It can be easy to turn to prescription pain relief such as codeine phosphate with a few clicks online, especially if you are living with chronic pain, but all medications come with a list of possible side-effects, and most are designed for short term pain relief only.

Self-medicating with non-prescription pain medication can be dangerous, and you could find that you build up a tolerance to common analgesics such as Paracetamol and Aspirin, opiate drugs such as Codeine, and NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like Ibuprofen when taken over prolonged periods.

With a tolerance to over-the-counter painkillers, you will probably need something more substantial to ease your aches and pains, but before turning to strong prescription painkillers, why not consider these 15 Natural Pain Relievers instead…

Exercise

Exercise is probably the last thing on your mind, especially if you are suffering with back pain, but a short walk in the fresh air will release endorphins, the bodies’ natural pain relievers, to alleviate pain, soothe stress and ease depression.

Heat Therapy

Used for centuries to treat all types of pain, Heat Therapy can be highly effective at relieving stiff joints, aching muscles, and menstruation pains. Enjoy a hot bath filled with aromatherapy oils, or apply a hot water bottle to increase blood and oxygen flow to the affected areas.

Cold Therapy

There is nothing like an ice pack to relieve inflammation, so make one at home with ice cubes and a flannel, and apply to inflamed or swollen areas for instant relief.

A Healthy Diet

We all know that eating healthily is good for us, but did you know that certain foods can relieve pain? A diet rich in Coffee, Ginger, Olive Oil, Salmon, Red Grapes and herbs such as Turmeric and Thyme can help you beat chronic pain, without reaching for painkillers.

Yoga, Pilates and Stretching

If you suffer from joint and muscle pain, regular stretching classes can help you loosen up and enjoy sustained relief from backache, neck pains and arthritis.

Spend more time outdoors

According to studies carried out by Boston University, people who get their recommended daily dose of Vitamin D feel less pain than those who do not. You can get all the vitamin D you need by spending just 15 minutes a day in the sun, so get outside and soak up those rays.

Massage

Highly therapeutic, massage improves blood flow, boosts circulation, and releases those pain killing endorphins, so it can be highly effective at treating pain. Indian head massage can soothe migraines, while deep tissue massage can ease aching joints after surgery.

Acupuncture

Widely prescribed by medical professionals to treat patients suffering with chronic pain, the ancient Chinese healing technique of acupuncture is proven to alleviate some types of pain.

Electrotherapy

Electrical impulses, such as TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), has been used since the 1960s to treat pain. Non-invasive and completely painless, electrotherapy can relax muscles, numb painful areas, and block pain messages to the brain – much like opiate drugs such as codeine.

Meditation

While not everyone believes in the healing power of meditation, a study carried out at a medical centre in North Carolina, USA, suggests that “Meditation can have pain relieving effects greater than morphine”.

Magnetic Therapy

Magnet therapy is commonly used to treat back pain, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, painful menstruation periods, and sports injuries. Often worn within a piece of jewellery, magnets produce a mild current, which can penetrate the muscles to improve mobility and provide natural pain relief.

The Power of Positivity

Surrounding yourself with positive, happy people, especially those suffering from the same chronic pain, can help you better manage your symptoms, and cut down on over-the-counter medications.

Something Sweet?

Research shows that our sensation of pain is reduced when we eat something sweet like chocolate or cookies. While this can play havoc with your waistline, it could be used as an occasional substitution to painkillers.

Stay Active

It can be easy to pull the covers over your head and stay in bed all day when suffering from chronic pain, but keeping busy can be much more beneficial. Try to stay active, using mild painkillers if necessary, and you could begin to see a real reduction in pain in just a few days.