In Pain? Try These Tips.

DermatomsOn a beautiful spring day over Memorial Day weekend in 2010, I was getting ready to garden when I fell backwards onto a cement floor and broke my lower back.

To heal the fracture, I spent 10 weeks in a back brace. To deal with limited mobility, stiffness and tightness that ensued, I turned to a practice called Feldenkrais as well as yoga.

While I have essentially healed from this substantial injury without any disabilities, I have been repeatedly challenged with inflammation and pain. I can usually pinpoint these issues to starting new exercises, repetitive motion, and not paying attention to my food plan. And, of course, stress.

Even if you haven’t suffered a severe injury like mine, perhaps you’re dealing with sore joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Inflammation is inevitably at the heart of that discomfort and/or pain. You see, in our bodies, pain and inflammation “talk” to one another. If there is inflammation, sooner or later you will experience pain. Sometimes you’ll notice the pain immediately—especially if you’ve had an impact injury, such as a fall—but sometimes it takes time for that pain to surface.

Inflammatory Foods

Inflammation, brought on by regularly eating foods that irritate your body, is likely behind your pain. Here are some of the top culprits:

  • Coffee and alcohol
  • Sugar and high fructose corn syrup
  • Chocolate
  • Dairy, including cheese
  • Nightshade vegetables, such as tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and peppers
  • Fatty red meats and processed meats, such as hot dogs

The best way to see if you have an issue with any of the above foods (or so many other offenders) is to cut them out of your diet for 30 days and see if you get relief from your symptoms. Keep a food diary and note any changes in how you feel. Slowly add back in foods and, if the symptoms come back, this is a food to avoid. It takes time but it’s so worth it!

The Role of Supplements

Making changes in the way you eat is just one approach to reducing inflammation in your body. But if your inflammation is out of control, you may need to add supplements to your diet.

All of us, for example, can benefit from Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids. But did you know if you eat a high-carbohydrate diet, these insulin-triggering foods can turn your Omega-6 into inflammatory chemistry that can create pain? Also, while there are many health benefits to these dietary fats, it’s important to get the balance right as an imbalance can lead to chronic diseases. There are many excellent therapeutic supplements that can help reduce or eliminate inflammation and pain. But when it comes to supplements, one size doesn’t fit all. What supplements to choose and how many to take depends on your diet, how long you’ve been experiencing pain, your stress levels, and other factors.

I Can Help

If you are rebounding from physical therapy, can’t hold your chiropractic adjustments, reinjure yourself easily, or find massage to be painful, you would benefit reducing inflammation. I’m here to help you identify the best course of action to take and the supplements that can help you on your journey to wellness. Email me at or 319-631-0824.

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