The relationship between lifestyle metaflammation and chronic pain: a systematic review
Naylor, R, Hayes, C & Egger, G 2013, 'The relationship between lifestyle metaflammation and chronic pain: a systematic review', American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 130-137.
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Chronic pain has a significant economic and social impact on the community. The most common medical treatments for it include paracetamol, anti-inflammatory agents, and opioid analgesics. However, many of these medications cause side effects, and their long-term effectiveness is questionable. The traditional alternative to the biomedical approach is cognitive behavioral therapy. However, this has also been shown in recent studies to have only modest benefit. It is becoming clear that the effective management of chronic pain requires a more holistic, systems-based approach, hence the emerging interest in the relationship between pain and lifestyle. The authors aim to review the literature regarding the relationship between comprehensive lifestyle changes, markers of systemic inflammation, and the perception of chronic pain. An extensive search of bibliographic databases, including MEDLINE, PubMed, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library databases was made. A total of 2197 articles were identified using the search strategy. Only 44 articles were retrieved for critical appraisal, of which only 2 studies met the prespecified primary inclusion criteria and were included in the final review. These data provided some evidence that a single lifestyle factor (sleep restriction or disturbance) can produce elevated levels of interleukin-6, which is associated with higher pain intensity ratings. However, this review has highlighted a paucity of research based around the relationship between lifestyle, metaflammation, and chronic pain. There is a clear need for well-designed trials examining comprehensive lifestyle interventions and their effect on both pain intensity and markers of metaflammation.