Do you live with constant pain and inflammation? If so, you are not alone. There are many chronic conditions that can lead to this; however, much of the pain and inflammation you’re feeling can be managed simply through diet. Your body is fueled by what you eat, so when you eat a nutritious diet your body is able to recover much faster.
Pain and inflammation can be relieved through proper nutrition, stress management, and exercise. Contact us today to speak with one of our physical therapists and learn other ways you can relieve your pain and inflammation!
What’s causing my inflammation?
Your immune system can naturally respond to injury, ailment, or other harm through inflammation. If you have an infection, wound, tissue damage, or buildup of toxins in your body, the immune response is triggered to deal with it. Without inflammation, injuries wouldn’t be able to heal; however, if this process goes on for too long, chronic inflammation can occur. This can lead to serious health conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, or even some cancers. If you experience persistent pain, it is wise to contact a physical therapist as soon as possible, as it may mean that the inflammation has become chronic.
Traditionally, chronic inflammation has been treated through strict rest and medication. However, a lack of exercise can actually make inflammation worse, as it constricts joints and causes muscles to stiffen. Additionally, medications come with a whole slew of side effects, some of which can be dangerous and/or habit-forming. Luckily, pain and inflammation can be treated in much easier and healthier ways, including diet.
How can nutritional diet help?
Nutritionists have had patients report great success in turning around their symptoms by adopting an anti-inflammatory diet. Inflammation is your body’s way of trying to heal, which can be accelerated through a nutritional diet that complements the removal of toxins.
Do you want to add an anti-inflammatory diet to your lifestyle? Try these 3 steps:
- Increase your vegetable intake.
Raw broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage are the best options when sustaining an anti-inflammatory diet. They can be cooked if you prefer, but raw vegetables are generally better for speeding up the inflammation process. You’ll want to eat up to nine servings per day, and you can substitute fruits for a couple of those servings to break it up if it becomes too much. Otherwise, the timeless saying “eat your veggies” is key.
- Stay away from red meat.
It is best to avoid red meat while participating in an anti-inflammatory diet. If this proves difficult, red meat is okay in small doses; however, it should be an extremely rare treat in your diet. The proteins in red meat require extra work from your kidneys to process, so it will slow down the healing process if you eat a lot of it. One small piece of steak, one time per week, should be your maximum limit. Luckily, chicken and fish are just fine for an anti-inflammatory diet. Enjoy them with all of those servings of vegetables!
- Decrease the amount of grain and dairy you consume.
In order to strengthen your body’s immune response, you’ll want to avoid simple carbs and sugars. Unfortunately, that means no donuts, no pastries, and no white breads. Dairy products should also be extremely limited, so very little cheese or milk with anything. Whole grains, such as barley, oats, brown rice, and wheat are best.
What other ways can I decrease my pain and inflammation?
If you stick to the diet listed above, you should notice a decrease in pain. Your physical therapist can also provide you with additional tips for pain relief and reduced inflammation. In addition to your nutrition plan, you should also try:
- Decreasing your stress. If you’re feeling mentally stressed, your body can become physically stressed – causing more inflammation and a longer recovery rate. Taking time to relax can actually allow you to heal quicker!
- Exercising. Exercise will keep the muscles warm, which can alleviate pain or stiffness, and stop the inflammation from becoming worse.
- Managing your weight. If you have some unwanted weight, getting down to your ideal body weight will help with your pain and inflammation.
Are you looking to add a new nutrition plan into your lifestyle to help manage your pain and inflammation? If so, contact our office today to consult with a physical therapist and see how you can relieve your symptoms as quickly as possible!