Chronic pain is a chief adversary of a physical therapists practice, and is increasing in Americans every year.

30% of American adults suffer from some form of acute or chronic pain, and that number jumps to 40% among older adults.

Therapeutic alternatives such as physical therapy, have taken a backseat to the opioid prescriptions to treat chronic pain. Chronic pain can happen anywhere in the body and is generally a result of inflammation in the affected areas.

Among the less destructive therapeutic measures, like physical therapy, to combat chronic pain and inflammation is to include certain superfoods in your diet to maximize your body’s immunity to these resulting chronic pains. Here are five of the most effective superfoods we found that can reduce chronic pain and why. And they’re not as uncommon as you’d think…

GINGER

The ginger spice is a superfood most often used in ginger tea and its active pain killing ingredient is gingerol. Ginger can also be added to many recipes and even simply chopped up and chewed.Ginger-Tea

Benefits:

Ginger has several anti-inflammatory properties and ginger tea is widely considered a natural pain killing beverage. This spice can reduce nausea, aids in rheumatoid arthritis, reduces seizures, high blood pressure, depression, weight gain, severe headaches, and is even being looked at for anticancer properties.

 

TURMERIC

Another “super spice”, turmeric is a delicious Indian spice that is the main ingredient in curry. It contains the compound curcumin, an active pain killing ingredient. Turmeric can be added to many recipes, and is a great addition to smoothies or a simple glass of milk.turmeric

Benefits:

Turmeric is used to curb inflammation and can be applied topically to ease skin discomforts such as eczema and other rashes. Topical paste can be created by adding equal parts turmeric and coconut oil.

 

STRAWBERRIES/BERRIES/GRAPES

A delicious and sweet superfood, fruits with the colors of red, purple, and blue contain anthocyanins that reduce inflammation and swelling. These include blackberries, cherries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, and red grapes.Berries

Benefits:

Berries naturally reduce levels of C-Reactive-Proteins in your blood which can prevent and reduce severe pain due to inflammation, swelling, rheumatoid arthritis, strokes, and more.

 

GARLIC

For the Italian food lovers out there, this superfood is for you. This beloved spice can be found in many forms and used in many ways, but is most often found in clove, powder, and oil forms.garlic

Benefits:

Garlic is another great anti-inflammatory and even has antibiotic properties. Garlic plays a vital role in increasing your body’s immune system due to its “Helper-T” cells. Garlic is most effective unheated, and as an oil can even help reduce pain topically. Garlic helps lower cholesterol and even combats cancer.

 

CAYENNE, CHILE, AND OTHER HOT PEPPERS

If you can handle the heat, there are a variety of hot peppers that can ease your pains. The key pain-fighting ingredient in hot peppers is capsaicin. Capsaicin releases a natural endorphin called “substance-P”, which is naturally released in your body when you sustain injury.Cayenne-pepper

Benefits:

This spicy superfood depletes pain compounds to block pain signals, works as an antioxidant, and even lowers cholesterol. Capsaicin can be used topically, but it’s definitely not for the faint of heart, and takes some getting used to. Capsaicin can be beneficial for the pain associated with diabetic neuropathy, fibromyalgia, back pain, the post-herpetic neuralgia that follows shingles and cluster headaches.

CHOOSE ORGANIC

When it comes to superfoods, choose organic options to maximize nutrient content. Nonorganic foods of any kind can potentially lead to pesticide exposure. Always check with a health professional before starting a regimen with one or more of these foods to treat a chronic condition.

 

#ChoosePT Today!

And #makePThappen for you!