The Importance of Nutrition in Pain Management

March is National Nutrition Month®, and one of the most important ways to help with pain management is to focus on nutrition. There are multiple ways in which a healthy diet suited to each person can benefit our health. This article is focused on how what we eat can affect our bodies and even give us indications of other underlying health conditions.

Chronic pain is a condition affecting every aspect of life for those who suffer from it. There is a complex relationship between chronic pain and nutrition, and a recent study published in the NIH National Library of Medicine shows newly discovered links between chronic pain with oxidative stress, inflammation, and glucose metabolism. The future of pain management may be an integrative approach between an interventional pain management specialist and a nutritionist.

Eating the right foods can help reduce inflammation, which may be the cause of chronic pain. Eating a healthy diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help improve pain symptoms for those who suffer from inflammation.

There are also conditions where acute pain may be the direct result of certain foods, and it is important to keep a food diary to figure out the cause. One example is Gallbladder Disease. This disease has doubled in the United States over the last 3 decades and doesn’t seem to be slowing down. One of the main symptoms is biliary colic, which is intermittent pain in the upper right abdomen, usually under the rib cage. The bile in your small intestine is important for breaking down fats, so if you find that you have pain in this area, especially after digesting fatty foods, then you should talk to your physician about your symptoms and find out what foods are safe. This is just one example of many underlying issues that can cause painful food reactions.

It is always important to talk to a Pain Specialist about any pain symptoms as well as a registered dietitian once diagnosed before making any diet changes. Both can create a personalized plan that meets the needs and preferences of their patients.

Once you talk to a professional, you may find that making some simple changes to your diet can help to improve your pain symptoms and overall health.

Newbridge Spine & Pain Center ensures patients receive safe, effective, and reliable care by collaborating with the patient and their other physicians to create the best possible treatment plan. Request an appointment at www.newbridgespine.com.