Americans looking for better treatments for chronic pain than a pill can provide

Chronic pain is affecting more than 50 million Americans according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Of those affected, more than 20 million have such pain that it keeps them from working or providing proper care for themselves or their families according to a new study.

The study, conducted by the CDC and Consumer Reports, shows that Americans more than ever are feeling the long term effects of poor diet and exercise habits and a more sedentary lifestyle overall.

So what can people do?

“There’s no magic bullet,” said Consumer Reports’ Lisa Gill. “Lasting solutions are usually made up of several different kinds of treatment.” The American College of Physicians recommends trying non-drug measures first such as exercise that incorporate mindfulness, like tai chi and yoga. Acupuncture and massage have also been found to help some with chronic back pain and fibromyalgia.

The study concluded that better diet and exercise under the proper care of a doctor who specializes in pain management can greatly increase the quality of life and in some cases
eliminate the pain altogether.

-The Associated Press contributed to this story.