Health Advice



Don't let pain knock you off your game

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

When LeBron James twisted his ankle during a game with the Atlanta Hawks, even he couldn't dismiss the pain. Writhing on the floor in agony, the All-Star joined the ranks of the 54% of Americans who report troubling pain -- and the increasing number who report joint pain. (It went up 21% from 2002 to 2018).

According to a 17-year study in Demography, Americans also have experienced a 15% increase in low-back pain, 16% rise in neck pain and a 13% increase in facial/jaw pain. For folks ages 25 to 44, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are fueling some of the increase in pain (not LeBron's case), but the research shows it's an increase in psychological distress, such as depression and anxiety, that accounts for half of the chronic pain they've experienced lately.

Got pain? You want to identify its cause and reduce or eliminate the pain as quickly and safely as possible.

-- Make beneficial lifestyle changes, like avoiding foods that cause inflammation, such as sugars, red and processed meats and egg yolks; achieving a healthy weight; stopping smoking; eliminating excess alcohol consumption; increasing physical activity.

-- For medical attention, researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine advise that you don't consult only your primary care physician about physical causes; see appropriate specialists, such as orthopedists, neurologists and pain management specialists.

-- To address psychologically triggered or amplified pain, one-on-one or group therapy, as well as stress reduction practices such as meditation, are effective.


So, get back into your game by taking those steps today.


Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c)2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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