Find Relief for Your Aches and Pains with Nutritional Changes
Could you be feeding your chronic aches and pains without even realizing it? If your pain problems have steadily worsened, you may need to look at your nutritional choices.
Certain foods have been known to alleviate inflammation, where some foods can aggravate it. In fact, according to Harvard Health Publishing, “A lot of chronic pain is the result of chronic inflammation, and the evidence is quite strong that your diet can contribute to increased systemic inflammation.”
Eating too much and/or eating the wrong types of foods can trigger your inflammatory reactions that contribute to muscle, nerve, and joint pain. Fortunately, you can reverse this cycle by adopting a healthy nutritional strategy as part of a holistic physical therapy program.
Physical therapy and nutrition
The good news is that the right foods can fight inflammation just as easily as the wrong foods can exacerbate the issue. Simply switching to a more nutritional diet can help put you on a healthier, less painful path.
This diet highlights fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains and healthy oils such as olive oil—all delicious choices with high nutritional value and low inflammatory potential! Even your choice of spices can make a huge difference in your comfort. Turmeric, for example, is a powerful natural anti-inflammatory agent. Your physical therapist can point you to the right nutritional changes for your specific needs, in order to help control your pain.
Weight control is another key aspect of pain management. Your physical therapy plan may include recommendations as to how many calories you should consume, what kinds of foods you should eat to avoid additional weight gain, and any other necessary changes to your eating schedule or patterns.
Increasing your physical activity will also help you get the most out of your new nutrition routine. For example, muscle building through strength training boosts your metabolic rate, helping your body burn calories more easily. Other physical therapy techniques to ease chronic aches and pain will help you become much more mobile—allowing you to boost your workout regimen, lose more weight, and take more strain off of your joints and tissues.
What should I know about pain and a nutritional diet?
How many times have you heard the old expression, “You are what you eat?” Certain kinds of foods are known to cause or aggravate inflammatory responses and chronic pain. You may be doing yourself more harm than good if you regularly consume:
- Foods heavy in processed sugars and/or trans fats (including cookies, donuts and margarine)
- Potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, and other members of the nightshade family
- Caffeinated foods and drinks
- White bread or other highly-processed carbs
- Red meat
These foods can make you feel painful in various ways. Sugar and aspartame, for instance, raise both your insulin levels and your pain sensitivity. Caffeine and tomatoes both raise your body’s acidity levels, promoting inflammatory pain. But for all these foods (and several others), the bottom line is the same: an increase in your aches and pains.
Additionally, fatty and sugary foods can lead to extra weight, which can accelerate joint degeneration and aggravate pain. It can also place undue strain on your muscles and may even encourage the development of bulging or herniated discs, leading to neurological issues such as sciatica.
Nutritional changes can help with…
- Obesity: Pain related to obesity can become a vicious cycle. Being overweight causes a patient pain, so they become more sedentary. Becoming more sedentary causes them to gain more weight, which leads to more pain. Nutritional diets can help shed unwanted weight and decrease pain on the joints.
- Osteoarthritis: Once a person has been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, managing their pain becomes the most important key to leading a comfortable life. Certain foods can decrease inflammation, easing arthritis pains.
- Inflammation: American diets tend to have a lot of vegetable oils and other inflammatory foods in them. This can make the pain from inflammation even worse. In many cases, a physical therapist will prescribe a diet with more antioxidants and anti-inflammatory foods to help manage pain.
- Autoimmune Disorders: The combined total of various autoimmune disorder patients (such as Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis) now outnumber cancer patients in America by a wide margin. Autoimmune disorders are frequently linked directly to deficiencies in a patient’s diet.
- Diabetes: Diabetes and pre-diabetes pave the way for more serious conditions such as heart disease, kidney disease and blindness. More than 90 percent of patients with diabetes also experience neuropathic pain. Diet and nutrition will play a key role in managing these conditions.
Discover how nutrition can help you find relief
Eating for health can include eating for pain management. Contact Dynamic PT & Rehab Services to make this strategy work for you!