About 100 million Americans, one in three people, suffer from ongoing pain that impacts their daily lives. Chronic pain has fueled a pain treatment crisis resulting in the over-prescribing of risky opioids.
The tragic deaths of celebrities such as Prince have brought the issue to public awareness in a way that statistics can’t.
The CDC recently recommended prescribers drastically limit opioids for pain; even for pain after surgery. This is a dire situation for patients who desperately need ways to relieve their short- and long-term pain without dangerous medications.
The most frequently overlooked pathway to pain relief is the patient.
There are powerful cognitive behavioral skills that the everyday patient can begin putting to immediate use for personal pain relief. Calming your nervous system is the key to reduction of pain, distress, and suffering.
Keep reading to learn practical tips for using your brain to calm pain work over time to reduce pain naturally.
We have some 60,000 to 70,000 thoughts a day, and many of them are negative: I can’t do that. I’m not good enough. It’s never going to happen for me. I don’t deserve this.
As we embark on a new venture or work toward a new goal, they pop up and wreak havoc on our plans and self-confidence.
Since thoughts create beliefs, which then create behaviors, negative thoughts can undermine you right into a standstill. But, there’s a way to stop negative thoughts right in their tracks. All it takes is challenging them with seven direct questions, starting with: Says Who?
On average, a person takes approximately 17,000-23,000 breaths a day. The number varies based on several factors, including a person’s lifestyle and environment.
This statistic proves just how important the lungs are. You are constantly using them to fuel the rest of your body.
Lungs act at the first point of contact for oxygen as it enters the body. From there, oxygen is dispersed throughout the bloodstream, being carried to cells throughout the body. Each cell transfers carbon dioxide when it receives oxygen. The blood carries the carbon dioxide back to the lungs where it is removed through exhaling. This gas exchange is necessary for everyday functioning.
In order to keep this process going, it’s crucial to keep your lungs healthy. Lung-related health complications can negatively affect the oxygen flow to your cells, along with a variety of other body processes. These ailments vary from viruses and colds to chronic conditions and lifelong sickness and cancer. Certain lung conditions can be hereditary, or caused by genetics. Such conditions include asthma, cystic fibrosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
However, certain lung conditions are non-inheritable; that is, caused by environmental and lifestyle factors. While not always 100% preventable, these conditions can be avoided.
Many of my patients tell me that they can’t be active because of arthritis. This leads to a domino effect of decreased activity, increased weight, and finally, worsening pain.
Arthritis does not mean that an active lifestyle must be stopped. Rather, a diagnosis of arthritis should be looked at as an invitation to change your routine and explore new stretching and exercise options that will allow you to stay fit while reducing the pain triggered by your osteoarthritis.
There is no doubt that the pain can become severe at times. However, the right amount of exercise along with the right type of exercise can actually help ease the pain and discomfort.
Two new studies published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology confirm that women under the age of 55 are often left in the dark when it comes to knowing the risk factors of heart disease.
And, these women are less likely to receive life-saving procedures to open clogged heart arteries compared to their male counterparts.
Researchers are perplexed about this trend, noting that it’s possible that heart disease awareness and prevention efforts are more focused on men because of the belief that heart disease is more of a men’s issue.
Another possibility is that prevention methods are not being communicated effectively to women, or that women may describe their symptoms in a way that is being misinterpreted by doctors and nurses.
I’m not a gambler. In fact, I would be the first one to tell you that I would never last on the game show “Deal or No Deal.” As soon as the first offer was given, I would hit the red button and be done.
Yet, every day around 5:00 p.m. I find myself having an inner battle and betting the odds in terms of what I will find walking into my home.
You see, my husband has depression. Not the occasional, “I’m having a bad day” depression but the full-blown “I can barely function” depression, or as his psychologist and psychiatrist label it, “severe depression and high anxiety.” It didn’t start this way, and truthfully I’m not sure how we got here. I say “we” because while he may the one with the disease, I feel like I am the one suffering through it.
Most of us spend the majority of our time indoors.
In fact, researchers show that we actually spend somewhere between 80 and 90 percent of our day INSIDE. This percentage is shocking, considering just a few generations ago, our ancestors spent most of their time outdoors and their homes had more opportunities for outside air to filter in.
Because we spend so much time indoors, it’s very important that you are breathing the highest quality of air. Unfortunately, in most cases, quite the opposite is true. Study after study has shown that indoor air is more often than not less healthy than outdoor air.
How do you go about improving the indoor air you spend so much time breathing? There are many opportunities to do so, but the best ways are often the simplest and easiest day-to-day habits you can change.
I was called up from the Reserves to active duty to serve as a medical officer for Operation Desert Storm, during which I broke my back. I was transferred to Wilford Hall in San Antonio, TX and was placed at bed rest in a large 10- bed ward.
Every day, I waited for that moment or two when the surgical team would round on me. Afterward, the nurses would help wheel my bed down to the hallway where the pay phone was located.
Back then there were no cell phones, so I would pop in a bunch of quarters and call my wife. The first question out of her mouth was always this: “What did the doctor say?”
Notice it was always the doctor. Not the team of specialists. Not the Red team or Trauma team. Not the surrogate for the internist.
I realized how much it meant to me and my family to hear directly from my doctor; I needed that update from him every day.
Pain is a massive problem that affects 125 million Americans who are spending close to $300 billion on pills, pot, procedures and natural remedies to find relief. These numbers are fueling a national conversation about pain relief and how it should be addressed.
With September being Pain Awareness Month, it’s a good time to exam why our bodies experience pain and other options for relief.
When you are in pain, the normal reaction for most people is to reach for the first thing that can help make that pain dissipate. Patients in pain are often looking for quick relief and frequently ask their doctor for a painkiller. It’s really important that doctors take the time to assess the root cause of the patient’s pain and explore the best protocol for immediate and long-term relief.
Pain is your body’s way of alerting you to an underlying problem that needs to be resolved, not masked. There are diet and lifestyle changes as well as natural remedies that can help pain sufferers get relief from some of the three most common pain complaints and reduce reliance on certain medications that have potential side effects.