By far the most important thing to understand about treating pain is that it is difficult because it almost never has one cause: it is extremely multifactorial.
Here are the major reasons:
- Prolonged improper postures
- Improper carrying / moving of heavy objects
- Obesity makes excess strain on knees and the back
- Cuts or wounds
- A congenital condition such as curvature of the spine
- Sleeping on a poor mattress
- No obvious physical cause
- Ordinary aging of the spine (degenerative changes)
No matter what the cause of your chronic pain, reducing inflammation is a key concern. What we put into our bodies has a significant effect on inflammation.
Foods, especially, have the power to heal or to harm and knowing what foods to avoid may help you in the struggle to manage your pain.
Foods to avoid if you have chronic pain
Sugar is one of the biggest culprits of pain and inflammation. When we consume too much sugar, our body releases insulin and stress hormones. Those, in turn, can trigger inflammation, which often leads to chronic pain. The places where we have the least amount of blood circulation are at greatest risk of inflammation.
The best way to avoid these effects is to avoid sugar altogether. Barring that, stick to natural sugars like fruit, even to sweeten and enhance desserts.
Eating foods that contain saturated fats raises the level of cholesterol in your blood. High levels of LDL cholesterol in your blood stimulate adipose tissue inflammation which in turn increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Saturated fatty acid deposits in the cartilage change its metabolism and weaken the cartilage, making it more prone to damage. This would, in turn, lead to osteoarthritic pain from the loss of the cushioning effect of cartilage. Foods high in these types of fats are foods to avoid if you have chronic pain.
Milk and dairy products contain lactose, a type of sugar that may cause inflammation. Other side effects of milk and dairy consumption include stomach upset and difficulty with digestion. This can cause pain and painful bloating. The protein in milk, casein, can also be difficult for some people to process, causing a painful inflammatory response in the body.
Preservatives such as nitrates and nitrites can cause headache, fatigue, and inflammation. They are all foods to avoid if you have chronic pain. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is one of the most commonly added flavor boosters in prepackaged foods like chips and snack crackers. MSG has been shown to stimulate pain receptors, and an excess of glutamate in spinal fluid has also been shown to increase fibromyalgia symptoms.
Caffeine is a stimulant that can cause long, restless nights. Lack of sleep (or poor sleep quality) can exacerbate pain. If you must consume caffeine, switch to green tea. Green tea has more moderate amounts of caffeine but is loaded with pain- and inflammation-fighting anti-oxidants.
Alcohol contains a high volume of sugar, and sugar can worsen chronic pain. Alcohol is also very dehydrating. Dehydration can cause painful headaches and cramping. For those who suffer from migraines, alcohol is a common trigger that should absolutely be avoided.
Eating a healthy diet not only reduces inflammation, but it also helps you maintain good energy throughout the day. With more energy, activity will increase, and in many cases, this can also be highly beneficial in the effort to reduce pain.
NSAID and Non- NSAID (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs) are the drugs essential for the management of the chronic pain. To minimize the dose and frequency of use of such drugs a supportive medicament is essential. Renal and liver impairment is on increase due to the prolonged use of NSAID and Non- NSAID group of drugs.
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