Pain— particularly chronic pain— is thought to be the “scourge of mankind.” It has the power to bring down even the toughest people.
Nonetheless, it doesn’t have to be a fact of life. If you’re suffering from chronic pain, did you know that an anti-inflammatory diet could be one of your keys to living well with it?
Let’s discuss the correlation between pain management and anti-inflammatory diets as well as the foods and nutrients that can help you fight inflammation and pain.
How Inflammation Can Lead to Chronic Pain
Inflammation is essentially a double-edged sword. On one hand, it is part of your body’s defense mechanisms: it is what your body elicits when it encounters a pathogen, toxin, or any substance that it perceives as a potential threat to your health.
On the other hand, when inflammation lingers (i.e., chronic inflammation), it can put your body in a constant state of alert despite the absence of an injury or infection, setting off a cascade of health problems. Chronic inflammation has been shown to cause inflammatory disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, as well as various potentially life-threatening conditions, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
Common symptoms of chronic systemic inflammation include fatigue/low energy, chest pain, joint pain and stiffness, muscle weakness, and poor digestion.
Foods that Combat Inflammation and Help Alleviate Pain
If your doctor determines that the cause of your chronic pain is inflammation, such as in the case of arthritis, they may give you dietary recommendations, which could consist of the following:
- The Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet is the basis for most anti-inflammatory diets. Researchers have found that people in countries along the Mediterranean Sea have better health outcomes in relation to chronic pain, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes, and determined that their diet is the reason why.
The Mediterranean diet is primarily plant-based, consisting of the following foods:
- Whole grains
- Extra-virgin olive oil
Plants are the main focus because they contain phytochemicals, which are naturally anti-inflammatory.
The Mediterranean diet can also incorporate animal products, but only specific ones and in moderation. These include:
These foods should be avoided:
- Red meat
- White flour
- Fried foods
Whole, unprocessed meals, in essence, are associated with significantly lower risk of chronic inflammation and are the crux of the Mediterranean diet.
- IV Vitamin Therapy
Vitamins A, C, and D and zinc have been shown to reduce inflammation and help the body repair itself. However, if you’re not getting enough of these important nutrients from your diet, talk to your doctor about getting IV vitamin infusions. With its anti-inflammatory effects, IV vitamin therapy can help optimize your overall pain management strategy.
Pain Management in Melbourne, FL
While diet is the first step to naturally managing pain, the ultimate secret to living well with or even conquering it is to see one of our highly qualified pain management specialists here at NIVA Health.
Arrange an appointment with one of our providers today! Call us at (321) 323-3618, or request an appointment here. We are eager to serve you at one of our convenient locations: in Woodstock, GA; St. Augustine, FL; Jacksonville, FL; Manalapan, FL; Melbourne, FL; Naperville, IL; Wixom, MI; or Wauwatosa, MI!