Seven Interesting Facts You Should Know about Pain

By Sharon Moore on May 10, 2017

Every one of us experiences pain from time to time. Whether it’s a troubling headache or mild joint pain – any form of pain brings discomfort and anxiety and could really affect our way of life. Below are some interesting facts about chronic pain. Knowing these things can help you manage pain and improve your condition if you are suffering from it. 

Certain foods may help or make it worse. 

What you eat affects the severity of your pain. Foods that are high in saturated fats and sugar tend to make pain worse as they fuel inflammation. Meanwhile, foods that contain healthy fats, antioxidants and other anti-inflammatory compounds are good for reducing pain. These include olive oil, fatty fish like sardines and salmon, fruits and vegetables. Avoid too much red meat, sugary drinks and foods that are made from refined grains like pastries.  

Weather can affect pain too. 

Several studies have shown a link between pain severity and temperature. For instance, a 2015 Dutch study found that people with hip osteoarthritis reported increased pain and stiffness when humidity and barometric pressure rose. 

Opioids may not be the best therapy option. 

Many people rely on pharmaceutical painkillers, such as opioids, to treat pain issues. These drugs work by attaching to the opioid receptors in the brain and body to reduce the perception of pain. They may also cause feelings of euphoria and relaxation. Unfortunately, opioids can be highly addictive. Experts suggest limiting the use of these drugs as much as possible.  

Women report pain issues more often than men. 

Research conducted by Stanford University found that women report feeling more intense physical discomfort from almost every kind of ailment—whether an ankle sprain or diabetes. While the reason is unclear, experts think that hormonal, genetic, immune response, and psychological factors are involved. Another study, this time by the University of Michigan, found that fluctuating oestrogen levels during a woman’s menstrual cycle may play a role. But this does not mean men are less likely to experience pain by nature. This might be because men are often compelled by stereotypes to act tough and manly.

You can ‘move’ the pain away.

Sore muscles? Aching joints? While we may feel the need to stop moving and rest, experts recommend the opposite. And research supports this advice. One study found that people suffering from lower back pain who were advised to stay active report lower pain severity and frequency. For much better results, try gentle exercises like tai chi and yoga.

Menopause triggers headache.

New research found that the risk of having frequent head pounders rose by 62 per cent during perimenopause. Risk

Natural painkillers work.

There are various natural treatments for pain. Some of the most effective are acupuncture, chiropractic, massage therapy, and yoga. Acupuncture has been shown to reduce tension headaches and relieve pain in the lower back, neck, and knees. Chiropractic is not only effective for lower back pain, but also other pain issues like neck pain and migraines. Yoga and massage are also great painkillers that boost relaxation at the same time.

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