Is There a Link Between Pain and Obesity?

Americans are becoming a society of everything fast and instant from news to food. According to the Gazette Review, the U.S. ranks #10 as the fattest country with Kuwait as #1 , Saudi Arabia as #2 and Belize as #3. This fast and instant lifestyle can lead to additional stress on the body along with the consumption of a poor diet filled with processed and fatty foods. A healthy diet though can really impact the quality of one’s health. Destressing, exercising and taking the time to eat whole foods can change the fat levels in the body.

Researchers are discovering certain foods in the Mediterranean diet also have a connection between body weight and chronic pain. Studies lead by Charles Emery, a professor of psychology at The Ohio State University points to anti-inflammatory foods such as fish, nuts and beans as a key to preventing or reducing pain. Through their research (studying 98 men and women ranging in age of 20 to 78 years old), they found eating more fish and plant-based proteins such as nuts and beans were linked to less pain no matter what one’s body weight is. The Mediterranean diet traditionally includes fruits, vegetables, pasta and rice. There is very little red meat consumed in this diet, and the fat comes from olive oil. The target goal is nine servings a day of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables. Since there is a lot of fat in nuts, one should just eat a handful a day.

The obese population often suffers from multiple medical problems and pain such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, type 2 diabetes and back pain.  According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), more than one-third (36.5%) of the U.S. adults have obesity. Obese patients usually experience sensitivity to pain due to their inflammatory state. Research through the Practical Pain Management firm shows there are chemical mediators and inflammatory mediators which can be related to the percent of body fat and insulin sensitivity of a person. In Australia, a national study showed obese people were seven times more likely to have arthritis, low back and neck pain.

Dealing with pain management is never easy especially when dealing with other influencing factors such as obesity. Take time to speak with Dr. Jonathan Newton, MD, PhD at North Atlanta Spine and Pain to discuss options which will lead to a healthier and pain-free lifestyle. You’ll be encouraged by their solutions to getting your life back.

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New Research May Stop and Reverse Disc Pain Degeneration

Americans spend more than $100 billion a year to treat low back pain,” said Dr. Jason Huang, MD, chairman of neurosurgery for Baylor Scott & White Health Center. That price may start to come down and lower back pain degeneration may decrease as new research is being presented to aid those suffering from low back disc pain. This potential development in technology and therapies would allow for new disc treatments for disc denigration and may potentially reverse its course.

In previous research, scientists have found a gene that can be linked to tumor formation and disease progression. This research gives insight into the molecular mechanisms involved in the breakdown of soft tissue discs in the spine. Through this understanding, researchers can now develop pharmacological agents and other forms of injectable therapies which may block the degenerative process and promote a reverse change or a remodeling process. The next step in this research will apply findings of the SMURF2 research to human tissue. Intervention medication treatments in human clinical trials are scheduled at Baylor Scott & White Research Institute in Temple, Texas. This is also where this research was discovered.

Just imagine the relief people will feel as their pain management doctors begin to share this good news. Over the years, patients have managed degenerative disc disease by using non-surgical approaches and self-care. As time goes on, the disc starts to become stiffer with age and thus its motion lessen and the pain may lessen as well. Patients avoid surgical intervention as it can be extensive and a long recovery process. As scientists are able to understand DNA genes and what they may trigger, we as a society may someday have the ability to proactively attack harmful genes in our body. Dr. Jonathan Newton of North Atlanta Spine & Pain Care cares about the pain his patients experience. That is why it is critical for doctors to stay informed about the latest research so their patients can return to a pain-free life again.

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