Wellness – Diet
Dealing with chronic pain can be extremely challenging and difficult. As Pain Physicians, we turn to many options for treatment of chronic painful conditions including: lifestyle modification (diet and exercise), formal physical therapy, chiropractic therapy, medications (ie. muscle relaxers, anti-inflammatories, medications for nerve pain, pain medications), interventional injections, regenerative medications, minor surgical procedures and others.
We would like to take a moment to explore the importance of choosing a healthy diet to manage pain. There has been a well-established relationship between diet and chronic pain. Pain relief and decreased overall inflammatory states can be reduced by eating the correct foods and avoiding others. Inflammation is a key component to multiple pain conditions. Inflammation can cause damage to organs, joints, muscle and other body tissues if consistently elevated. If we are able to decrease overall inflammation in our bodies, this can result in an overall reduction in overall pain.
What foods can reduce inflammation and pain?
• Fresh Fruit
• Whole Grains
• Chicken, Turkey and other fowl
• Olive oil
• Herbs and Spices (turmeric, garlic, cinnamon, pepper, ginger, rosemary)
• Tea (herbal, green, black)
Eating these foods can also be supplemented with:
– Drinking plenty of water (Men: Women: )
– Eat foods high in antioxidants, Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin C
– Maintain a health body weight
What foods to avoid as they increase inflammation?
• Processed meat (Bacon, Sausuage, Ham)
• Red meat (Hamburger, steak)
• White bread
• Rice and corn based cereals
• Sugary desserts (cookies, brownies, etc)
• Coffee creamer
• High fructose Corn Syrup (Soda, canned fruit, candy)
• Unhealthy Oils (Sunflower, corn oil, lard, margarine, shortening)
• Nightshade vegetables (Potatoes, tomatoes)
Along with avoiding the above foods, attempt to limit:
– Fried, grilled, broiled, seared foods
– Avoid high saturated fats
– Avoid excess body weight