Archive for February 2012

Can We Control Inflammation?

When we experience muscle and joint pain it usually means that damage has occurred in the tissue to some degree. The body now needs to repair this damaged tissue, and that is the job of inflammation. Inflammation is an essential process that includes cleaning up the damaged tissue, then making repairs so the tissue can be used again. Inflammation can add to the pain that we experience from an injury. It is for this reason, that we do not want inflammation to carry on too long, or over react to the situation it is involved in fixing.

Many of us hear, continually, about how bad the American diet is. How it leads to increased heart disease and diabetes. Well, the one that hits close to home in any Chiropractic office is the effect that our diet has on the inflammatory process within our bodies. It has been shown that the average American diet is “pro-inflammatory”. What this means is that the foods an average American eats cause the inflammatory process to over react, therefore adding to the amount of pain we may experience from lower back pain, tendonitis, muscles in spasm, etc.

A while back I had a patient come into the office after not having seen her for some time. One of the first things she shared with me was a conversation we had had the last time she was in about the effects of sugary foods on joint achiness. I had shared with her that I noticed an increase in the general achiness of my joints when I ate a lot of sugary food. When I had significantly reduced the sugary foods I ate, the joint achiness reduced. Well, she had given the idea a try. She took a long 3-day weekend and eliminated all sugary foods from her diet, and she couldn’t believe the effect. Within a day or so she began to notice a reduction in the overall achiness of her joints just like I had.

That may be anecdotal evidence, but it is a fact that if you want to reduce the pain from inflammation we need to reduce the sugary foods from our diet. Not only the sugary drinks, cakes, cookies, and candies, but the breads and pastas as well. Without too much thought, if we just reduced the amount of food we ate it would help. It may take a shift in the menu, but it will be more than worth the hassle. Without the overreaction of your inflammatory process, tissues will heal better and be less painful. Your injured tissues will thank you for it.