Facts About Chronic Pain
By Sara Butler
Oh, that aching back/neck/knee! Americans are no strangers to everyday aches and pains, and as many as 25 percent of all Americans admit to experiencing pain that lasts more than a day. Fortunately, there are many things that can be done to deal with pain that turns chronic aside from popping some over-the-counter medications. You can ward off pain and feel better by learning just a few facts about chronic pain.
Women Experience More Pain
Women are more likely to experience physical discomfort than men, but no one is really sure why. Research suggests that it may be due to hormonal, physiological, and genetic factors. So, if you’re a woman, explore the reasons why you may be experiencing chronic pain with a healthcare professional such as a chiropractor.
Rest May Not Be Best
If you’re suffering from a sore shoulder, spasming back, or a bum knee, your first instinct may be to rest but that may actually hurt you more than it helps. For minor muscle aches and pains, it’s important to stay active and work though the discomfort or you will risk making it worse. Normal activities should be resumed as soon as you are able. Talk to your chiropractor about strength training programs you can explore to help.
Foods to Explore
There are some foods that can help with your pain, and some foods that can make it worse, such as:
- Cherry juice – A study in 2013 found that people who drank a glass of tart cherry juice twice a day experienced an improvement in their pain and an increase in function.
- Sardines – Maybe it’s the omega-3 fatty acids, but sardines have been found to help fight inflammation. Tuna, salmon, mackerel, and other fatty fish help too.
- Olive oil – A study out of the journal Nature found that extra-virgin olive oil has the same anti-inflammatory effects as ibuprofen – but it’s better for your liver!
- Sugary drinks – Here’s one that can make pain worse! A Harvard study found that women who drink one soda a day have a great chance of developing rheumatoid arthritis than those who don’t.
- Steak – If you love steak you may have to give it up to help your chronic pain! Another study from Harvard found that diets with high levels of processed meat and red meat can trigger inflammatory reactions in the body.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.