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Regularly popping over-the-counter pain relievers for minor aches and pains can come with an unexpected consequence: hearing loss that appears to be permanent. For instance, Harvard University researchers found that women who took ibuprofen four to five days a week had a 21 percent greater risk for hearing loss over a 14-year period than women who took it less than once a week. The researchers suspect the meds restrict blood flow to the cochlea, the ear’s snail-shaped hearing center. The next time you’re inclined to pop an OTC pill, try these natural and effective pain remedies first.
For a Headache
Try Viparita Karani (Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose)
Lie on your back and lift your legs to a 9o-degree angle, flush with a wall. Spending 5–1o minutes here can help release the tight neck muscles that can trigger a tension headache.
For Muscle Aches
Try sniffing rosemary oil
The scent of rosemary eases muscle soreness by dialing down stress hormones that can cause you to tense up, a study suggests. Sniff rosemary essential oil for 5 minutes or brew some rosemary tea and inhale the aroma before each sip.
See alsoMood-Boosting Essential Oils
For joint pain
Try aloe vera juice
Sipping a few ounces of aloe vera juice has been shown to help reduce joint-tissue inflammation. It may also boost the powers of OTC pain meds, so if you do take pills, you may get relief with a smaller dose.
See alsoFood for Joint Pain & Arthritis