In the modern day, we often look at pain as something that can only be modulated through the use of medication. Western society is grown accustomed to instant gratification in all areas of our lives that the majority have drifted away from natural remedies in exchange for a magic bullet approach through traditional medicine.
One treatment method that is often overlooked for the treatment of chronic pain is nutrition. Poor nutrition and nutritional deficiencies are common and can have a significant impact on both your physical and mental health. In some cases, certain conditions may be fully resolved through nutritional interventions.
Diet is closely related to the levels of inflammation in our bodies, and as you may already be aware, inflammation is often a leading contributor to chronic pain. By reducing inflammation, you can take the pressure off different receptors, alleviating pain throughout the body.
Whether your goal is to avoid or supplement other treatment methods, here are 10 foods that can help relieve your chronic pain:
- Olive oil contains a chemical known as oleocanthal. This chemical ingredient blocks prostaglandins from reaching their target pathways in a similar fashion to common over the counter anti-inflammatory medications.
- Kale, along with other green and leafy vegetables, is rich in an ingredient called carotenoids. Carotenoids have a number of anti-inflammatory qualities, making it beneficial to eat greens for more reasons than we may have thought as kids.3
- Cherries contain a chemical ingredient called anthocyanins which assists with blockage similar to olive oil and may serve to reduce inflammation in the body in a similar fashion to certain anti-inflammatory medications.
- Broccoli contains a chemical known as sulforaphane. This chemical is able to directly attack chemical mediators that cause inflammation in response to micro-trauma or stresses in the body. This works at the cellular level and greatly enhances health throughout the body as a whole.
- Ginger works in a similar fashion to aspirin. It can reduce inflammation while also helping to relieve muscle pain. Regularly consuming this root may be advised for athletes who are constantly putting their body through the wringer and pushing their muscles to the limits.
- Tumeric has great anti-inflammatory properties but is also believed to help with nerve pain by preventing the breakdown of nerve cells. Through this preservation, neural pathways are able to avoid “false” pain signaling through the afferent nervous system.
- Yogurt is a great probiotic and supports healthy bacteria within the gastrointestinal (GI) system. For those with stomach pain such as or mimicking heartburn, yogurt is a great option. Healthy probiotics can eliminate the pain in many cases while promoting a healthy environment in the stomach.
- Fish, particularly haddock and salmon are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. This compound is a great anti-inflammatory agent and has profound effects on general inflammation. It has even been shown to reduce overall muscle soreness in addition to chronic migraine severity and pain.
- Avocados are one of the most nutrient dense foods available and are no different when it comes to reducing pain and inflammation. They contain a wide array of chemical ingredients including carotenoids that help reduce systemic inflammation, providing the body with profound benefits.
- Mint contains a menthol component that has an extremely soothing capacity when considering gastrointestinal distress. There are a number of conditions that can cause intense stomach pain and spasm, all relieved to varying degrees by incorporating mint into the diet whether through food or drink.
About Regional Neurological Associates
Founded in 1997, Regional Neurological Associates is one of the oldest neurology and psychiatry practices in the Bronx and Westchester. Our team of dedicated professionals is committed to providing expert medical care using the latest technology and advanced training, but we also believe in the mind-body connection. We specialize in diagnosing and treating all neurological conditions, including chronic neck and back pain, by identifying the cause of your condition rather than only treating the symptoms.
To schedule an appointment at one of our five New York locations, call (718) 515-4347.