Founder’s Note: When we first started Manward, we were just one man with a mission. But we knew our ideas would quickly attract like-minded men and women… folks who share our passion for spreading Know-How. Today we pass the pen to a trusted friend and colleague, Dr. Sanjay Jain. Pay close attention to his thoughts on the dangerous epidemic that’s sweeping our nation.
America has a crisis on its hands.
If you’re over the age of 45, there’s a 1-in-4 chance you’ve already felt its effects.
Left untreated… the consequences can be deadly.
Yet treatment comes with its own unique set of risks.
I’m talking about chronic pain.
Andy has written at length this week about the role CBD could play in ending America’s pain crisis.
Clearly we’re excited about the possibilities here.
But when we’re talking about chronic pain, I believe one thing is crucial above all else…
You need to understand all of your options… before you’re forced into a “pick your poison” type of situation.
The “Invisible” Disability
An estimated 50 million adults in the U.S. suffer from chronic pain.
Some describe their pain as lightning bolts running through their body… or bees stinging them over and over, deep within their joints.
Every person’s experience with pain is different.
And unfortunately, there’s no singular cause.
Doctors can conduct test after test in an attempt to diagnose the underlying problem. But often it’s too difficult to pinpoint – so they end up just “treating” the symptom.
If you or a loved one suffers from fibromyalgia, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
It’s one of the most common chronic pain conditions. Ten million people suffer from fibromyalgia worldwide. As many as 8% of adults who reach 80 years of age will feel its effects.1
And yet we still don’t know what causes it.
Like I said, that’s often the case when it comes to chronic pain.
It’s why folks at Harvard Medical School recently referred to chronic pain as the “invisible” disability.2 Though that almost seems funny considering how widespread the issue is.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Chronic pain contributes to an estimated $560 billion each year in direct medical costs, lost productivity and disability programs.”3
That’s more than half a trillion dollars spent each year tackling this crisis.
And based on data published earlier this year in The Journal of Pain, things will only get worse as more and more people develop chronic pain…4
Experiencing a Midlife (Pain) Crisis?
As with most health issues, the likelihood of experiencing chronic pain increases with age. Our odds go up dramatically once we reach middle age.
The trend is illustrated in this chart.
It’s a pretty grim picture, I know.
But there is good news…
Getting old doesn’t have to mean coping with insufferable pain.
Minor aches are natural, sure. (I experience my fair share, and I’m a pretty healthy guy.) But if you exercise regularly (inactivity can lead to stiff, achy muscles) and eat a balanced diet, you’ll greatly improve your odds of living pain-free.
To be clear, when I say “exercise regularly,” I’m not suggesting you go from doing nothing to running marathons or training for a decathlon. It’s important that you figure out a type of activity that works for you.
As researchers at the Thurston Arthritis Research Center at the University of North Carolina noted, “Any amount or type of movement is advantageous over sedentary behavior…”5
In other words? If you want to stave off pain… you need to get moving.
Of course, not all chronic pain is avoidable…
Treating Chronic Pain Naturally
Whether it’s genetic or the result of an accident or illness, you may one day have to deal with chronic pain.
Sadly, a lot of pain sufferers think that their only option is to swallow whatever pill they’re prescribed. It’s a big part of why the National Safety Council predicts that 1 in 96 Americans will end up in an early grave because of taking too much fentanyl, hydrocodone or some other deadly drug.6
It’s also why I encourage people to always consider the natural options first.
If you’ve been following along with my recent essays, you know I’m a big proponent of CBD. Numerous studies have proven its powerful anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.
But I understand that CBD is a whole new world for many folks.
Fortunately, there are plenty other nature-based remedies out there you can try. Take curcumin, for example.
It’s the chemical compound that gives turmeric its yellow color. It’s been used for centuries in traditional Indian medicine. And in recent years, the U.S. government has spent some $150 million weighing its potential as a drug candidate.
A study published in Oncogene – one of the world’s leading cancer journals – found that, on its own, curcumin is a more potent anti-inflammatory than aspirin or ibuprofen. And it carries none of the risks associated with either drug (which in extreme cases include stomach ulcers, heart attack and stroke).7
Devil’s claw is another option.
An eight-week study in Rheumatology found that after taking 60 milligrams of devil’s claw daily, more than half of participants saw a reduction in their pain levels. They also reported an increase in mobility and flexibility.8
A review of the data from 14 studies and trials found that “Devil’s claw appeared effective in the reduction of the main clinical symptom of pain.”9
Rest assured… there are many, many natural options out there for treating chronic pain… more than I can cover in a single essay.
I encourage you to do your research and find what works for you.
The takeaway here is that you’re not stuck taking whatever Big Pharma drops into your lap.
As we’ve seen time and time again… the results can be deadly.