Almost everyone experiences some sort of pain at least once in their lives. When you pull a muscle or twist your ankle, or have another health issue, pain is your body’s way of showing something is wrong. Strangely, once you get back on your feet and embrace an active lifestyle, the pain disappears.
However, chronic pain is different, because it is stubborn! It is something that lasts for a long time. Your body keeps hurting for weeks, months or in worst cases, even years after damage. This may also take a toll on your physical activities and normal lifestyle. (1)
But pain is something even Thanos’ snap is powerless against. The other thing about chronic pain is that it is often difficult to pinpoint what causes it. A diagnosis could take a while. You can ask your healthcare provider about the problem you are suffering from to understand your condition and its causes. However, most chronic pain conditions may have symptoms that mimic other health issues.
Symptoms of Chronic Pain Condition
Here is a rule of thumb to remember – if your pain continues for more than two to three months, it is a sure-shot sign that you are in the grip of chronic pain. Apart from this, there are a few other symptoms that may be related when you are in chronic pain, such as:
- Muscle aches (2)
- Stabbing or shooting pain (2)
- Depression and anxiety (3)
- Reflection of pain in your leg (2)
- Pain caused by lifting, bending, standing or walking (2)
- Finding comfort (to an extent) from the pain by reclining (2)
In fact, these are the most common woes one may experience in chronic pain conditions. But they are relatively easy to get rid of. In some cases, however, some of you may feel severe pain, weakness, bowel or bladder problems and so on. In this case, it would be prudent to take the opinion of a doctor. (2,3)
How to Deal with Chronic Pain?
What you eat and how you live may actually help you to get rid of chronic pain. This is essential because living clean and healthy helps keep the body and its functions in top shape and form. Want to know about some easy hacks to use food to fight pain? Keep scrolling…
Start by Eating Healthy
Diet and lifestyle have a link with chronic pain (4). A study published by Rheumatology (Oxford, England) has concluded that the combination of diet and physical activities such as exercise may have positive effects on improving joint pain (5).
In the same breath, a diet with a diversity of foods is important in many ways including keeping weight under control, maintaining healthy blood flow, holding the line on metabolism, and reducing the risk of poor health and fatalities due to cardiovascular disease. (6)
Some studies have shown that consumption of wholesome food (including cherries, pears, fish, tomatoes, etc) may help improve numerous health conditions such as recovery from pain, improved sleep, and reduced inflammatory conditions (7,8).
There are no prizes for guessing that exercise is important for us. Remember the adage that ‘Motion is Lotion’. That means movement and physical activities may have beneficial effects on some painful conditions. (9).
Exercises that combine aerobic and resistance training may help reduce pain and also enhance flexibility and static strength (10).
A study published by the Journal of Applied Physiology has proved that regular physical activities may reduce the risk of developing chronic muscle pain and exercise-induced muscle pain (11).
As a bonus, exercise and physical activities may also help in keeping your weight down, lessen the risk of heart diseases and manage blood sugar levels (12,13,14).
Thus, exercising may have numerous health benefits associated with improving physical as well as mental health, and physical functioning (15).
Don’t wait any longer! Start NOW! You could also incorporate psychological and cognitive-behavioral therapy to deal with your chronic pain and also to uplift your mood (16,17). Alternative practices such as Yoga and acupuncture are also very helpful in managing chronic pain, relaxation and stress management (18,19).
Supplements go a long way in helping to ease the effects of pain. The first thing you need to do while picking these is to understand which ingredients are good for which types of pain. You may choose the most common herbs that may help you in the management of pain and therefore enhancing body functions.
Supplements containing herbs such as Boswellia, ginger, and fenugreek have amazing anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties that may play a significant role in chronic pain management (20,21,22).
Devil’s claw is another significant natural ingredient in pain-relieving supplements and contains chemicals that may be significant in reducing inflammation and swelling, resulting in lowered pain (23).
These very common yet immensely effective ingredients may support your pain management journey.
However hard it may be, try and be patient with your pain. It may take a few days or months to feel any improvement. But you do have the chance to accelerate the reduction in pain with a combination of diet changes, physical therapies, and exercises, as well as supplements. Not only may these supplements help you manage pain, but it might also lessen the risk of numerous other health conditions. For advanced help and to know more about how you could integrate herbs and natural supplements into your pain-fighting arsenal, you can download the free EBook.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements and/or product(s) described in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate or prevent any disease, illness or health condition. It is advisable to consult your healthcare provider before making any changes to your lifestyle, diet or dietary supplement program.
- Dueñas, María et al. “A review of chronic pain impact on patients, their social environment and the health care system” Journal of pain research. 9: (2016): 457-67. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4935027/
- “Back Pain”. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/back-pain/symptoms-causes/syc-20369906
- Yasaei, Rama, and Abdolreza Saadabadi. “Pain, Syndrome, Chronic.” (2017). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470523/
- Vandenkerkhof, Elizabeth G et al. “Diet, lifestyle and chronic widespread pain: results from the 1958 British Birth Cohort Study” Pain research & management. 16:2 (2011): 87-92. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3084409/
- Thomas, Sally et al. “What is the evidence for a role for diet and nutrition in osteoarthritis?” Rheumatology (Oxford, England). 57:4 (2018): iv61-iv74. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5905611/
- Eilat-Adar, Sigal et al. “Nutritional recommendations for cardiovascular disease prevention” Nutrients. 5:9 (2013): 3646-83. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3798927/
- Kelley, Darshan S et al. “A Review of the Health Benefits of Cherries” Nutrients. 10:3 (2018): 368. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5872786/
- Shukitt-Hale, Barbara et al. “Tart Cherry Extracts Reduce Inflammatory and Oxidative Stress Signaling in Microglial Cells” Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland). 5(4): 33 (2016) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5187531/
- “Transcript for CDC Telebriefing: Arthritis in America”. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2017/t0307-vs-arthritis.html
- Reis, Andréa Dias et al. “Effect of exercise on pain and functional capacity in breast cancer patients” Health and quality of life outcomes. 16:58 ( 2018) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5889570/
- Sluka, Kathleen A et al. “Regular physical activity prevents development of chronic pain and activation of central neurons” Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985). 114:6 (2012): 725-33. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3615604/
- Swift, Damon L et al. “The role of exercise and physical activity in weight loss and maintenance” Progress in cardiovascular diseases. 56:4 (2013): 441-7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3925973/
- Nayor, Matthew and Ramachandran S Vasan. “Preventing heart failure: the role of physical activity” Current opinion in cardiology. 30:5 (2015): 543-50. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4615715/
- Yanai, Hidekatsu et al. “Exercise Therapy for Patients With Type 2 Diabetes: A Narrative Review” Journal of clinical medicine research. 10:5 (2018): 365-369. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5862082/
- Geneen, Louise J et al. “Physical activity and exercise for chronic pain in adults: an overview of Cochrane Reviews” Cochrane database of systematic reviews. 4: (2017): CD011279. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5461882/
- Picardi, Angelo and Paola Gaetano. “Psychotherapy of mood disorders” Clinical practice and epidemiology in mental health : CP & EMH. 10 (2014): 140-58. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4258697/
- Lim, Jae-A et al. “Cognitive-behavioral therapy for patients with chronic pain: Implications of gender differences in empathy” Medicine. 97:23 (2018): e10867. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5999451/
- Yang, Ziyi et al. “The effectiveness of acupuncture for chronic pain with depression: A systematic review protocol” Medicine. 96:47 (2017): e8800. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5708980/
- Vallath, Nandini. “Perspectives on yoga inputs in the management of chronic pain” Indian journal of palliative care. 16:1 (2010): 1-7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2936076/
- Mashhadi, Nafiseh Shokri et al. “Anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects of ginger in health and physical activity: review of current evidence” International journal of preventive medicine. 4:1 (2013): S36-42. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3665023/
- Pundarikakshudu, Kilambi et al. “Anti-inflammatory activity of fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum Linn) seed petroleum ether extract” Indian journal of pharmacology. 48:4 (2016): 441-444. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4980935/
- “Boswellia serrata, a potential antiinflammatory agent: an overview” Indian journal of pharmaceutical sciences. 73:3 (2011): 255-61. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3309643/
- Mncwangi, Nontobeko, et al. “Devil’s Claw—A review of the ethnobotany, phytochemistry and biological activity of Harpagophytum procumbens.” Journal of ethnopharmacology 143:3 (2012): 755-771. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874112005387