Chronic pain is a condition that is defined as nerve or muscle pain that lasts for more than six months. Chronic pain can affect the back, shoulders, pelvis, knees, head and other parts of the body. Chronic pain usually begins with a primary injury that causes trauma to the affected area. Patients may still feel the pain even after the area has healed. This is because the affected area still becomes inflamed from time to time.
Inflammation is basically the condition that underlies chronic pain. Chronic pain sufferers usually manage their chronic pain by seeing a medical specialist, performing exercises and taking medication. According to Jack D’Angelo, MD from NYC-based Calmare Pain Relief Solutions, a physician group which specializes in offering a non-narcotic and non-invasive solution for chronic pain, many patients, especially those suffering from a chronic diffuse pain such as Fibromyalgia, would be surprised to know that they can also lessen chronic pain through the foods they eat. “The body is a fine-tuned machine, it’s like a car, and it needs good fuel in order to operate. One of the things that has changed a lot in the last 30 to 40 years is the inherent quality of the food we are putting into our bodies. Consumers have been barraged with quick food fixes and that may eventually play a detrimental role in pain healing.”
When Dr. D’Angelo advises patients in his practice affected by soft tissue pain such as Fibromyalgia, to steer clear of dairy products to reduce the incidence of inflammation, it is usually met with resistance. “Dietary change is a commitment, but I advise doing it in small steps.” When you think of joint inflammation and pain, dairy products are not the first cause that comes to mind. “Consuming dairy products can cause inflammation and pain to develop in your joints because of increased histamine and other chemicals in the body. Consuming any product that contains dairy can cause inflammation in your joints if you are allergic to milk because it can cause an immune response especially for those with an overactive immune system.”
Aside from eliminating dairy (eggs, milk, cheese), Dr. D’Angelo advises the following:
· Eliminate processed foods – Steer clear of foods with ingredients you can’t pronounce or are not familiar with. Look for foods or dishes prepared with simple ingredients.
· “Low Fat” means more chemicals – The reason why these foods are “low fat” is because they are manufactured with fillers and chemicals to make up for the bulk missing from the fat that was replaced. Those ingredients are what will eventually lead to weight gain.
· Sweeteners are not so sweet after all – According to Dr. D’Angelo, new research has shown that aspartame and other sweeteners are causing dieters to over eat. “Bypassing the 35 calories in regular drinks is not the problem here, there is a deep-seated issue about food choices,” says Dr. D’Angelo.
· View food differently – “Many patients want to know immediately what are the side effects of a particular prescribed drug, yet, don’t bat an eye when it comes to the food they are consuming. It’s time many view carefully what they put in their bodies and take food choices as serious as they would medications,” suggests Dr. D’Angelo.
By incorporating nutrition into the overall pain management treatment, the takeaway, says Dr. D’Angelo is to empower the patient and allow them a bigger role in getting better and not play a passive role in their care. “Gardeners know the right combination of fertilizers that work best for their gardens. It’s the same with patients – tracking what you put in your body and whether it is helping or hurting you is key to your recovery – that’s something you can’t expect someone else to fix – only you control that,” advises Dr. D’Angelo.
This guest post was written by Calmare Pain Relief Solutions, a Physician group which specializes in offering a non-narcotic and non-invasive solution for chronic pain.
About Their Physicians – The physicians at Calmare Pain Relief Solutions, Christopher Perez, MD and Jack D’Angelo, MD, have been treating chronic pain patients suffering from neuropathies such as failed back surgery, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD/CRPS), and Chemotherapy-induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CIPN) and together have over 30 years of clinical experience treating chronic neuropathic pain.