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Millennials prefer healthy habits, less likely to choose opioids to manage pain

CHICAGO – Often spending their days hunched over phones, tablets or computers and their free time at spin class or playing sports, millennials are the next generation poised to experience chronic pain. Even at their young age, millennials say acute and chronic pain are already interfering with their quality of life.

Their preferred method to manage pain? Lifestyle changes such as exercising, eating right, quitting smoking and losing weight, according to a nationwide survey commissioned by the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) in conjunction with September’s Pain Awareness Month. (Click here to download infographic.)

The survey also found millennials were half as likely as baby boomers to have turned to opioids to manage pain, and 1 in 5 millennials regret that they used the highly addictive painkillers.

But engaging in lifestyle changes before chronic pain can gain a further foothold is preferable. When possible, prevention is best. “Chronic pain does not have to be an automatic response to aging,” said Dr. Plagenhoef. “Healthy lifestyle changes such as exercising, proper nutrition and maintaining a healthy weight can keep millennials from dealing with some of the chronic pain their parents and grandparents are experiencing.” 

To help all generations effectively manage their pain, ASA offers the following tips (continue reading)

Blair Cullen