Did you know that you can manage your chronic pain with proper nutrition and physical therapy?
If you are working to manage a chronic pain condition with the help of a physical therapist, it is likely you will receive some nutritional advice as part of your treatment. They know that in some chronic conditions, dietary changes can hugely help the body reduce or even eliminate pain.
A study released by Harvard Health showed that certain foods can alleviate inflammation, while other foods can aggravate it. The study concluded that much of chronic pain is the result of chronic inflammation, and the evidence is strong that your diet can contribute to increased systemic inflammation.”
Give our office a call if you’d like to learn more about how diet and physical therapy go hand in hand.
How our physical therapists can help you find a healthier diet
Many diseases and illnesses are far less common in individuals who eat well. That’s why improving the nutritional value of a poor diet can help to significantly reverse the symptoms of many painful conditions.
Your physical therapist can help you to lessen muscle and joint pain through exercise and nutritional advice. In fact, your physical therapist may establish your dietary status and needs as a key aspect of your treatment during your very first appointment.
In certain cases, you may be referred to a dietitian to further help you reduce chronic aches and pains, lose weight, and improve your overall health with the development of a new diet.
A physical therapist might suggest one of the following two diets to patients:
- The DASH Diet: stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. This diet can reduce hypertension and lower the risk of heart disease, while also helping patients to manage their weight. DASH is also low in saturated fats and cholesterol and has a heavy emphasis on fruit and vegetable intake.
- The Mediterranean Diet: has been linked to the strikingly low rates of heart disease in certain Mediterranean countries. This diet features a lot of fish with Omega-3 fatty acids and is high in plant-based fats such as olive oils and nuts.
Working with a physical therapist to manage your pain through exercise and diet can completely transform your life. Every year, physical therapists assist hundreds of thousands of patients in improving their health and alleviating aches and pains.
What role does nutrition play in combating certain illnesses?
In the United States, there are a number of prevalent conditions that are directly related to diet and nutrition.
For the following conditions, nutritional advice will likely be a part of a patient’s PT treatment:
- Autoimmune Disorders: The combined total of patients with autoimmune disorders (including 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 to deficiencies in a patient’s diet.
- Diabetes: Patients with diabetes frequently develop more serious conditions later in life, such as heart disease, kidney disease, or blindness. More than 90% of patients with diabetes also experience neuropathic pain. Diet and nutrition 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 arthritis and pain.
- Inflammation: Vegetable oils and other inflammatory foods are commonly found in American diets, which unfortunately can aggravate inflammation-related pain. To help control pain, a physical therapist may recommend a diet rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory foods.
- 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.
What else can I do to manage my pain?
You should quickly begin to notice a decrease in your pain and inflammation symptoms if you maintain the nutritious dietary plan provided to you by your physical therapist.
More ways to manage your pain and inflammation can be found in the list below:
- Weight loss: Maintaining your ideal body weight will help with your pain and inflammation.
- Stress management: Mental stress can have serious impacts on the body, and cause inflammation and longer recovery rates. Incorporating relaxation techniques into your day can actually allow you to heal from injuries at a faster pace.
- Daily exercise: Exercise keeps muscles warm and active, which can alleviate pain or stiffness, and stop inflammation from becoming worse.
Ready to feel better? Contact our office today!
If you are ready to develop a more nutritional diet and improve your overall health, contact our office in Midland, MI today to set up your first visit with a licensed physical therapist!