4 Ways A Proper Diet Can Relieve Your Aches & Pains

Diet, Matthews, NC

According to the World Health Organization, 60% of factors related to your health and quality of life are directly related to your lifestyle choices. One of the most important lifestyle choices you can make is choosing to buy and eat healthier foods! Do you have chronic pain? If so, you may want to take a closer look at what’s in your grocery cart, fridge, and pantry, because it turns out your diet could be making your pain better or worse.

At our clinic, our physical therapist staff is happy to educate patients about ways to make smarter dietary decisions, so they can control their pain more effectively. When combined with regular exercise and a customized physical therapy plan that addresses underlying injury and illness, a healthy diet can truly do wonders for your function and quality of life. Call us today to learn more about adopting a healthy exercise and diet routine to manage your chronic pain.

Tips to point you in the right direction…

Here are four ways you can start making positive changes to your health today.

1. Improve your tissue and joint health by drinking enough water

It’s important to hydrate yourself on a daily basis. Make sure you’re not only drinking coffee and tea. Drinking water helps keep your joints lubricated and can prevent stiffness and achiness. Water is also important for helping your body flush out toxins and metabolic waste products that may be associated with inflammation.

So drink up! Aim for at least one-third to one-half of your body weight in fluid ounces of fresh water per day. Try to keep a refillable water bottle with you during the day to remind you to stay hydrated!

2. Watch how much you’re eating

The amount of food you eat should be enough to support exercise and a lean body weight. If you aren’t eating enough food, you’ll have low energy levels and you won’t be able to build strong muscles to support your joints and keep you moving.

On the other hand, if you consume too much food, you run the risk of becoming overweight, which has been shown to be a risk factor for inflammation and chronic pain. Excess weight also places you at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and strokes, certain types of cancer, and sleep apnea.

3. Eat foods that combat inflammation

Acute inflammation (such as what happens when you stub your toe or pull a muscle) is a normal and healthy response of the immune system. However, there’s a problem when an acute reaction turns into a chronic, or constant, state. it’s as if your body goes into high alert—and pain is one of the major alarms!

To support tissue healing and anti-inflammation, be sure to eat plenty of healthy foods and nutrients like:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids, which you can get from quality supplements and also foods like fish, eggs, and nuts.
  • Healthy protein, found in lean meats and other animal products as well as certain plants (protein contains amino acids, which are the building blocks of tissues and cells).
  • Vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C and magnesium, found in supplements, leafy green vegetables, and fruits.

4. Avoid foods that increase inflammation

Just like there are foods you should eat to combat existing inflammation, there are also foods you can stop eating to avoid inflammation altogether. Chronic inflammation is a major factor underlying most health conditions, including chronic pain conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraine headaches, and more.

By avoiding foods known to promote inflammation, you’ll be able to improve your gut and immune health, absorb more tissue-healthy nutrients from the foods you do eat, and reduce inflammation, pain, and stiffness throughout your body.

The most common pro-inflammatory foods in our diets include:

  • Sugar
  • Gluten
  • Dairy products
  • Trans fats

If you have chronic pain, avoid or eliminate these foods for a certain amount of time and see how your body responds. You might be amazed at how much better you’ll feel without these substances in your diet! Remember, we are what we eat, so we should make our meals healthy!

Ready to learn more about a nutrient-rich diet?

If you’re dealing with chronic pain and inflammation, the answer to your problem could be solved by a change in what you’re putting on your plate. Contact our physical therapist team today to schedule an appointment and learn how you can combat or even eliminate your pain through a healthy and well-balanced diet.

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