This past year the blog at Pain Doctor has been full of new discoveries, important research breakthroughs, and delicious and easy tips for healthy eating. Although it is hard to pick our favorite blog of the year, we’d like to take a moment to narrow it down to our top ten. Here are our top ten Pain Doctor posts of 2015, in no particular order.

1. New Switch Can Jumpstart Insulin Production

In a research development that holds tremendous promise for Type 2 diabetics, this new research has found a way to potentially activate a “switch” in a molecular pathway. This switch may help the body to begin producing insulin and to use it more effectively. While researchers acknowledge that applications of this research are still a long way away, they are hopeful and continue to press forward.

This post also included a link to a clinical trial that saw a patient with Type 1 diabetes who no longer needs insulin. These two research discoveries are major potential breakthroughs in the treatment of diabetes.

2. How To Navigate Health Insurance Challenges With Chronic Pain

As a result of the Affordable Care Act, many previously uninsured people with chronic pain now have access to healthcare. While this is a truly life-changing development for many, the new laws and the ways that many insurance companies are enacting them require some getting used to. This post is a practical how-to on navigating the particular challenges that some chronic pain patients may face.

Spoiler alert: Because the Affordable Care Act focuses on streamlining the healthcare process, it can be easier to keep track of visits to specialists and therapists.

3. 9 Things People In Chronic Pain Want You To Know (And Some Gratitude)

Caring for a person with chronic pain can be challenging in many ways, and one of the biggest is just understanding what it means to live with chronic pain. In this blog, Pain Doctor focused on the nine things that are important to know about living with chronic pain.

With some help from Twitter users living with chronic pain, we wrapped the post up with six things that chronic pain patients really appreciate from their caregivers. These can be really simple things that may often go unacknowledged, and we felt it was important to share some love. Jantien, aka @ThisOneNerd, writes that: “They feed me when I can’t move. They make sure I don’t feel guilty that I can’t help with chores.”

4. Eat This, Not That: Fibromyalgia Edition (On A Budget!)

In this edition of our popular Eat This, Not That series, we added a special twist. Eating well can often cost more, and we wanted to find ways to make healthy eating more accessible. Tips like making your own cup-for-cup gluten-free all-purpose flour mixture can make eating an anti-inflammatory diet much more accessible, both practically and financially.

5. Medical Testing In Women: A Matter Of Life And Death

While the wage gap between men and women in the U.S. has become common knowledge, this blog focused on a hidden danger of inequality between men and women. For various reasons, women are rarely used as study subjects in clinical trials, even to test medications for conditions that primarily affect women. This results in more frequent and more serious side effects in women, sometimes even leading to death. Reading (and sharing) this blog could save your life.

6. Up In Smoke: The Most Important Resolution You Can Make

One of our first blogs of the new year featured a resolution that has immediate, positive health results: quitting smoking. Even if you made no other changes, quitting smoking exponentially improves your health starting within 20 minutes of your last cigarette.

If you have not yet made up your mind to quit smoking, take a minute and read through all of the benefits, then used our linked resources to find the support you need to quit for good.

7. 5 Ways To Reduce The Risk Of Falls In The Elderly

Falling or a fear of falling in the elderly can result in serious health complications and even lead to early mortality. The number of falls in the elderly rose 8% from 1998 to 2010, a number not necessarily attributed to an increase in the number of elderly people during this period. The best cure is an ounce of prevention, and this blog offers easy, practical strategies to reduce the risk of falls.

8. Pain Report: Military Veterans

In 2015, Pain Doctor looked at a number of underserved or special populations with pain, and this blog on military veterans and chronic pain sheds some light on the pain challenges faced by those returning from combat. We believe that it is important to support our vets who give so much to their country, and we hope to spread and build awareness of their changing needs after deployment.

9. Chronic Pain In The News

Whether it has been to build awareness of the dangers of opioid addiction or to report on new breakthroughs in research and pain treatment, chronic pain has been in the news frequently this year. Heightened awareness helps to shed light on what is usually termed an “invisible” illness. This increases understanding and can help to push for more treatments and research.

10. Health And Fitness Books To Inspire Your Year

At Pain Doctor, we believe an educated patient is the best kind of patient. In this blog, we offer our suggestions for some of the best health and fitness books. Our reading list includes books on self-control, exercise, healthy eating, plus links to even more books to keep you focused, strong, and on-track to your fitness goals.

What were some of your favorite blog posts from Pain Doctor this year? Which were inspirational, practical, or helpful, and what would you like to see more of in 2016?


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