According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), pain is one of the leading reasons Americans turn to complementary health approaches for pain management. An estimated 23.4 million adults experience a lot of pain, and another estimated 126 million–55.7 percent of the population–reported some type of pain in the past three months.
Not surprisingly, older adults experience more pain than young people. For some of us–even those of us who are otherwise perfectly healthy–getting up that flight of stairs or rolling out of bed in the morning is accompanied by audible moans and groans as our muscles and joints protest. For others, painful conditions like arthritis or bursitis make simple tasks seem monumental–and monumentally painful.
When treating pain, opting for non-medication alternatives first and then stepping up from there is the best way to protect your health in the long-run. While over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen and acetaminophen help, taking them too often or for a prolonged period of time can have serious consequences for your health. The good news is that there are a number of drug-free, natural supplements that are effective for treating pain. Bromelain is one of the most potent.
Bromelain is a group of proteolytic enzymes and other compounds that are extracted from pineapples, and clinical studies show that it’s effective for reducing inflammation, swelling, and treating pain. Here’s what the research says about bromelain for pain control.
Bromelain Reduces Inflammation
An article published in the journal Biomedical Reports cites bromelain as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that’s widely used to reduce inflammation, heal wounds, and improve the circulatory system. Clinical research shows that it suppresses chronic inflammation by decreasing the majority of inflammatory mediators.
Bromelain has been found effective for treating soft tissue injuries and pain related to inflammation, and one study even found that bromelain completely cleared all bruises on the faces of injured boxers in just four days. Another study found that bromelain is an effective NSAID-alternative treatment for osteoarthritis.
Bromelain Relieves Muscle Soreness
Muscle pain is common after exercise, and bromelain has been proven to help treat pain and stiffness after intense physical exertion. One study of 20 healthy men found that a supplement containing bromelain and other enzymes helped reduce muscle soreness after a bout of downhill running. It also helped improve muscle recovery after intense exercise, which researchers attributed to the anti-inflammatory properties of bromelain. Other research has found evidence that bromelain protects against skeletal muscle injuries.
Bromelain Helps Heal the Skin
As we age, our skin becomes more susceptible to injury and can take longer to heal. Bromelain has been shown effective for treating skin injuries, including surgical incisions, lesions, and burns. That’s because it contains a compound known as escharase, which helps remove dead skin tissue and speed up the healing process.
In a study of eight people with the skin disease pityriasis lichenoides chronica, or PLC, three months of bromelain supplementation led to complete recovery. Other studies have found that bromelain also reduces pain and inflammation after dental surgery and other surgeries.
Nerveology Advanced Pain Response Treats Pain
For aches and pains related to muscles, joints, surgery, and skin problems, Nerveology Advanced Pain Response is an effective alternative to over-the-counter medications. A specialized blend of pain-relieving herbs and proteolytic enzymes–including bromelain–helps to reduce inflammation and improve mobility and flexibility. Before you reach for the “hard” stuff, try our Advanced Pain Response to see if it’s effective for treating your pain.