Chronic pain, also known as persistent pain, refers to pain that continues for a period longer than three months. Chronic pain can be felt anywhere throughout the body and ranges from mild to intense and unrelenting. It can be a frustrating experience for many people because it’s often not possible to locate the source of the pain. This is due to the intricacies of the nerves and nervous system, as chronic pain occurs when these systems experience changes that cause the nerves to constantly signal pain.
Whether chronic pain has occurred from an initial injury that hasn’t completely healed, an illness or through no apparent cause, it can become severely debilitating if it’s not managed properly, lowering the quality of life and making the most simplest of things difficult. Chronic pain also introduces the potential to experience other health issues like sleep disturbance, fatigue, decreased appetite and mood changes. There are many different ways to treat chronic pain, such as medication, acupuncture, nerve blocks, surgery or electrical stimulation, but there are also effective foods that can help curb pain when introduced into the diet.
Here are the top 10 superfoods to curb your chronic pain:
Ginger is the root of the Zingiber officinale, a flowering plant that is native to the rainforest regions in Southern Asia. It’s been used for its medicinal properties for thousands of years in many different cultures, treating everything from colds, digestive issues, nausea and motion sickness to pain and inflammation.
Ginger contains a wide array of compounds that hold anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits, like gingerols, beta-carotene, capsaicin, caffeic acid, curcumin and salicylate. Ginger is a carminative, meaning it helps to release intestinal gas and relieving bloating, and an anti-inflammatory, which makes it highly effective in the treatment of health issues such as osteoarthritis. It’s also recently come to light that ginger may have anti-diabetic properties by reducing blood sugar levels and lowering the risk of heart disease.
Ginger is renowned for being a powerful pain reliever by reducing inflammation, and studies show that ginger extract is actually very effective in relieving joint pain, especially that associated with rheumatoid arthritis. The chemical makeup of ginger means it can work just as well, if not better, than over-the-counter ibuprofen.
Ginger for pain relief is best ingested fresh, and there are many different ways to enjoy it. You can slice four or five pieces of ginger and brew them in boiling water to make a tea, chop it or grind it and use it in various recipes, or even just peel a piece of raw ginger and chew on that.