Throughout the course of our lives we have all experienced pain. Whether due to injury or illness, we all have felt pain. But shocking numbers now reveal that over 25 million Americans suffer from chronic pain.
Of the 25 million, nearly 14 million reported experiencing severe pain in association with poor health and disability. The results were taken from a national survey.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that more Americans are affected by pain than diabetes, cancer and heart disease combined, making it nearly an epidemic. Furthermore, chronic pain is the leading contributor to long-term disability.
For the latest findings, which were published in the Journal of Pain, participants completed a survey which asked them to evaluate their levels of pain and frequency over the course of a three-month period. Pain was divided into five categories of severity and how much it was “bothersome.”
Results found that one in 10 Americans experience “a lot” of pain, and nearly 56 percent reported some pain over the three months. Additionally, Caucasians, women and seniors were more likely to experience pain. Adults who experienced the most pain were also more likely to be disabled and have poor health.
Researchers found that in regards to treatment options rather than painkillers many practiced yoga, meditation and massage to relieve pain.
How to prevent pain
Pain can be debilitating if severe enough, but even daily mild pain can still impede a person’s way of life. Rather than dealing with pain take necessary steps to prevent it. Here are a few tips to prevent pain from taking away from your life.
- Keep muscles strong: This can be done through exercise. Strong muscles can support the body better and thus prevent pain.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Excess weight can put strain on your joints which can contribute to pain.
- Practice safe movements: Especially when moving objects or picking them up.
- Keep good posture: Because back pain is so common, proper posture can help prevent and alleviate this kind of pain.
- Don’t smoke: Studies have shown smoking and second-hand smoke can weaken the spine, contributing to back pain.
- Wear proper shoes: If you stand or walk all day, investing in proper shoes can prevent many different types of pain, including feet, knee and back pain. Also, speak with your doctor if you are eligible for orthotics which can help with your body’s alignment to prevent pain as well.
- Sit properly: If you sit all day, ensure you are sitting properly and that your chair is properly supporting you. Hips should be comfortable and your feet should be flat on the ground. Additionally, elbows should be at a 90 degree angle.
Being mindful of movements can go a long way in order to prevent pain in the long-run. If you are one of the 25 million Americans who suffer, look for alternative remedies like yoga, acupuncture and massage in order to combat your pain.
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