Is there anything coffee can't do? It was just last week that a woman in Red Hook heroically used a cup of iced coffee to escape from a mugger's gun and now there's news from Norway that "coffee consumers exhibited significantly lower pain increase than those who abstained from coffee" during a simulated study of people working at computers.
Significantly lower pain increase? That's something I want as I sit at my computer all day long, turning into a hunchbacked goblin whose fingers are perhaps permanently twisted into the claw-like shape that most easily fits my keyboard. Save me, coffee! Save me!
Gothamist reported on this important Norse study but noted that the study was not exactly the most extensive one ever, using just "48 subjects, 22 with chronic shoulder and neck pain and 26 healthy ones...and the computer work was restricted to using only a mouse." So, perhaps it isn't time to start chugging gallons of Stumptown every morning just because you have a little stiffness in your shoulders.
Unless, of course, you're like, oh, I don't know, me, and already drink way too much coffee every day. If that's the case, keep drinking. Not only because it's clearly the healthy choice, but also because quitting coffee leads to the worst headache you'll ever experience in your life, barring, I'd guess, a brain tumor-induced headache. Caffeine withdrawal is NO JOKE. So the best thing to do is keep drinking as much coffee as you can without having to go to the bathroom so much that your co-workers start to think you have other addiction problems, and, when people raise their eyebrows at you as you go for your fifth cup of the day, just refer them to the Norwegian study. Tell them that coffee—that beautiful, dark and bitter brew—is helping you with your PAIN. And we all have pain. Whether we work at a computer or not. It's important to try and get healthy any way you can. The Norwegians would agree with this. They're a pretty dark group of people. Just listen to some Norwegian death metal and you'll understand why they need all the coffee they can get.
Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen