Chronic Pain And Nutrition

There is a strong relationship between pain and nutrition. Nutrition is defined as the processes by which an animal or plant takes in and utilizes food substances. Essential nutrients include protein, carbohydrates, and fat in varying amounts, as well as electrolytes. Normally, 85% of daily energy utilization is from fat and carbohydrates, while 15% is from protein.

Ongoing pain is associated with major stress on both, the mind and the body. Recent studies have shown that pain is related to a disturbance of functions within our cells. Inflammation is part of our body’s natural defense mechanism against infection or tissue damage. It is also a major factor affecting our pain symptoms. Over time, it can also trigger chronic disease, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and even depression. There are many ways to treat and manage chronic pain. One of the most exciting approaches, because it is all natural, is adopting an anti-inflammatory diet. Areas of importance include omega-3 essential fatty acids and antioxidants. Glucosamine and/or chondroitin, in the management of osteoarthritis. is another area of interest. Excessive body weight can also worsen some types of persistent pain. A good amount of research also shows that an anti-inflammatory diet can ease fibromyalgia and chronic pain symptoms.

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An anti-inflammatory diet, often eliminates the unpleasant side-effects of some medication that cause fogginess, memory loss and sleepiness. The anti-inflammatory diet is considered an integrative approach to pain management, along with exercise, stress management, and manual therapy.

Good nutrition is important to help us feel our best and maintain our health. However, our lifestyles may be quite hectic and fast paced, leaving us little time to concentrate on eating well. By spending a bit of time to prepare proper food and eat healthily, we can help minimize any pain directly, or indirectly through methods, such as weight loss.

How Is Pain Related To Nutrition?

Medical Conditions

Pain is associated with some medical conditions and diseases, which can interfere with nutrition by:

  • Physical changes.
  • Changes in mood.
  • Decrease in appetite.
  • Metabolic changes in the other processes.

This can result in an inadequate intake of healthy foods and produce malnutrition. In these circumstances, it is very important to provide good pain relief and deal with the changes produced by feeling unwell and being in pain.

Obesity

This occurs when there is an imbalance in nutrition and the total amount of calories that are consumed exceed the total that we use up through metabolic processes (such as exercising, sweating and breathing). Excess weight puts increased strain on our joints and spine. This can aggravate many painful conditions, such as arthritis and lower back pain. Loss of excessive weight has been proven to reduce pain and improve joint function in knee osteoarthritis .

Effect Of Diet On Chronic Pain

Getting The Right Omega Fatty Oils

In the past, people with chronic pain were often told that changing their diet was pointless. But recent studies show that switching to a healthy, low-fat, vegan diet(anti-inflammtory) can offer significant benefits to chronic pain patients. Changing your diet can lead to a dramatic shift in the type of bacteria that inhabit your gut. Bacteria that thrive on a typical Western meaty/milky diet are thought to cause inflammation in the gut wall, which can make it ‘leaky’ and allow proteins from food to enter the bloodstream and trigger an immune response that leads to chronic pain or worsens its symptoms. On the other hand, bacteria that thrive on plant foods can significantly reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms. Studies have consistently shown an improvement in patients who follow a vegan diet – and how resuming meat and dairy can aggravate symptoms. Those who carry on with a low-fat, vegan diet continue to benefit from a reduction in joint pain, stiffness and swelling. There are, of course, other benefits to a vegan diet – less saturated fat, more healthier fats, plus anti-inflammatory phytochemicals, and disease-fighting antioxidants that are found in fruit and vegetables.

OMEGA-3 OILS

A fat called omega-3 may help stop cartilage loss and prevent osteoarthritis or combat symptoms in people who have chronic pain. There are toxin-free omega-3 sources that include flaxseed (linseed), hempseed and rapeseed oils, and walnuts. For an extra boost, take omega-3 algal supplements, which are suitable for vegans.

OMEGA-6 FATS

Omega-6 fats don’t appear to help chronic pain and may increase inflammation by competing with and blocking omega-3 effects. Most people’s diets contain more omega-6 than needed, largely due to using common oils such as sunflower and corn for frying and baking and in spreads. Replace them with flaxseed, hempseed and rapeseed oils, and walnuts, which are rich in omega-3s, to redress the balance. Use them cold, in dressings and dips, and use olive oil for cooking.

How FMT TM Helps

FMT TM is a comprehensive approach for restoring function, thereby, decreasing pain. It is a combination of comprehensive evaluation techniques that look at every individual as completely unique. It is a treatment system that couples mechanical treatment of the joints, soft tissues, visceral, and neurovascular systems with manual neuromuscular facilitation to enhance optimum motor control and human function.

The Functional Manual Therapist is trained to identify specific mobility limitations within the joints, soft tissues, viscera and neurovascular tissues. Limited mobility in these structures can impair a patient's function and ability to automatically and efficiently control their daily activities. The movement patterns are assessed to discover the source of pain. FMT TM restores accessory play of the joints to make return of full physiological range of motion as painless as possible. Patient education and awareness is also a vital part of the therapy, which helps to correct bad postural and dietary habits.