Are You Experiencing Chronic Pain? Improving Your Diet Could Help You Out!

Are You Experiencing Chronic Pain? Improving Your Diet Could Help You Out!

Chronic Pain

Stop feeding your chronic pain!

Do you live with chronic aches and pains? Do they make it difficult for you to enjoy your daily routine? Is it hard for you to do things that you once loved doing with ease?

If your discomfort has been continuously worsening, you may want to reconsider your eating habits! We truly are what we eat.

Inflammatory responses can be triggered by eating too much or the wrong foods, which can lead to muscle, nerve, or joint discomfort.

Although physical therapists are not dietitians, providing dietary recommendations to patients is an important part of their job. Dietary adjustments can make the biggest difference in decreasing or eliminating pain in some chronic diseases.

By adopting a healthy nutritional strategy as part of a holistic physical therapy program, you can begin to make the changes necessary to live a more full, comfortable life.

Call Bens Total Wellness Therapy today to learn more about pain management and dietary changes you can make to feel better!

How is my diet linked to my pain?

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 the following kinds of foods:

  • White bread or other highly-processed carbs
  • Alcohol
  • Red meat
  • 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

These foods can harm you in a variety of ways. Sugar and aspartame, for example, enhance insulin levels while also increasing pain sensitivity.

Caffeine and tomatoes both increase acidity in the body, which promotes inflammatory discomfort. However, the bottom line for all of these items (and a few more) 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.

Physical therapy and nutritional pain relief

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.”

The good news is that the correct foods can help you battle inflammation just as much as the wrong foods can make it worse. Simply switching to a Mediterranean diet can put you on the road to better health and less pain.

Fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains, and healthy oils like olive oil are all wonderful options with great nutritional content and low inflammatory potential in this diet.

Even the spices you use can make a big difference in how comfortable you are; turmeric, for example, is a powerful natural anti-inflammatory. Your physical therapist can advise you on the best dietary modifications to make to help you manage your pain.

Weight control is another vital aspect of pain management. Your physical therapy plan may include recommendations on how many calories you should consume, what kinds of foods you should eat to avoid getting fat, and any other necessary changes to your eating schedule or patterns.

Increasing your physical activity will help you get the most out of your new nutritional routine. For example, strength training that builds muscle boosts your metabolic rate, helping your body burn calories more easily.

Other physical therapy techniques to ease chronic aches and pains will help you become that much more mobile – enabling you to boost your workout regimen, lose more weight, and take more strain off of your joints and tissues.

What conditions can be improved with a healthy diet?

There are a number of common conditions in America that are directly related to diet and nutrition.

Here are some conditions in which nutritional advice will likely be a part of the patient’s physical therapy regimen:

  • Diabetes. More than 90 percent of patients with diabetes also experience neuropathic pain. Diet and nutrition will play a key role in managing these conditions.
  • Osteoarthritis. Obese patients are more likely to develop arthritis, especially in the knee. Once a person has been diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the knee, managing their weight becomes the most important key to managing the arthritis and pain.
  • 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.
  • Obesity. 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.

Request an appointment with us today!

Eating for health can include eating for pain management. Contact our physical therapy center to make this strategy work for you!