When the Lakers’ LeBron James twisted his ankle during a game with the Atlanta Hawks, even he couldn't dismiss the pain.
Writhing on the floor in agony, the All-Star joined the ranks of 54% of Americans who report troubling pain — and the increasing number who report joint pain. (It went up 21% from 2002 to 2018).
According to a 17-year study in the journal Demography, Americans have also experienced a 15% increase in low-back pain, 16% rise in neck pain, and a 13% increase in facial/jaw pain.
For people ages 25 to 44, obesity and sedentary lifestyle are fueling some of the increase in pain. But research shows it's an increase in psychological distress, such as depression and anxiety, that accounts for half of the chronic pain they've experienced lately.
Got pain? Here are some tips for how to identify its cause and reduce or eliminate the pain as quickly and safely as possible:
• Make beneficial lifestyle changes such as avoiding foods that cause inflammation. These include sugars, red and processed meats, and egg yolks. Other lifestyle changes to pursue include achieving a healthy weight, stopping smoking, eliminating excess alcohol consumption, and increasing physical activity.
• For medical attention, researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine advise that you don't consult only your primary care physician about physical causes; see appropriate specialists, such as orthopedists, neurologists, and pain-management specialists.
• To address psychologically triggered or amplified pain, one-on-one or group therapy, as well as stress reduction practices such as meditation, are effective.
Get back in the game by taking these steps today.
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