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Dr. Anita Gupta, DO, MPP, PharmD

Anesthesiologist, Physician-PharmD
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Anita Gupta, M.D. is a globally recognized physician-pharmacist, World Economic Forum Member Expert, Top 10 Women of Influence-Fierce Healthcare, Harvard Business School & Princeton University alum as well as an award-winning 10KSB Goldman Sachs C-suite executive and board director. Gupta is also an inspirational, highly accomplished, health innovation and drug expert with a proven track record of advancing breakthrough initiatives. She has been recognized for breakthroughs related to the policy drug crisis as an advocate at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to expand the use of naloxone, an overdose blocking drug, on the frontlines to address opioid overdoses and helped flag the emergence of synthetic opioids in the Philadelphia drug trade, including fentanyl.

She has been featured by New York Times, Washington Post, Forbes, CNN and MSNBC, among others on emerging crisis, biotechnology and drug matters. She is also the recipient of several awards including the Patient Advocacy Award by the National Academies, Top 100 Most Inspiring Leaders by PharmaVoice, Top 10 in Healthcare Business in Philadelphia, Top 10 Emerging Leaders by Pharmaceutical Executives, and Goldman Sachs 10K Small Business Scholars. She has also been a Sharecare Award Finalist and an Athena Pinnacle Finalist, among others.

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3 Pain-Relief Treatments with Bonus Benefits

3 Pain-Relief Treatments with Bonus Benefits

These sustainable pain-relief treatments have additional advantages and most importantly they’re often times effective for many types of painful conditions.

Conditions & Treatments

When it comes to pain-management options, not surprisingly, safe and effective pain relief should be priority number one. What may be surprising, however, is that some treatments have advantages that go beyond pain relief. In fact, there are a number of affordable and convenient pain treatments that work to alleviate symptoms—and come with bonus benefits. The following pain-relief treatments are sustainable, have additional advantages and most importantly they're often times effective for many types of painful conditions when combined with a comprehensive treatment plan.

1. Massage

Massage is a popular pain-relief option as it increases blood flow and reduces muscle tension. It also decreases inflammation by activating genes that naturally reduce swelling. Furthermore, it improves muscle recovery by stimulating mitochondria, the "energy packs" driving cellular function and repair.

Bonus Benefit – Stress Relief

Stress can send the brain into overdrive causing adrenaline and cortisol to release into the body, manifesting in trouble sleeping, digestive issues and a host of other health problems. Pain and stress often go hand in hand, but thankfully massage is one way to manage both at the same time. In fact, recent studies found a reduction of cortisol in saliva samples after the participant received a massage. And while making an appointment at the spa can be prohibitive due to time and cost, there are great handheld massager options like the Wahl Deep Tissue Massager. The intensity can be adjusted for customized pain relief in the comfort of your own home.

2. Glucosamine

Glucosamine supplements are commonly used to reduce jointpain because they don't require a prescription. Many individuals use glucosamine sulfate orally to treat a painful condition caused by the inflammation, breakdown and eventual loss of cartilage as seen in osteoarthritis. Current research demonstrates that the oral use of glucosamine sulfate may provide some pain relief for people with osteoarthritis of the knee, hip or spine. Early research suggests that oral use of glucosamine hydrochloride might reduce pain related to rheumatoid arthritis when compared with placebo, an inactive substance.

Bonus Benefit – Reduced Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Besides pain relief, a recent research study found that adding a glucosamine supplement to your diet may reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease and early death. In fact, it demonstrated that those who took the supplement regularly saw a 15% lower risk of overall cardiovascular disease and a 9% lower risk of stroke.

3. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a popular Chinese-based medicine that involves the insertion of fine needles at strategic points on the body. There are several ways in which acupuncture potentially helps to decrease pain and promote tissue recovery. For example, it can signal the body to release pain moderating chemicals called endorphins and enkephalins, which increase blood flow to the tissue and bring in nutrients and oxygen to stimulate healing. After an acupuncture session, studies have shown that the body is more likely to be receptive to naturally occurring painkillers and chemicals that help to alleviate muscle tension or discomfort.

Bonus Benefit – Better Sleep

While acupuncture is often used to treat pain symptoms, it is commonly used for overall wellness, including evidence as an effective treatment for insomnia. This is especially noteworthy as quality sleep plays a vital role in both our physical and mental well-being.

Dr. Anita Gupta is a pain anesthesiologist and pharmacist. More: anitagupta.com.

The foregoing does not create a doctor-patient relationship and is not intended to replace any guidance from your own treating physicians.

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