all are created equal, and some are better than others. 

Deciding to manage your pain naturally is a responsible choice, but remember to exercise caution when you go this route. Keep your healthcare provider in the loop the whole process to ensure that your pain is getting handled the best way possible for you.