Chronic Pain and Aging

This one came across my desk this morning, and it’s worth spreading the word about. It is a little doom-and-gloom, but chronic pain is more serious than previously thought. According to this research published in the Journal of Pain, chronic pain is associated with short telomere length in women with fibromyalgia. Telomere length is a marker of aging.

Chronic pain can shorten your life.

That is a terrifying statement. It’s already tough enough dealing with the physical pain, but having it actuallyt shorten your life is another level. Taken from the study, “higher levels of pain within fibromyalgia were associated with shorter telomere length (P = .039). When pain and depression were combined, patients categorized as high-pain/high-depression had an age-adjusted telomere length 265 base pairs shorter than those with low-pain/low-depression (P = .043), a difference consistent with approximately 6 years of chronological aging.”

That is tough to start your day with. So let’s get some good news in there. Chinese medicine is effective for fibromyalgia, according to at least one study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. In fact, I’m reading a Cochrane review on the effectiveness of treatment methods most prescribed by medical doctors, and so far it is looking like Chinese medicine might be in the lead.

The hope for fibromyalgia patients might not be solely confined to the sterile walls of hospitals, but in the soothing atmosphere of wellness centers. Hooray for indoor fountains!

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