Noticing More Aches and Pains? Try Nutritional Changes

November 20th, 2021

Nutrition Can Play A Large Role in Pain Relief!

Many people know that good nutrition is a path to good health. However, a lot of people don't realize that good nutrition can also help with aches and pains you may be experiencing.

In fact, combining good nutrition with physical therapy can create a powerful duo. To learn more, contact our physical therapy office today!

How can a physical therapist help me understand my nutritional needs?

Although a physical therapist is a movement specialist, a physical therapist can also provide basic nutrition information to help you make healthier lifestyle choices. Your physical therapist can help you develop an individualized nutrition plan to help control your pain and inflammation.

Every physical therapist knows that nutrition can play a critical role in the healing process of a musculoskeletal injury. When the body heals, the phases may include inflammation, proliferation, and remodeling. While inflammation is normal, excess inflammation can cause cell damage to healthy tissues.

Proliferation and remodeling phases focus on the prevention of atrophy and enhancement of soft tissue repair. Musculoskeletal injuries are related to the inability of the muscle to synthesize proteins. As a result, strength is reduced. Incorporating protein into your diet helps prevent muscle atrophy, and a physical therapist is a good resource for learning more about good nutrition.

Your physical therapist may advise you to increase the consumption of omega-3 in order to control your inflammation. This nutrient can be found in avocados, almonds, fish oil, olive oil, and pecans. It is likely that your physical therapist will also advise you to add fruit and vegetables to your diet. This is because these foods are rich in antioxidants and contain pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Most people see a physical therapist for pain without realizing that good nutrition can also help to ease their pain. For example, good nutrition combined with physical therapy has helped patients with osteoarthritis, neuropathy, spinal pain, fibromyalgia, complex regional pain syndrome, and more.

If you see a physical therapist, let them know about your daily diet. They will educate you about the food you are consuming and give advice on what food is important for healing and pain reduction. There's a lot of delicious food that's healthy for you to enjoy while also helping you find relief!

How nutrition and physical therapy go hand in hand

“A systematic review and meta-analysis in the 2017 European Journal of Nutrition found that a Mediterranean-style eating pattern exerts a protective effect on the risk of cardiovascular disease, and is associated with smaller gains in BMI and waist circumference.

Nutritional interventions are alone useful tools to improve overall health outcomes in patients, and specifically reduce inflammation. Low-grade inflammation and oxidative stress underlie chronic osteoarthritis. Patients with poor nutrition habits who undergo physical therapy may notice a decrease in pain within as little as 4 days with the right diet.

You will note a decrease of inflammation, a decrease of edema, an improved metabolic profile, a decrease of nociception, and improvements in function. When you combine nutrition with therapeutic exercise it is a powerful combination that sets you up for success and with this valuable health skill.”

Can nutritional changes help my condition?

Nutritional changes have been proven to help with:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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Certain foods have been known to alleviate inflammation, where some foods can aggravate it. As stated by 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."

If you have been noticing aches and pains, making nutritional changes might help. Contact us today to discover how physical therapy and nutrition management can help you find relief!