Alcohol helps with chronic pain, says study

22nd July, 2015 by Neal Baker

Regularly drinking alcohol helps to lessen the debilitating effect of chronic pain, new research has found.

The research said that over two-thirds of sufferers benefited from higher alcohol intake (Photo: Pixabay)

The research found that over two-thirds of sufferers benefited from higher alcohol intake (Photo: Pixabay)

In a study of over 2,000 sufferers of chronic widespread pain, those who often consumed above average amounts of alcohol had lower levels of disability than those who never or rarely drank.

The research into sufferers of fibromyalgia – a rheumatic condition that causes muscular pain and stiffness –surveyed patient’s eating and drinking habits to determine the effect of diet on their symptoms.

Of the 2,239 people surveyed, those who drank 21 to 35 units of alcohol per week were 67% less likely than to experience disability than those who didn’t drink.

A unit is the equivalent of half a pint of lager or a small glass of wine, and alcohol guidelines in the UK state that men should consume no more than 21 units per week. For women, the recommendation is no more than 14 units per week.

However, one of the authors of the study warns against drawing a quick conclusion from the study. Dr Gary Macfarlane, who published the study in the American medical journal Arthritis Care & Research, said, “Although we cannot say that alcohol consumption causes less disability among people with chronic widespread pain, the observed link warrants further investigation.”

One Response to “Alcohol helps with chronic pain, says study”

  1. Marcus Beasley says:

    The headline is wrong. The study does not say that alcohol helps with chronic pain.

    It does say that those who drink alcohol have less problems with chronic pain than those that don’t. This could be because people with poor health choose to avoid drinking alcohol. In any case, in the population, people who drink are healthier on a whole range of outcomes than those that don’t – that does not mean that drinking makes you healthy. It only means that people who drink are very different in some way than those that don’t.

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