Making Peace With Chronic Pain: A Whole-Life Strategy

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The first human test of pre biotics — not the much more familiar pro biotics — for anxiety and stress was conducted in Prebiotics are basically food for the bacteria in your guts, which have a strange-but-true relationship with your nervous system. There are many caveats about this evidence, of course.

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A detailed analysis of the paper by Examine. Curcumin is the active ingredient in the bright yellow southwest Indian spice, turmeric. Curcumin has a larger evidence base [Examine. These results constitute the only really good science news about any kind of treatment for delayed onset muscle soreness — there is no other treatment for it but the passage of time. Now it just needs to be replicated. They are probably not sufficient for most patients to justify the cost and hassle of supplementation. One minor complication drives up the cost and risk of wasting your money: Just be aware that straight curcumin may not be effective.

So, for most people, caffeine is just a good thing. And, ironically, this may be true even though caffeine is also a mild pain-killer. Caffeine makes us hyper, and that can be somewhat exhausting. We pump more adrenalin, wear ourselves out, and lose sleep: Chronic, excessive caffeine abuse — perhaps a vicious cycle of self-medication, caffeine every morning, alcohol every night? People in chronic pain are often already anxious and sensitized ; regardless of why, artificial stimulation may be the last thing they need.

Booze has similar issues. Reader Kira Stoops sent me this interesting anecdote about her experience with quitting caffeine:. I took one pill, the smallest dose, and shot through the roof. It was an uncomfortable amount of energy, and I started crying when it kicked in. To me, that was a sign my nervous system was already stimulated plenty, and I needed to start finding ways to wind it down more.

I had to leave the house to get it, it created some social connection in the coffee shop, and the little jolt of caffeine gave me energy for the day. But I started sleeping better right away. Many fibromyalgia patients have disturbed 4 th wave sleep, and I think cutting out coffee-caffeine allowed me to sleep more deeply, and get more sleep in a shorter period of time.

With more sleep, I had more clarity. Being off coffee gave me a good barometer for what my actual energy and anxiety levels were, once it was out of my system. Within a month of quitting caffeine, I was sleeping better, having energy longer, feeling more clear, taking on more work projects, hanging out with friends more, attending more events, and just generally finally seeing the needle move. All of these things had their own pain-lowering, positive effects.


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I just cut my afternoon green tea a few days ago, and will soon start reducing the two cups of black tea I drink daily. But my pain seems to come from clenching and tension, and my nervous system seems stimulated enough already. Letting coffee go helps me relax a little more. Plus, not having the morning habit forced me into even healthier morning habits. I would not have said coffee was a problem for me before.

I thought it was a good routine.

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These cold cloudy days had me reaching for the brew … within a week of half-caf Americanos I was sleeping like crap, and within about 10 days my pain was steadily and unmistakably worse. Quit again a few days ago and started sleeping harder by the third night. Seems silly for a half-caffeine shot of espresso, but … sensitive nervous systems are just that, I guess. I am a science writer, former massage therapist, and I was the assistant editor at ScienceBasedMedicine.

I have had my share of injuries and pain challenges as a runner and ultimate player. My wife and I live in downtown Vancouver, Canada.


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See my full bio and qualifications , or my blog, Writerly. You might run into me on Facebook or Twitter.

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Sixteen updates have been logged for this article since publication Like good footnotes, this sets PainScience. Although footnotes are more useful , the update logs are important. I log any change to articles that might be of interest to a keen reader. Complete update logging of all noteworthy improvements to all articles started in Prior to that, I only logged major updates for the most popular and controversial articles. My previous writing on this topic was dreadful, amateurish stuff leftover from the earliest days of this website — good riddance.

June — Revised and clarified medical causes of anxiety, plus several other minor edits. Added an important citation about insomnia as a risk factor for anxiety. Three years later, this study was published: This metanalysis of trials of non-drug treatments for somatoform disorders and medically unexplained symptoms which are closely related to anxiety disorders.

Forty-one patients with chronic pain at least six months, many much longer were tested for signs of systemic inflammation. They all had stable medications, and no major complications.

Making Peace with Chronic Pain: A Whole-life Strategy

Then they were provided with two kinds of behavioural treatments for several weeks, measuring their progress in several ways. Unfortunately, no one did well: However, there is a scrap of backwards good news here: While a significant number of the reported studies showed differences between the healthy and fatigued groups, important methodological issues and confounding factors were apparent. This unusual study showed that dysfunction of the hypothalamic—pituitary—adrenal HPA axis helps to distinguish those who will and will not develop new-onset chronic widespread pain.

Many studies have shown that people with chronic widespread pain CWP show biological evidence of stress hypercortisolic states , but such studies have generally been.

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Neither did they account for the effects of anxiety, depression, life stresses, and sleep disturbance, all of which are associated with HPA axis dysfunction and may explain the observed relationship. The only way to establish the nature of the relationship is to conduct a prospective cohort study in which subjects who are free of CWP but are at risk of developing CWP are identified, their HPA axis function assessed, and their courses are followed over time in order to establish who develops pain.

We conducted the first such study to test the hypothesis that among a group of subjects free of CWP, altered HPA function would mediate the relationship between psychosocial risk factors indicative of the process of somatization and the onset of symptoms of CWP. We further hypothesized that this relationship would be independent of the effect of concomitant psychosocial factors that may be confounding the relationship, including depressive symptoms and sleep disturbances.

This study is far from the last word on this topic, but it is intriguing evidence on one side of the debate. Bad sleeps — quantity and quality, probably especially if caused by stress — are associated with elevated blood pressure, according to a side project of the big CARDIA study of coronary artery disease. They used wrist gadgets to monitor sleep and blood pressure in more than adults in their 30s and 40s.

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And then the trouble started: Expectations seem to be the more potent active ingredient. They are especially important for us to understand not only for their own sake, but also because anxiety and depression exacerbate many other specific health problem. This trial demonstrated that caffeine supplementation boosts athletic performance even if you are used to its effects.

Forty endurance cyclists were divided into groups of low, moderate, and highly daily caffeine intake. They all did three cycling tests after drinking caffeine, a placebo, or nothing at all. Performance on caffeine was clearly best across the board for all participants, regardless of typical caffeine intake. What are VitalSource eBooks? For Instructors Request Inspection Copy. We provide complimentary e-inspection copies of primary textbooks to instructors considering our books for course adoption. Learn More about VitalSource Bookshelf.

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CPD consists of any educational activity which helps to maintain and develop knowledge, problem-solving, and technical skills with the aim to provide better health care through higher standards. It could be through conference attendance, group discussion or directed reading to name just a few examples. We provide a free online form to document your learning and a certificate for your records. Update your profile Let us wish you a happy birthday! Make sure to buy your groceries and daily needs Buy Now.

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