Healthy eating and living options

Eating well, losing weight and generally improving your overall health will help you cope better with your persistent pain.

Foods like pasta, fish, lentils, chicken, vegetables and fruits can help joints, muscles and nerves work better. Using olive oil as your main cooking oil is very healthy. These types of foods are known as the Mediterranean diet.

Healthy eating can not only help you lose weight but reduces your risk of heart disease, stroke, dementia, cancer, constipation as well as depression and anxiety.

Eating small meals regularly through the day, rather than skipping breakfast, helps the body become less stressed, tired - and painful! Try porridge or fruit. Start with easy, small portions like two or three tablespoons of cereal or half a banana. Many people with pain who rarely have breakfast find eating very small portions can be a good start to living better with pain.

Reducing caffeine drinks like tea, coffee and cola-type products can help reduce tension, sleep problems and anxiety symptoms. Cut back gradually over days and use more decaffeinated choices, pure fruit drinks or water instead.