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It could be time to think beyond the blister pack. We investigate the alternatives to traditional medicines, from supplements to cannabis

The last couple of years has thrown up some big stories when it comes to pain. Recent statistics show 28 million of us have some form of chronic pain, from persistent back problems to fibromyalgia. Then there’s our national dependency on powerful painkillers such as codeine and tramadol – prescriptions have doubled in the last 15 years. And, a nine-year Danish study found that regular use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including ibuprofen, could increase the risk of a heart attack by as much as 31 per cent. ‘There is a misperception that drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen are harmless, but this is not true,’ says Amanda Reiman, an affiliate scientist with the Alcohol Research Group, part of the Public Health Institute in the United States. ‘We should be helping people manage pain with ingestion of synthetic chemicals as a last resort, not a first line of defence.’ So what are the other options?

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About Healthy Magazine

Clean up your act with our special Cleaner Beauty issue! Inside, you’ll find our guide to the best results-driven natural ingredients for glowing skin and glossy hair, and the lowdown on this year’s hot trend, ocean beauty. We explore the rise of adult allergies and Myleene Klass talks female empowerment, body confidence and fitness for real women. Plus, how to reboot your motivation, meat-free bank holiday feasts, and we investigate the impact of the sugar tax. Find out more in the brand new issue of Healthy!