The Center for Disease Control cites that 20% of people living in the USA experience chronic pain. That translates to 50 million of us. 50 million of us are in pain every day. Science Daily estimates that chronic pain in the USA costs 635 Billion dollars a year in medications, doctor visits and missed work days.
Enter the opioid epidemic and the statistics according to the department of health and human services are rattling which sounds like a gross understatement.
We also suggest all the things when it comes to wellness.
In a recent conversation on NPR with neuroscientist Benedict Kolber (Duquesne University in Pittsburgh), the takeaway: If you experience pain, move your body.
Kolber directed a study measuring people’s sensitivity to pain before and after exercise using heat and pressure. Healthy individuals walked briskly on a treadmill for 30 minutes. Some exercised three times a week. Others, five or 10 times. And while there was no difference in pain perception after exercise for those who walked three times a week, it was a whole different story for people who exercised five times or more. they rated the same pressure as 60% less painful than they did at the beginning.
60% less! Move your body – it is free and exercise engages your endogenous opioid system which is the brain’s natural response to pain management.
We discussed the importance of sleep in this blog post and how CBD can possibly aid in healthy sleep habits. When it comes to chronic pain and sleep, there is danger of a horrible feedback loop.
Chronic pain management is linked to diet and there are plenty of books on this topic. Let’s keep it simple, you probably know what to do: Eat your veggies, x out sugar and processed food as much as you can. Just start there.
The link between chronic pain and depression is depressing – Research shows that those with chronic pain are four times more likely to have depression or anxiety than those who are pain-free.
Exercise can assist with mental health and well-being as can connecting with people and being mindful of negative habits.