So many of my family, friends, and acquaintances are wracked with pain — pain that is chronic, instead of the temporary pain from pulling a muscle, pinching a nerve, or spraining a joint. They are not alone.
According to a 2006 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, as many as 1 in 4 U.S. adults said they suffered a day-long bout of pain in the past month, and 1 in 10 said the pain lasted a year or more.
And as a result of increasing numbers of Americans suffering from chronic pain, the use of prescription pain-killer drugs has also dramatically increased.
ABC News reports on April 20, 2011, that the use of Vicodin, the most popular pain relief drug in the country, has grown dramatically from 112 million doses prescribed in 2006, to 131 million in the U.S. today. But experts say most of those prescriptions are unnecessary. The United States makes up only 4.6% of the world’s population, but consumes 80% of its opioids — and 99% of the world’s hydrocodone, the opiate that is in Vicodin. Andrew Kolodny, Chair of Psychiatry at Maimonides Medical Center in New York, warns that Vicodin “is no less abusable or addictive than Oxycodone or heroin.”
Given that, I thought this article may be useful.
“13 Foods That Fight Pain,” by docakilah, Dec 8, 2011
While many foods taste great, they are also powerful healers in a vibrant multicolor disguise. The best healing remedies also taste fabulous (I can’t say that about any prescription medications). Plus, foods won’t cause the nasty common side effects that most drugs cause.
Muraleedharan Nair, PhD, professor of natural products and chemistry at Michigan State University, found that tart cherry extract is ten times more effective than aspirin at relieving inflammation. Only two tablespoons of the concentrated juice need to be taken daily for effective results. Sweet cherries have also been found to be effective.
2. Blackberries 3. Raspberries 4. Blueberries and 5. Strawberries
Dr. Nair later found the same anti-pain compound in berries like blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and strawberries
6. Celery and Celery Seeds
James Duke, Ph.D., author of The Green Pharmacy, found more than 20 anti-inflammatory compounds in celery and celery seeds, including a substance called apigenin, which is powerful in its anti-inflammatory action. Add celery seeds to soups, stews or as a salt substitute in many recipes.
Ginger reduces pain-causing prostaglandin levels in the body and has been widely used in India to treat pain and inflammation. A study by Indian researchers found that when people who were suffering from muscular pain were given ginger, they all experienced improvement. The recommended dosage of ginger is between 500 and 1,000 milligrams per day. If you’re taking medications, check with your health practitioner for possible herb-drug interactions.
Turmeric (curcuma longa) is the yellow spice commonly used in Indian curries. In research it has been shown to be a more effective anti-inflammatory than steroid medications when dealing with acute inflammation. Its main therapeutic ingredient is curcumin. Research shows that curcumin suppresses pain through a similar mechanism as drugs like COX-1 and COX-2 inhibitors (without the harmful side effects). Choose a standardized extract with 1500 mg of curcumin content per day.
9. Salmon 10. Mackerel and 11. Herring
Many fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and herring also contain these valuable oils. Omega-3s convert in the body into hormone-like substances that decrease inflammation and pain. According to Dr. Alfred D. Steinberg, an arthritis expert at the National Institute of Health, fish oil is an anti-inflammatory agent. Fish oil acts directly on the immune system by suppressing 40 to 55 percent of the release of cytokines, compounds known to destroy joints. Many other studies also demonstrate that eating moderate amounts of fish or taking fish oil reduces pain and inflammation, particularly for arthritis sufferers.
12. Flax Seeds and Flax Oil
Freshly-ground flax seeds and cold-pressed flax oil, contain plentiful amounts of fatty acids known as Omega-3s. Do not cook with flax oil otherwise it will have the opposite effect-irritating the body’s tissues and causing pain.
13. Raw Walnuts and Walnut Oil
Raw walnuts and walnut oil also contain the same powerful Omega-3 fatty acids that fight pain and inflammation in the body.
When it comes to pain, food really is the best medicine.