Did You Know Nutrition is a Natural Way to Relieve Pain?
Have you thought about how the foods you eat may be affecting the way your body feels on a daily basis? Without even thinking about it, you may be adding to your discomfort with the foods you are consuming.
If your pain problems have steadily worsened, you may need to look at your nutritional choices. Eating too much and/or eating the wrong things can trigger your inflammatory reactions and contribute to muscle, nerve, or joint pain.
Fortunately, you can reverse this trend by adopting a healthy nutritional treatment plan as part of a holistic physical therapy program.
How are physical therapy and nutrition related?
The good news is that the right foods can fight inflammation just as effectively as the wrong foods can make it worse. For example, by simply switching to a Mediterranean diet, you can make your life a little healthier and a little less painful.
This diet in particular is focused around fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains, and healthy oils, such as olive oil—all delicious choices of high nutritional value and low inflammatory potential.
Even your choice of spices can make a huge difference in whether or not you notice pain. For example, turmeric is a powerful and natural type of anti-inflammatory agent. Your physical therapist can point you to the right nutritional changes to help you control your pain and begin living comfortably once again.
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 gaining more weight, and any other necessary changes to your eating schedule or patterns, as deemed fit by your physical therapist.
Increasing your physical activity will also help you get the most out of your new nutrition routine. For example, muscle building and strength training will work to boost your metabolic rate, thus helping your body burn calories more easily.
Other physical therapy methods or modalities may be used to ease chronic aches and help you become much more mobile— therefore allowing you to boost your workout regimen, lose more weight, and remove more strain from your joints and tissues.
How can nutrition aid in pain relief?
How many times have you heard the old expression, “You are what you eat?” This statement is accurate in many ways, including some rather painful ones.
In fact, 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.”
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 hurt 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.
Poor dietary and nutritional choices can also increase your pain by increasing your waistline. Excessive quantities of rich, fatty, sugary, or starchy foods can cause your weight to balloon, especially if you lead a sedentary lifestyle. This extra weight can accelerate joint degeneration, aggravating arthritis pain.
It can also place undue strain on your muscles as they struggle to support your heavier body. Obesity can even encourage the development of bulging or herniated discs, leading to neurological issues, such as sciatica.
Do you want to learn more about how nutrition can help you manage your pain?
If you have been living with painful symptoms, you may need a nutrition plan that includes eating for pain management. Please contact Aim Orthopedics today to discover how this strategy could work for you!
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