This week we are celebrating Men’s Health Week – and that means discussing how you can live your best life with your health at the helm. The Root of It All™ is going to be sharing 3 ways you can address Chronic Pain and Inflammation. Why?
How many men do you know in your life that suffer from back pain or chronic back pain and inflammation? We are guessing a lot. Turns out many medical researchers are starting to study chronic pain and inflammation as well – and they are beginning to recognize chronic inflammation as the underlying reason we may develop deadly conditions like heart disease, cancer, stroke, and even complications from diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Yes, Tom Brady may very well be on to something after all with his strict diet that bans foods known to cause “inflammation”. Mushrooms you stay away!
So What is Chronic Inflammation?
Chronic inflammation is a deep-rooted, systemic problem that attacks at some of the most vital inner-workings of your system.
The National Cancer Institute defines chronic inflammation as the inflammatory process that may begin even if there is no injury, and it does not end when it should. Why the inflammation continues is not always known. Chronic inflammation may be caused by infections that don’t go away, abnormal immune reactions to normal tissues, or conditions such as obesity.
Basically, your body’s defensive mechanisms go rogue and start attacking everything in the body, good and bad. And this is dangerous because when it comes to Chronic inflammation you can’t really see or feel it happening. It is the silent killer, spurring a number of serious diseases.
Chronic inflammation is most likely to attack your heart, brain, joints, belly, and immune system—the five processes that do the most to keep you alive and healthy. Over time, chronic inflammation can cause DNA damage and can even lead to cancer. With 15% of the US workforce currently grappling with long-term pain, per a CDC Study, chronic pain and inflammation is a series matter affecting working adults today – both men & women!
Seek Professional Medical Assistance FIRST
First and foremost – if you are in serious chronic pain that is debilitating your way of life, it’s best to visit your local doctor as quickly as possible and seek professional medical assistance.
Are there any other natural ways to address chronic pain & inflammation?
While the western world’s pharmaceutical industry has focused on isolating, synthesizing and patenting specific chemicals and molecular compounds, we have watched an Opioid Crisis climax to epic levels never seen before in the United States leading many to believe typical pain relievers and drugs may not be the best solution to everyday conditions like chronic pain and inflammation. Is there a better way? A more natural way? Yes, the good news is there is!
Step 1: Prioritize Prevention Now!
Have you visited a doctor? Good! Are you still struggling from everyday chronic pain and inflammation? You can start taking charge of your health today by making better lifestyle choices!
Matthew Ruscigno, M.P.H., RD, a plant-based dietitian who specializes in sports nutrition and co-author of “No Meat Athlete,” agrees. He explains, “The big health risks among men are cardiovascular diseases like heart disease, Type-2 diabetes, stroke and others like cancer and Alzheimer’s. Much of the risk for these is related to lifestyle; mainly smoking, diet and exercise, yet we don’t prioritize prevention.”
Here’s a few things you can do today according to the Mayo Clinic to prevent chronic pain and inflammation;
- Don’t smoke. If you smoke or use other tobacco products, ask your doctor to help you quit. Avoid exposure to secondhand smoke, air pollution and chemicals, such as those in the workplace.
- Eat a healthy diet. Choose vegetables, fruits, whole grains, high-fiber foods and lean sources of protein, such as fish. Limit foods high in saturated fat and sodium.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Losing excess pounds — and keeping them off — can lower your risk of heart disease as well as various types of cancer.
- Get moving. Exercise can help you control your weight, lower your risk of heart disease and stroke and possibly lower your risk of certain types of cancer? Choose activities you enjoy, such as tennis, basketball or brisk walking. All physical activity benefits your health.
- Limit alcohol. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. That means up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger and one drink a day for men older than age 65. Examples of one drink include 12 fluid ounces (355 milliliters) of beer, 5 fluid ounces (148 milliliters) of wine or 1.5 fluid ounces (44 milliliters) of standard 80-proof liquor. The risk of various types of cancer, such as liver cancer, appears to increase with the amount of alcohol you drink and the length of time you’ve been drinking regularly. Too much alcohol can also raise your blood pressure.
- Manage stress. If you feel constantly on edge or under pressure, your lifestyle habits may suffer — and so might your immune system. Take steps to reduce stress — or learn to deal with stress in healthy ways.
Step 2: Use Natural Herbs & Spices
If you are suffering from everyday chronic pain like aches & pains in joints, you may want to try more anti-inflammatory natural herbs & spices in your food. That said, Research into exactly how well these foods reduce inflammation in the body is mixed, but it is promising! One easy way to incorporate anti-inflammatories into your diet is through the use of spices. Here’s some that are known for their anti-inflammatory properties;
- Black Pepper
Step 3: Explore Ayurveda & Botanical Remedies!
Did you know that botanic remedies have been providing relief to mankind for thousands of years? That’s why we, in the world of alternative therapies, employ natural treatments stemming from the plant kingdom. After all, your body asks and nature answers. One of the most popular plant-based practices for centuries is Ayurveda! “Ayurveda” means the ‘science of life’. A 5000 year old Indian philosophy of holistic wellness, addressing a wide variety of everyday conditions including (but not limited to) stress, anxiety, lack of energy and sleeplessness.
According to WebMD, “Ayurvedic medicine (“Ayurveda” for short) is one of the world’s oldest holistic (“whole-body”) healing systems. It’s based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit. Its main goal is to promote good health, not fight disease. But treatments may be geared toward specific health problems.
In the United States, it’s considered a form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). The Ayurvedic approach to pain management is always a holistic one. Ayurveda uses an integrated approach, and looks beyond the outward pain to discover the underlying source. Very often, chronic pain is caused by an inflammatory response within the body. Ayurvedic herbal treatments are effective for healing and controlling excess inflammation. For long-term results however, such treatments are usually part of an integrative approach combining diet and nutritional changes, detoxification, and therapeutic exercise in tandem with Ayurveda herbs & spices and practice.
So – what’s it all mean?
There are many natural & preventive ways you can target everyday conditions like chronic pain and inflammation – hopefully some of these sparked some ideas for you during our highlight for Men’s Health Week! Stay healthy and prevent serious conditions from happening tomorrow, by practicing a healthy and happy life today!
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