As a sufferer of migraines and the associated neck pain, I can understand how depressing it gets when you live each day with pain. It affects us mentally and emotionally. It can be frustrating and disappointing as it can seem like nobody cares to really help. It takes time away from us enjoying life and being able to work and think clearly!
We can learn to manage pain and even reduce pain. It is possible. There may be some days that are worse than others, but if you can reduce your pain from 5 days a week, so 2 isn’t it worth doing? For myself, I can say I have successfully tamed my migraines considerably over recent times but it has come with trial and error. What works for one person doesn’t always work for another. I am definitely on a pain-free run at the moment and it feels great! If you want to feel better, keep reading…
We can use food as medicine, exercise, supplements and various health modalities to lessen pain. I like to think of it as an accumulative effect. The supplement may improve your pain by 10%, the chiropractor another 20%, and so on. It is a team effort. We don’t want to just reduce the pain in the moment but we need to look at strategies to either remove the root of the problem or reduce the frequency of flare-ups for better long-term quality of life.
Pain medications are one of the most prescribed medicines by doctors. They are overused, addictive and comes with a list of damaging side effects. Unfortunately, doctors don’t have the time to work through the pain with their patients and this leads them to handing out of prescriptions too frequently. The root cause of the problem tends to not be addressed. You didn’t get back pain out of thin air. Pain is a sign of something deeper.
Inflammation is linked to many diseases such cardiovascular disease, arthritis, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, and cancer to name a few. So you can see why it is important we stamp out inflammation, it is the silent killer.
Causes of Inflammation:
- poor diet choices (processed foods, gluten, too much omega 6 and not enough omega 3s)
- poor blood sugar regulation
- food allergies and food sensitivities
- nutrient deficiencies
- stress (emotional and physical)
- exercise (too much and too little)
- toxic exposure (chemicals, heavy metals)
- and more
Tips to Reduce Inflammation and Reduce Pain:
- identify food intolerances and remove them (common foods include dairy, gluten, soy, eggs, corn, wheat)
- remove fake foods from your diet (processed foods, and those high in sugar)
- heal the gut, a leaky gut causes more toxins to get into your system and increases acidity
- identify any infections, parasites or candida overgrowth and correct
- identity nutrient deficiencies and supplement accordingly
- identify medications contributing to inflammation (eg OCP, consider whether you really need to be taking any identified medications)
- eat more anti-inflammatory foods (such as turmeric, ginger, wild caught fish, avocado, leafy greens, apple cider vinegar and berries)
- drink plenty of filtered water
- identify your stressors and resolve them (emotions eating at you, work stress, relationships, etc)
- get out in nature
- reduce technology time
- reduce exposure to toxins (including non-organic foods, skin care, cosmetics, plastics)
- incorporate gentle exercises (walking, yoga, pilates)
- practice deep breathing
- eliminate negative self-talk, we can make pain worse by talking about it and focusing on it. Speak of your blessings more than your problems!
- connect with others, hug others. Hugging reduces pain!
- consider alternative therapies (nutritionist, chiropractor, massage therapist, acupuncture, etc)
- consider therapeutic supplements (such as turmeric, fish oils, magnesium, HCL, digestive enzymes, quercetin, probiotics and vitamin D)
Pain is a request for change. There is always a reason for it. It is a sign something in our lives needs to change. If you want to change and would like help getting out of this cycle you’re in, please get in touch. Change starts with action.