• Eat an anti-inflammatory diet: Focus on a diet rich in whole foods with as little processed food as possible. Shop around the outside edges of the grocery store so that veggies, lean protein, legumes, nuts and seeds are the staples of your diet.
  • Avoid pro-inflammatory foods: In some people, specific foods may worsen inflammation and pain. Common culprits include gluten, dairy, sugar, and vegetables from the nightshade family (tomato, potato, eggplant and peppers).
  • Heal the gut: Most of our inflammatory mediators are made in the digestive tract. If you’re experiencing both pain and digestive issues (bloating, constipation, diarrhea) then improving digestion should be part of your plan to reduce pain.
  • Reduce stress: Pain, and the conditions that cause pain, are worsened by stress8. Setting boundaries, being comfortable with saying no or asking for help, and spending time doing things you love are all helpful for stress reduction.
  • Meditate: There is a huge amount of research to support mindfulness mediation for pain management. Start small, with a guided meditation app to help you learn the ropes. Even 5-10 minutes of meditation per day improves pain and overall wellbeing9.
  • Treat the cause: Order lab testing or imaging to get a diagnosis of what is causing the pain, and then take steps to treat the underlying issue.
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