Many people have read how the same pain killing drugs a doctor or dentist gives you may lead to an opioid drug addiction and death. Our patients seek out our wholistic chiropractic care because they want drug-free pain management and improved health and well being. We regularly get asked for advice on nutrition, supplements and herbal remedies. These are all part of good natural health care that we also regularly use ourselves to stay healthy, decrease pain and promote healing. Below you will find several ways to help yourself through diet, supplements and herbs so that you will suffer less pain and improve your health.
As chiropractors, we treat patients daily who are in a lot of pain and we see patients getting better quickly when they follow our treatment program and learn our stabilization exercises. Although many patients experience incredible results from their adjustment, muscle therapy and exercises we can’t overlook the importance of a healthy and natural diet.
Nutritional effects on pain
Diet is very important when people are in pain. People who have not been eating properly, people who are overweight and people who have long term problems like diabetes, heart disease and arthritis do not get better quickly and they feel more pain. These people tend to eat foods that promote inflammation, and hinder the body’s natural healing processes, making it much more difficult to get better from all their aches and pains.
When a person makes poor nutritional choices, toxins in the body can cause many problems that contribute to pain—inflammation, swelling, diabetes, arthritis, obesity, depression, heart disease and even cancer. Most foods you see advertised on TV are poor choices and they do not give your body what it needs to naturally help you heal, repair your tissues and feel less pain.
With a little help and knowledge, you can make better nutritional choices. By following simple dietary guidelines and taking high quality nutritional supplements and herbs, you can get the nutrients you need to support your optimal health and feel less pain. Many of the nutrients found in whole foods can help reduce inflammation and support the body’s natural healing processes. You may also need a detoxifying cleanse that helps maximize the benefits of your new healthy eating habits.
Though many people may think that taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (like ibuprofen and Aleve) will “fix” their problem, they don’t realize that these drugs do not make any difference to the underlying cause of the pain because these drugs do not promote healing at all. Even if the pain seems to go away for a short time, the problems that caused the pain are not changed and you may pay the price with bleeding in your stomach. However, by cleansing the body and eating a healthy, natural diet, you can solve the problems that caused so much pain and inflammation in the first place.
What Should or Shouldn’t I Eat?
The bulk of your diet should come from dark leafy greens and brightly colored vegetables.
Organic fruit is OK but only in limited quantities because fruits are high in sugar and sugar increases your inflammation.
Organic poultry and eggs are a good source of protein. Wild caught fish help provide omega-3-fatty acids.
For cooking, unrefined cold-pressed olive oil or coconut oil are a healthy choice. Never use safflower oil, canola oil or other unsaturated fats for cooking. They easily oxidize when heated and oxidized oils can cause cancer.
Eat limited quantities of:
- organic grass fed red meat
- whole grain products
- conventional non-organic fruits and vegetables
- non-organic poultry and eggs,
- tiny amounts of unrefined cane sugar, and tiny amounts of natural sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup and agave.
Avoid all together:
- refined grains (white bread, pastries, cookies, crackers, etc),
- refined vegetable oils )soybean, canola, sunflower, etc),
- sugars found in soda, candy, ice cream, etc
- all fast food and junk food,
- anything processed and refined,
- large amounts of red meat (beef or pork).
Consume very little alcoholic or caffeinated beverages.
Pain relieving supplements
Boswellia complex and Curcumin Forte herbs from MediHerb and Standard Process for relieving pain from inflammation.
For long term support: protein shakes are good for repairing nerve damage and for maintaining a healthy weight.
Omega-3 fatty acids: your body uses these to make its own anti-inflammation substances
Vitamin A: counters inflammation besides being good for vision, immune system, nerves and skin.
B6 helps hurt nerves like carpal tunnel, acts as a mild diuretic and helps with arthritis pains and helps your body use proteins,
Vitamin D: reduces age related inflammation. It also helps put calcium into bones, and supports your immune system and nerves
Vitamin E: slows your body’s release of inflammatory substances.
Reduce inflammation with Vitamin K.
MSM: Methylsulfonylmethane breaks up pain inducing calcium deposits and helps cells absorb nutrients, especially helpful for arthritic joints.
Glucosamine and chrondroitin: stimulates cartilage repair and slows joint degeneration
Flaxseed oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Vitamin B12 is essential for brain and nerve function.
Topical Pain Relievers
Topical pain relievers: the most common ones are Menthol, camphor and capsacin containing creams, gels and sprays. These are anti-inflammatory ingredients that soak through the skin and into the blood stream to reduce swelling and inflammation.
At the office we carry BioFreeze, Tropricin and Arthrosoothe and Relevamine creams. They contain homeopathic and herbal remedies to further help with muscle, nerve and joint aches and pains.
Excerpted from article by Todd Singleton, DC in The American Chiropractor, Sept 2017