4 Home Remedies Your Doctor Uses for Pain Relief

Doctors know pain–and they've had a lot of experience seeing what works and what doesn't. We asked a few top docs to share their home remedies for pain relief.

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Nerve Pain Relief: The Rum Rumba

istock/Kamil Krawczyk

Sometimes, after a case of shingles, a painful condition that involves inflammation of the nerves, the nerve pain, or neuropathy, continues. For one to two hours of relief, buy a 120 cc plastic drug bottle. Fill it with Bacardi 151 rum and 12 uncoated aspirin. Shake it, then saturate a cotton ball and wipe it over the painful spots. You'll have enough free time for church, grocery shopping, or a game of cards. —Charles E. Crutchfield III, MD, associate professor of dermatology, University of Minnesota

Back Pain Relief: Bumper Support


For people with aching backs, heaving groceries from cart to car is a peril. Put your foot on the bumper of your car for support as you lift. At home, lift the bags to the trunk lip, then lift them from the lip to your arms. —Ziya Gokasian, MD, and Lee Hunter Riley III, MD, back surgeons at Johns Hopkins Hospital and authors of The Back Door (John Hopkins Press, 2008)

Overall Pain Relief: Sunlight


Deficiency of vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, can contribute to pain. Ask your doctor to check your levels of this vitamin. It they're low, taking a supplement or spending a little more time in the sun can work wonders. —Ann Haiden, DO, osteopathic physician and integrative medicine internist in San Fransisco

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Nerve Pain Relief: Diet


Surprisingly, diet can affect nerve pain. Try a vegan diet (no meat or dairy products), then slowly reintroduce other foods–one at a time. Monitor your pain through each change of diet. —Gordon Irving, MD, medical director of Swedish Pain Center, Seattle

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