As the famous ancient Greek physician Hippocrates once said, “Let food be thy medicine.” In an age where most Americans’ diets are made of fast food, genetically modified produce and sugary soft drinks, this phrase has never been more relevant. While proper nutrition is key to ensuring overall wellness in our everyday lives, research has shown that making smarter dietary choices can be particularly important for patients who are participating in physical therapy exercises. According to a study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), appropriate nutritional counseling may be one of the most important tools physical therapists have to improve their patients’ overall health and improve their results.
Proper nutrition during physical therapy can help against the following conditions:
- Inflammation: Avoiding inflammation-causing foods such as vegetable oils, sugars, fried foods, and refined flours can help physical therapy patients minimize pain and promote faster healing. Studies have shown that sticking to a traditional Mediterranean diet full of healthy fatty acids, fruits, vegetables, and fiber can help to fight inflammation associated with metabolic syndrome and conditions like arthritis.
- Obesity: Obesity can be a contributing factor to a myriad of chronic-pain conditions, which can, in turn, promote a sedentary lifestyle that worsens obesity. Weight-loss from making smart dietary choices is often a crucial part of any pain rehabilitation strategy.
- Autoimmune diseases: According to NIH, more than 23 million Americans have an autoimmune disease of some kind, such as Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and type 1 diabetes. While genetics play a major role in the development of these diseases, poor nutrition can only exacerbate these conditions.
- Osteoarthritis: One particular NIH study revealed scientific evidence that certain nutritional interventions such as those promoting Omega 3 fatty acids have been known to relieve symptoms in osteoarthritis patients. Likewise, studies have also shown that Vitamin C, D, and selenium deficiencies caused by poor diet can contribute to osteoarthritis.
- Diabetes: The link between nutrition and type 2 diabetes has been well documented throughout the years and is one of the greatest contributing factors to its development. Research has shown that increased musculoskeletal pain in patients with type 2 diabetes can negatively impact body mass index, physical ability, and overall quality of life.
To learn more about the links between proper nutrition and physical therapy results, contact ProFysio Physical Therapy today. Our Monmouth County physical therapists can provide the nutritional counseling you need to improve your wellness and help you get the most out of your physical therapy regimen.Dial (732) 333-6360 or complete an online form today to get started.