You’re serious about pain management. You attend regular physical therapy appointments. You don’t push yourself past your limit but you don’t sit around either.
Yet, you still feel like there’s something more you could be doing to manage your daily pain.
Have you considered how the foods you’re putting into your body influences the intensity of your chronic pain?
It’s 2019. As much as we’d like to think otherwise, we all know that sugar is bad for you. But it’s especially bad for people living with chronic pain and inflammation.
Why? Sugar raises the chemicals in your immune system that causes it to attack itself, which then creates inflammation.
Note: we’re not just talking about the typical sugars found in items like candy bars. Carbohydrates, like those found in bread, break down into sugar in your digestive system too.
If you’re one of the millions of Americans already living with inflammation thanks to a chronic illness or injury, pain management is always at the top of your mind.
You Are What You Eat
Aside from attending regular physical therapy, what can you do to lower inflammation? You can incorporate an anti-inflammation diet into your life. It’s easier (and tastier) than you would think.
Whole 30. Paleo. Keto. There are many different diets to try but, save for a few differences, their methods are the same.
The first step is cutting out sugars, carbs, and forgoing processed foods in favor of natural ones that will make your immune system lower the amount of inflammation in your body over time.
Fat Isn’t Bad
Yes, some fats are bad for you but those bad fats are the artificial, man-made trans-fats and have been outlawed in most countries. Natural fats will boost your joint health by protecting and strengthening cartilage.
The best part? They’re everywhere, and they taste great.
Avocados, fish, olive oil, berries, and seeds are all high in the healthy fats that make up the main parts of a balanced anti-inflammation diet.
One new diet trend you’ve probably heard of is bone broth. Bone broth is rich in collagen, which gives your immune system a kick into overdrive. Many advocate drinking bone broth straight from a cup, but it also serves as a great stock for some homemade vegetable soup.
Avoiding Meat and Animal Products?
If medical, personal, or religious constraints prevent you from eating meat or animal products, you can still easily follow an anti-inflammatory diet for natural pain management. After all, a large part of these diets is focusing on eating dark leafy greens and fruits.
Alternatives are easy to find. For example, you can:
Simply whip up a flaxseed egg to use in lieu of a real egg for a baking recipe.
Want the benefits of bone broth? Pectin is derived from plants and still provides a big boost for joint health.
Understanding the Inflammation/Diet Connection
As with any dietary strategy, the key to understanding how food influences your body is through understanding how each component works. Unhealthy thickening agents or food dyes lie hidden in nearly all processed food.
Most anti-inflammation diets advocate cooking at home so you know what is going into your food. This helps you avoid any additives that can trigger your immune system’s attack response. Many diets also emphasize choosing organic produce whenever possible to avoid any pesticides or chemicals that were used during production.
Diets alone aren’t enough to help you stay on top of your health when you’re dealing with chronic pain and inflammation. Request an appointment with one of our physical therapists. Our staff will work with you to create a pain management plan to live your best life.