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Alternative Ways to Treat Chronic Pain

woman doing a yoga pose on grass

We have so many tools at our disposal to help our patients with ongoing pain issues. We’ve been exploring all the options in the last couple of weeks on our blog.

For our final week into pain awareness month, we are going to look at several other little things you can do at home to help prevent pain.

There is hope for people who aren’t able to move freely because of muscle stiffness, joint discomfort and overall pain. Advanced Health Center works closely with our patients, always listening for new clues that could help them feel their best.

Treat the Gut

Inflammation can be caused by many chronic diseases and immune responses. Did you know that 70 % of your immune system is located in the digestive tract? Avoiding foods that don’t digest well, cause bloating, gas, indigestion, acid reflux etc., can improve your immune system, and decrease chronic pain. Taking digestive enzymes as needed can help with a healthy inflammatory response and increase nutrient absorption. Last week we discussed vitamins and supplements that can help with chronic pain, but if your gut doesn’t absorb them, they can’t help you with pain. Prebiotics and probiotics can help with balancing your gut bacteria. Prebiotics are types of carbs/fiber that the bacteria will digest, and probiotics are the live healthy bacteria to create a healthy gut microbiota or gut flora. Avoiding lectins (a type of plant protein) can help, as well as anything that damages the gut flora, like chlorinated water.

Insulin management and reducing artificial sweeteners

Sugar has been linked to an increase in inflammation in the body. When we eat, our food is broken down into sugar and release into the bloodstream. Insulin then helps remove the sugar from the blood in your cells. The more sugar in your bloodstream, the more insulin your body releases. High insulin levels can be found with many different chronic pain conditions. Eating less sugar, starch, and digestible carbohydrates will lessen insulin spikes. Chemicals like MSG and aspartame are known as excitotoxins that can overstimulate neuron receptors. Their elimination has been shown to help improve chronic pain syndromes by as much as 30%. This is especially helpful if you are struggling with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and muscle pain.

Stress reduction

Stress can manifest in the body in many different ways, and a common one is an increase in pain. It can lead to flare-ups in arthritis because it actually decreases your tolerance for pain. When you are experiencing stress, you tighten up your muscles. Many people will say that there is one spot where pain will manifest with stress due to clenching. There are so many ways to help manage your stress that we have already talked about: stretching, movement, nutrition, and chiropractic visits. Connecting with friends can help your body naturally stop your fight or flight response with stress. Remember to take time for yourself by trying not to overcommit, share responsibility, distract yourself with podcasts or music, or walking away from heated conversations. Ask yourself if this situation is worth the response you are giving it. Most of the time, simply having that conversation, makes you realize this is something you can let go of. When you are able to let go of stress, your body will respond and relax.

Have you or someone you care about lost hope for their ongoing health issues? Has it been a while since you’ve participated in your favorite activities? We’d love to see you in our office – we might be able to help! Contact us today to book an appointment.

Thank you for joining us for this month of chronic pain solutions! We’ll be sharing more information about additional topics in the coming months.

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