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The Link Between Diet-Induced Inflammation and Your Physical Health: Insights for Physical Therapy

Updated: Dec 2, 2023

Our diets have profound impacts on many aspects of our health, including our physical health. But have you ever considered how your diet might influence your body's ability to heal and recover through physical therapy? This blog post will delve into the fascinating world of diet-induced inflammation and its crucial connection to your physical health, especially when undergoing physical therapy.

Inflammation is your body's way of defending itself against injury and infection. When you twist an ankle or catch a cold, your immune system kicks into gear releasing inflammatory mediators that help repair damaged tissues. Acute inflammation is a natural, short-term response. However, chronic inflammation, a prolonged and low-grade form, can cause some complications. There are different ways to manage inflammation from your diet, regular exercise, stress management, adequate sleep, Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and physical therapy.

Six ways to reduce inflammation, hydration, exercise, Ashleigh Angle

How can your diet impact inflammation?

Certain foods can cause an increase in inflammatory response such as highly sugary foods, processed foods with trans fats and other processed foods like processed meats, and foods with high amounts of sodium, just to name a few. I am not saying that some of these foods aren't tasty, because some of them are, I am rather saying a diet composed of primarily these foods, can cause some inflammation in the body.

How does inflammation affect your physical health?

Chronic inflammation can slow down the body's natural healing processes. If you're battling joint pain, muscle stiffness, or recovering from surgery, the presence of chronic inflammation can make your journey to recovery longer and more challenging.

How inflammation affects the body, brain, cardiovascular, muscle, bones, skin, heart, thyroid, lungs, GI tract, kidneys, liver

Dietary Strategies for Inflammation Management

Incorporate more simple and whole foods (like colorful fruits and vegetables), fatty fish high in omega-3s like salmon, and inflammation-fighting spices like turmeric. Other foods that can aid in healing properties include whole grains, fiber, high-quality protein, tart cherry juice/tart cherries, nuts and seeds, beetroot, olive oil, and dar leafy greens. So you might not enjoy a lot of these foods, but there are definitely ways to incorporate at least one in your diet. As we head into fall and cooler weather, enter soup season. Here is a great recipe for a nutritious and tasty soup.

Collaboration between dietitians and physical therapists:

Achieving a holistic approach to managing inflammation often requires collaboration between healthcare professionals. Dietitians and physical therapists can work together to create personalized treatment plans.

A dietitian can assess your dietary habits and offer guidance on making dietary changes that complement your physical therapy sessions. At Snowbeast Performance, we have a variety of Vermont-based dietitians that we refer to, to help our clients receive the best care they can and reach optimal health. By incorporating the discussion of nutrition into your physical therapy plan can enhance your recovery journey, can help manage pain more effectively, and improve your overall physical well-being.

It's essential to recognize that what you eat has a profound impact on your body's ability to heal and recover. By addressing diet-induced inflammation alongside physical therapy, you can potentially expedite your recovery, manage pain more effectively, and improve your overall physical well-being. We encourage you to take proactive steps toward a healthier diet, and don't hesitate to seek guidance from both a physical therapist and a registered dietitian for a personalized plan tailored to your unique needs.

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