The American Chronic Pain Association states that 35 percent of American adults suffer from chronic pain. 26 percent of Americans aged 20 and older also suffer from pain that lasts at least 24 hours, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Pain, especially chronic pain, is a result of inflammation- the body’s natural response to injury. David Maine, MD, of the Center for Interventional Pain Medicine at Mercy Medical Center explained:
“Inflammation is a normal process. Acute inflammatory responses can cause pain, but are beneficial. Without those immune responses, used to heal and prevent infections, we’d all be in trouble. But chronic inflammatory changes can disrupt all sorts of signals in muscle growth and health.”
Today, chronic pain sufferers can find relief in numerous medications and treatments. However, there are several foods that can help manage the pain as well:
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Rich in Omega 3, salmon is beneficial for the body in so many ways. It boosts hearts health thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. The fish oil fights inflammation in other areas of the body as well, which significantly reduces pain and swelling.
The healing properties of fresh ginger are known to help a range of ailments, including the common cold and upset stomachs. Apparently, it is also able to reduce pain by 25 percent. In fact, studies have shown that ginger may be as effective as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen and aspirin.
- Cherries (and other red, purple and blue fruits)
These delicious snacks have anti-inflammatory properties and are rich in antioxidants, as are strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and red grapes. Cherries are known to fight inflammation related to heart disease, cancer and arthritis.
- Olive Oil
Highly anti-inflammatory and a great pain reliever, olive oil can easily be added to various cooked and uncooked dishes. Scientists believe the effects of long-term olive oil consumption may be as helpful as NSAIDs, but without the potentially harmful side effects.
- Green Tea
Rich in a compound known as EGCG, green tea battles inflammation and also repressed the production of substances that harm cartilage and bone. The magic drink alleviates pain, banishes toxins from the body and strengthens immune response.