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Chronic pain is a medical condition that affects the lives of millions of people daily, often for reasons that escape most doctors. It can be caused by nerve damage, several types of illnesses, or even psychological ailments like depression. Treatment for chronic pain also varies greatly, with some doctors prescribing several medicines to cover their patients’ many types of pain and other doctors recommending lifestyle changes to stop the pain. If you suffer from chronic pain, you may be feeling fed up with trying all the new medicines your doctor has been prescribing you in the search for the perfect solution to your particular type of pain, prompting you to consider other options. Luckily, although many more traditional doctors do not consider non-drug intervention to be a form of treatment, there are many other ways to treat chronic pain through behavioral changes that can be just as effective if not more so than pain relieving drugs. If you are looking for a new solution to your chronic pain, try some of these changes to your diet and behavior to significantly lessen or possibly even erase your pain:
“We are what we eat” – a truer phrase has never been uttered. Although establishing definite rules for pain-relieving-food is impossible because every person’s condition arises from a unique combination of circumstances, understanding the way what you eat interacts with your body can go a long way to finding the right solution for your pain. To begin changing your diet for pain relief, you should try to add a few foods to your diet that are known to be full of helpful nutrients while removing those known to contain only empty calories and that can even be damaging to your body. Try eating:
- Whole Grains: Whole grains are rich in fiber and can help regulate your digestive track and manage your weight – weight being a significant factor in many people’s pain. Whole grains are also full of magnesium, a mineral that has been shown to combat muscle pain in animal studies.
- Salmon: Salmon is full of omega-3 fatty acids which have the dual benefits of increasing mental functioning and decreasing pain. In addition, salmon contains a significant amount of vitamin D which has also been shown to ease discomfort in chronic pain sufferers.
- Olive Oil: Olive oil is great for the whole body, from your hair to your cells, and is full of antioxidant polyphenols that work to inhibit pain-causing mechanisms.
- Ginger and Turmeric: These spices contain similar properties to aspirin, actually working as natural analgesics.
- Spinach: Spinach is great because it has high concentrations of both iron, needed for your blood, and vitamin K, which has been shown to help those with bone or joint pain.
- Dairy: Dairy foods are rich in calcium and vitamin D, both of which help strengthen your bones and potentially lessen bone-associated chronic pain.
Although your family doctor may imply that only their treatment regimen has the potential to cure your chronic pain, in reality a number of options exist for you. Try some of these options to lessen or even get rid of your pain:
- Acupuncture: For some patients, acupuncture has been the solution they have been waiting for to solve their chronic pain. Doctors think it may have to do with the way the nerves respond to the tiny pinpricks of the needles and the hormonal response to the many pinches of pain.
- Exercise: Exercise, although possibly painful at first, can significantly lessen your pain in the long term by strengthening your body and releasing pain-relieving hormones throughout your body. Yoga is a great exercise option that will gradually stretch and strengthen your body while working on your awareness of your body’s parts and functions.
Do not let your chronic pain become a facet of your daily life. If your doctor’s traditional treatment plan is not working, try some of these dietary and behavioral options to significantly lessen or possibly cure your chronic pain.