Does it Really Hurt?

Lots of research is being conducted on pain, and no wonder! According to pain specialists at Johns Hopkins University, nearly 100 million Americans experience chronic pain, more than those who have diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined.1 To help find and improve treatments, researchers attempt to understand more about the underlying causes of pain.

Pain is actually a warning signal that something is wrong. The pain starts in receptor nerve cells located beneath the skin and in organs throughout the body. There are many different types of pain, but the most common stem from arthritis, spinal issues and headaches.

  • Arthritis refers to more than 100 different conditions ranging from autoimmune disease to joint inflammation. Although there is no cure, there are treatment plans with short-term and long-term goals, dependent on the severity and type of arthritis.
  • Back pain is so common that the National Institutes of Health contend that eight out of 10 people will have some sort of spinal issue in their lifetimes.
  • Headaches vary, with migraines being one of the most debilitating types. They can be triggered by stress, fatigue and certain foods. Children can have headaches triggered by hormones, stress, medications, dehydration, depression and anxiety. Genetics can play a part in headaches.

Pain is the most common reason for people to seek medical care. It also is one of the reasons people frequently turn to complementary and integrative health approaches.2 Pain costs the United States an estimated $635 billion a year in terms of lost productivity and medical expenditures, with chronic pain being the leading cause of long-term disability in adults.3

Given the huge opioid crisis in the United States, many suffering from chronic pain are now dealing with limited access to prescriptions—alternatives to drugs are needed even more. These alternatives can range from outright tolerance (the grit your teeth school of pain management) to methodical breathing (similar to Lamaze techniques during childbirth) to yoga and meditation.

There also are a wide range of topical ointments, patches, orthopedic support systems and homeopathic formulations. For example, Nikken CM Complex Cream and Kenzen® Joint,  both contain cetyl myristoleate, a naturally occurring compound that is believed to help ease joint discomfort. The soothing nature of the compound was discovered by National Institutes of Health researcher Dr. H.W. Diehl. The Nikken formulation is endorsed by Dr. Diehl’s estate.

Health practitioners who practice pain management contend that expectations are key to whether patients become overly dependent on prescription pain relievers. Expectations of pain relief can range from total painlessness to taking the edge off. Search and Rescue USA states that of 64,000 drug overdose deaths in 2016, 40% involved a prescription opioid.4 The higher the expectation, the more drugs are involved.

A concrete example of varying expectations can be witnessed with the changing trends in childbirth. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, women had no choice but to tolerate the pain of childbirth. By the 1940s and 1950s, many giving birth were completely “knocked out” or “put under” because childbirth was considered a medical procedure. By the 1960s and 1970s, the pendulum swung in the other direction and the natural childbirth movement began. By the 1980s, epidural anesthesia became common; as a result, many opted to stay awake but without feeling acute labor pains and Cesarean sections increased.5 By the 1990s, there was a swing back to birthing without drugs. With each decade, mothers and their families had a different set of expectations and pain was managed accordingly.

Whatever types of pain we may experience and whichever treatments we seek largely depend on our expectations. Barring life-threatening diseases that require extreme forms of pain management, an Active Wellness lifestyle can help enhance any other way of relieving pain.

KenkoTherm® Support Wraps  help strained or achy muscles and joints function more smoothly. The strong yet stretchable wraps have warming ceramic reflective fibers that help provide a sense of confidence while they support movement. KenkoTherm DUK® Tape  is made with 100% cotton tape and hypoallergenic. You can cut it to the size you want to obtain the support right where you need it. It’s water-resistant and lasts all day to help ease muscle and joint discomfort.

 

1https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/stories/september_pain_awareness_month.html

2 https://nccih.nih.gov/health/pain

3 https://uspainawarenessmonth.com/

4https://searchandrescueusa.org/theopioidcrisis/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=ppc&utm_campaign=2018_PFDK_Nonbrand_Opioid_Epidemic&utm_term=opioid%20crisis&&gclid=CjwKCAjwnrjrBRAMEiwAXsCc476-NCl8uukeG9RFfQIzrmyfp0p3cNrC_xQz-YSvnVCB52lhm5lfLhoCE0oQAvD_BwE

5 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1595017/

Support and Be Supported in Your Exercise Routine

For those of us who love spending time outdoors under the warmth of the sun, now is the time to go barefoot and ground ourselves naturally! It’s also time to take advantage of the weather to exercise and practice Active Wellness outside! Many water sports come to mind—swimming, kayaking, canoeing, surfing, paddleboarding and windsurfing to name a few. Some exercises that are done inside a gym or studio can now be performed comfortably outdoors: walking, biking, yoga, tai chi and chi gung.

According to the American Heart Association, being more active can help us lower our blood pressure, boost levels of good cholesterol, improve blood flow (circulation), keep weight under control and prevent bone loss that can lead to osteoporosis.1 At least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity is recommended for each week.2 This can be broken down to 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Since every minute of moderate to vigorous activity counts, adding two or three short walks a day would help reach that goal.

Being a couch potato can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. One study showed that adults who watch more than four hours of television a day had an 80% higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease.3 If you’re not naturally active or need some motivation to get started, here are a few ways to become more active:

• Seek out people who will help keep you motivated and accountable for your Active Wellness regimen. Many communities have local workout events for you to attend. There are also local hiking groups, Silver Sneakers classes, kayaking circles, and many others for you to join.

• Get a workout buddy who is at about the same physical shape you’re in. You can help each other stay on course and progress together. Make it a social time, not just an exercise time.

• Choose activities you enjoy. For example, if you hate running, don’t try to become a jogger. Zumba, Pilates or yoga might suit you better. Not everyone has the same sense of balance—if you have sensitive joints, swimming may be your best choice.

• Don’t limit yourself to just one exercise activity. Mix it up to keep from getting bored or burned out.

• Although many people like to get their exercise out of the way first thing in the morning, you should choose your own best time. If you’re not a morning person, getting up earlier to exercise will only demotivate you.

Nikken has the perfect exercise support products to help you achieve Active Wellness. KenkoTherm® Support Wraps help secure your muscles and joints, so you feel confident during strenuous activities. They provide added support when your muscles feel achy or strained. KenkoTherm® wraps are crafted of soft yet durable material that provide the ideal amount of stretch. KenkoTherm DUK® tape is 100% cotton with hypoallergenic adhesive and water–resistant. It comes in black and peach, and when you purchase a 6-pack, you receive 10% off.

1,2, 3 https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/why-is-physical-activity-so-important-for-health-and-wellbeing

 

A Young Champion and his Nikken Products

Jack Turner is a young British athlete who has won an impressive number of awards. Jack became the English Schools under-17 2017 Octathlon champion when he won Gold in Boston, UK. He went on to represent England at the Schools International Athletics Board (SIAB) Home Internationals in Glasgow, Scotland where he won Silver for the indoor Pentathlon.

This year Jack won the under-18 British Standards decathlon competition, exceeding the European entry standard. This led to him being selected to represent Great Britain at the European Championships in Hungary, where he set a new British record. A few months later he went on to compete in his first under-20 Decathlon and achieved the gold medal and another national title. At the end of the 2018 outdoor season Jack is ranked 6th in Europe, 6th in the world for under-18 Decathlon and 4th in the UK for under-20s Decathlon. He’s aiming high for the championships next year!

A big fan of Nikken products, Jack uses them before, during and after competitions. He explains, “I found the KenkoTherm® Knee Wrap really supportive, especially since I hyperextended my knee last year long jumping. Wearing it helps me both physically and mentally. The tight yet comfortable fit meant that for a long period of time I could compete with it on.

“I found myself using the Kenko MagDuo® a lot. In preparation for the European Championships, I would use it on small muscles and joints for some release. I used the KenkoTouch® on my inflamed tendon, that I picked up during a decathlon, days before another competition. I used it at night just before I went to bed and felt that it really helped me to perform well the following day.

“I have a PiMag Waterfall® at home, so to be able to carry around PiMag filtered water in the PiMag® Sport Bottle when I compete was reassuring, especially when competing abroad.”

The young champion is clearly adhering to tried and true Active Wellness practices.

  • He keeps hydrated and drinks PiMag® alkaline water.
  • He keeps his muscles and tendons warm and supported with form fitting KenkoTherm wraps.
  • He takes advantage of patented DynaFlux® magnetic technology to massage himself with the handheld KenkoTouch® and the Kenko MagDuo®.

We look forward to hearing more about Jack Turner’s brilliant athletic accomplishments over the coming years!