As a physical therapist, I see a lot of people who have lingering issues of pain for session after session, and no matter if I seem to help them, the relief is only temporary. With my manual techniques and exercises, I am able to help my patients calm their nervous systems down, which leads to less feelings of pain (it’s more complicated than that, but that’s the gist of it). If overactive pain reflexes are responsible for this person’s pain, then this can help the patient without the pain coming back—yay! This is possible on up to 80% of patients, but the other 20% need more help.
This is when we look to other factors that excite the nervous system, which in turn increases pain. Inflammation occurs throughout the body— most notably the joints, but also in the digestive system, in the fascia, and the nerves. We are a “nation of inflammation”, and many of our foods are putting gasoline on the fire to this problem. Here is a short list of what many of us (yep, me too sometimes) will eat that can increase inflammation in the body:
Pie cake cookies pasta pizza bread rolls bagels candy fried foods processed foods pork high mercury fish milk high hormone chicken/turkey margarine soda energy drinks
There are also additives like MSG and artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, which have been labeled excitotoxins. They create an increased inflammatory response in the body. An interesting study on Fibromyalgia patients by Smith (Annals of Pharmacotherapy, Vol 35, June 2001) reports that the removal of JUST THESE TWO chemicals from the patients’ diets had a significant decrease in pain.
With data like that, don’t you think that avoiding some of the foods above is worth a try? YOU make the decision—especially if you’re in pain and don’t know why. You must want to be out of pain more than you want that white bread or cookie. It is a decision, which is exciting because the power is in your hands…
Understand that many of these foods are addictive because of what’s in them, so kicking the habit can be tough. Don’t be hard on yourself if you give in every once in a while. Cold Turkey quitting will be a shock to your system, but if you have a big enough WHY, you will figure out the HOW.
Here are some resources you can look at regarding health and diet. Many of them are on Netflix if you get that, otherwise you can look it up.
-DISCLAIMER-Now, I’m a physical therapist and work to restore normal motion and strength in the body, with better function and less pain. I’m not a nutritionist, and I can’t recommend anybody to take or not take anything. We are all grown ups here with access to all the information in the world, and you are free to do with it as you please. However, I’m here to give you the best of what I know, and if it helps just one of you, then this blog has done its work.
Make a change TODAY and then try it out for the next couple weeks—I dare you! You have nothing to lose except for a lot of pain!