You are what you eat. Have you ever heard that phrase before? We’re betting you have!
If you’re experiencing pain and inflammation in your joints, the cause could be more obvious than you think. Nutrition plays a crucial role in preventing and eliminating pain and inflammation in the body. It’s important to understand what pain and inflammation are, the causes and symptoms, and how both nutrition and physical therapy can help.
If you’re tired of living with chronic pain day in and day out, say no more. Contact Magnolia Physical Therapy to learn more about how we can help alleviate your pain and inflammation.
What is pain and inflammation?
Inflammation is the body’s natural response when it’s trying to heal or protect itself after an injury. Pain and inflammation are often connected. Usually, inflammation is a good thing because it means your body is trying to do its job to heal properly, however, inflammation becomes harmful when it becomes a chronic condition that keeps you from moving comfortably.
According to Harvard Health, injuries and infections produce acute inflammation. Chronic inflammation can begin via the same process, with the body trying to rid itself of what the immune system interprets as foreign adversaries, however, this can become a persistent state, even if the perceived threat isn’t truly harmful to one’s health. Chronic inflammation can also cause harmful conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.
There are several symptoms associated with inflammation. These often include swelling, redness, joint pain, and stiffness. If you’re suffering from pain and inflammation changing your diet could improve your muscles, joints, and overall health.
Dietary causes and symptoms of pain and inflammation
Nutrition plays a big part in the amount of pain and inflammation you might have. Did you know the food you eat may be a contributing factor to increased inflammation throughout your body? Inflammation can be caused by many different kinds of food; some of the most commonly consumed ones are below.
- Refined carbohydrates – Past and white bread are two examples of refined carbs or “empty calories” which can cause excessive weight gain. Excess weight often leads to inflammation.
- Extra sugar – Foods with added sugar that isn’t naturally occurring can increase inflammation. Regular table sugar and corn syrup with high-fructose are the two main types of added sugar.
- Processed meats – Sausage, bacon, and smoked meats are usually processed and contain lots of extra sodium. Eating too much processed meat can cause inflammation and pain.
Food is not the only culprit when it comes to pain and inflammation. The beverages you drink play a role, too. Take soda, for example.
Soda contains lots of unhealthy preservatives such as sodium benzoate, not to mention high amounts of sugar. Excessive alcohol drinking should also be avoided as it can cause issues with inflammation as well.
Don’t feel as if you must wave goodbye to everything tasty just yet! Just like there are plenty of foods to limit or avoid in your diet, there are also a ton of healthy foods to eat that can help decrease your chances of experiencing pain and inflammation.
- Fish – Fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which naturally reduce inflammation. Cod, tuna, salmon, bass, and halibut are all excellent choices.
- Garlic – Garlic alone may not be very appetizing, but it can add flavor to many everyday meals. Garlic contains diallyl disulfide, which has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Beans – Beans are great for easing inflammation and are also sources of protein and fiber. There are plenty of different kinds to try, such as pinto, garbanzo, black, or red beans!
Benefits of physical therapy for pain and inflammation
Changing what you include in your everyday diet is a wonderful start to decreasing inflammation, but it may not be enough to eliminate it for good. Luckily, there’s another option available to you that is still natural and safe: physical therapy.
Physical therapy may be able to help reduce or even eliminate the pain you’re experiencing. Physical therapists use several methods to help. A few techniques would be manual therapy, dry needling, or ultrasound treatments. They may also use heat or ice therapy.
A physical therapist might even give you stretching and motion exercises you can do at home to better your chances of having a successful treatment!
Call our clinic today for more information
You don’t have to live in constant pain. In fact, you may not have to live in pain at all, if you begin making the right health choices! Monitoring what you eat and drink every day may be able to drastically decrease the pain and inflammation you’re experiencing. Physical therapy is a great option as well. The American Physical Therapy Association states that there is a clear link between pain and nutrition; what more proof do you need?
If you’ve changed your eating habits and are still experiencing pain symptoms, it’s important to find a physical therapist with experience in treating inflammation. Call Magnolia Physical Therapy today to learn more information and to set up an appointment with one of our skilled movement specialists.