If You’re Dealing with Chronic Pain, Your Diet Might Be to Blame

If You’re Dealing with Chronic Pain, Your Diet Might Be to Blame

healthy foods like fish, fruits and almonds laid on the table.

Do you suffer from nagging chronic pain every day? If so, you may want to take a closer look at what’s in your fridge and grocery cart! Your diet could be making your pain better or worse. That old saying is true: we truly are what we eat!

One of the most important lifestyle choices you can make is selecting healthier foods to eat. Our physical therapy clinic staff is eager to educate patients about ways to make smarter dietary decisions, so they can control their pain more effectively in the long run.

Adopting a healthy diet can truly do wonders for your function and quality of life, especially when combined with regular exercise and a customized physical therapy plan that addresses underlying injury and illness. Call our clinic today to set up a consultation and learn more about the benefits of physical therapy when paired with nutrition.

4 Steps to Pain Relief

Changing your diet doesn’t have to take over your life or make things hard for you. If you are looking for some ways to get started with pain relief, consider these simple tips to get you going in the right dietary direction:

1. Drink more water!

According to Healthline, studies show that even mild dehydration, such as the loss of 1–3% of body weight, can impair many aspects of brain function. Staying hydrated strengthens your muscles and tissues. We are made up of 60% water, after all! 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.

Ideally, you should aim for at least one-third to one-half of your body weight in fluid ounces of fresh water per day. Staying hydrated can also aid in the prevention of painful migraines and tension headaches.

2. Make sure you’re eating correct portions

It’s very easy to get busy and not eat the way you should, however, you must eat regular meals to keep up your energy. The amount of food you eat should be enough to support exercise and lean body weight. If you don’t eat enough food you won’t be able to build strong muscles which support your joints and keep you moving. If you overeat, then you run the risk of becoming overweight, which has been shown to be a risk factor for inflammation and chronic pain.

3. Adopt an anti-inflammatory diet 

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, when an acute reaction turns into a chronic constant feeling, your body goes into high alert and you begin to feel pain.

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

  • Omega-3 fatty acids, which you can get from quality supplements and also foods like fish, eggs, and nuts.
  • Vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C and magnesium, found in supplements, leafy green vegetables, and fruits.
  • 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).

4. Avoid unnecessary sugars and fats

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, as well as reduce inflammation, pain, and stiffness throughout your body.

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

  • Trans fats
  • Sugar
  • Gluten
  • Dairy

Chronic inflammation is a major factor underlying most health conditions, including chronic pain conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraine headaches, and more.

If you have chronic pain, it’s a good idea for you to avoid or eliminate these foods from your diet 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 foods in your diet!

Ready to make a change? Call us today

If you’re ready to make a change in your diet and start eating healthy, this is the time to start! You’ll be surprised what your body will be able to accomplish when you pair a healthy diet with regular exercise, contact our physical therapy clinic today to schedule an appointment and learn how you can improve your pain by changing what you put on your plate and in your cart at the store!