Knee Pain? Eat yourself well with our chiropractic guide to nutrition.
In the UK, 64% of adults are classed as being overweight or obese. Trouble is, with those extra pounds comes huge stress on your knees, hips, ankles, feet and spine. Often causing chronic pain and leading to other complications such as Osteoarthritis. That’s why we agree with almost 70% of fellow chiropractors, and advocate healthy nutrition as the perfect partner to our hands on treatment.
Why nutrition? Because heathy eating, not fad dieting, will deliver weight loss. And for those suffering from chronic joint pain, even a small drop on the scales can help. Here’s how…
Decrease weight-bearing pressure on the knees. Each pound of weight loss can reduce the knee-joint load by four pounds. Lose just 10 pounds, and that’s 40 fewer pounds per step your knees have to support. That might not sound like much, but the results add up quickly. Less pressure means less wear and tear on the knees.
Reduce inflammation in the body. Being overweight may increase inflammation in the body that can lead to joint pain. One study found that overeating triggers the body’s immune response, which increases inflammation, and that losing weight can reduce this inflammatory response. Another study suggests that just a 10% reduction in weight can significantly lower inflammation in the body.
Stefan Gospodinov, chiropractor and advocate of nutrition at Life Chiropractic’s Rayleigh clinic explains more: “Extra weight places an unusual amount of strain on the back and structural system; but as statistics show, almost two thirds of UK adults’ now weigh more than is healthy. This means I am seeing more and more patients in practice who require regular treatment to help manage ongoing knee, hip, ankle, foot and spine pain”.
“The good news is that by swapping bad eating habits for good habits, you can enjoy a dramatic improvement in your health. By working to educate our patients how to choose a healthy diet of organic fruits, vegetables, and lean protein sources, we can help them overcome many health problems and prevent new ones from occurring”.
Our 6 diet saviours to support chiropractic treatment
Eat more oily fish
Ideally two portions a week of fish such as sardines, mackerel, herring, fresh tuna, salmon, and snapper. Rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fats, these fish have been shown to help dampen general inflammation and may help to reduce joint pain and stiffness.
Follow a ‘Mediterranean diet’
Eating an assortment of colourful fruits and vegetables (5-a-day) will increase your intake of compounds called ‘antioxidants’ which may help to reduce inflammation and improve symptoms of joint stiffness and swelling.
Change the type of fat in your diet
Fat is no longer the dietary bad guy. In fact, certain fats are essential to a healthy eating plan. But there are some to avoid if you want to limit joint inflammation. So it’s time to ditch saturated fats, omega 6 fats and trans fats and start using olive oil, walnut oil and avocado oil instead.
Eat iron rich foods
Include lean red meat, eggs, green leafy vegetables, peas, beans and lentils, and fortified breakfast cereals.
Eat calcium rich foods
Good sources of calcium include low fat milk, yoghurt and cheese, green leafy vegetables, soya drinks with added calcium, almonds and fish where you eat the bones, such as sardines and pilchards.
Consider a fish oil or vitamin D supplement
There’s lots of evidence showing that arthritis progresses more quickly in people who don’t have enough vitamin D, so a vitamin D supplement may be useful during winter months. High-dose fish oil supplements have also been shown to reduce symptoms of joint stiffness, swollen and tender joints and joint pain.*Always speak to your doctor before taking any new supplements.
“Nutrition and chiropractic have gone hand in hand for hundreds of years”, says Stefan. “As a trusted family chiropractor I help patients understand the proactive role healthy nutrition can take in the management and prevention of joint paint and dysfunction. Providing nutritional advice, and educating on the links between diet and the body’s ability to function. As always, the main aim is to stop niggling pain and discomfort, feel fit, happy and able to live life to the full”.
Talk to us about the nutritional changes you can make in your diet to compliment your chiropractic treatment programme.
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Read more on nutrition and its help reducing the symptoms of Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis The Association of UK Dieticians website
Discover more Eating Well, Living Well magazine, by The Association of UK Dieticians, is clear in its advice. The key, it says, is to balance your lifestyle and diet to ensure you can achieve and sustain your health goals.