Whether you’re a dedicated athlete or a contented couch potato, your
diet affects more than just your weight and energy level. People at both
ends of the spectrum unknowingly set themselves up for injury and pain
by not supplying their bodies with important nutrients and, as a result,
many of them end up in our clinic.
Perhaps you’re reading this a tad late and have already sustained
a serious injury. Even if you are already injured, diet is still critically
important. In fact, if you complete a physical therapy exercise regimen
but your diet remains unsatisfactory or even plainly unhealthy, you are
likely to end up back in the same spot. However, you may be able to decrease
your recovery time, maximize your time spent in physical therapy, and
preserve or improve your health thereafter by taking a few easy steps:
Keep eating regular meals. This may seem like a no-brainer, but many people become temporarily sedentary
after sustaining an injury and stop eating regular meals for fear of gaining
weight. While weight gain is a valid concern, caloric deficiency causes
your body to lose muscle (not fat) and this may prevent your injury from
healing quickly and effectively. If you have suffered a musculoskeletal
injury and don’t supply your body with necessary nutrients, you
could leave physical therapy weaker, frailer, and more injury-prone than
before. This will make you more likely to re-injure yourself and less
likely to make a full, timely recovery.
Stick with dietary fats. Don’t reach for the marshmallows right away, but don’t eliminate
fats either. Good fats, omega-3s in particular, help your body fight against
excessive inflammation, which can worsen your injury and extend your recovery
time. By sticking with good fats, such as those found in walnuts and almonds,
you provide your body with the necessary nutrients to move past the inflammatory
phase of your injury and begin repairing the damaged muscles, tissues,
Reach for the brightly colored produce. Fruits and vegetables provide your body with important antioxidants and
vitamins, which help synthesize the chemical compounds it needs to effectively
repair muscle and tissue damage.
Beef up your protein intake. Once you move past the inflammation stage of your injury, it’s time
to strengthen important muscles and re-learn how to perform important
motions. This is when protein becomes critical. In many cases, a sedentary
spell results in muscular atrophy and weakness, requiring you to rebuild
muscle in order to return to your former level of function. In cases of
musculoskeletal injuries, the body often becomes resistant to protein
and amino acids, making muscular atrophy and weakness more likely. However,
you can combat this by eating a lot of easily digestible protein, such
as whey protein and eggs.
Ask a Houston Physical Therapist about Your Nutrition Today
In addition to providing you with the physical therapy expertise and personalized
solutions you need, our team at
QualCare Rehabilitation can help you identify any lifestyle adjustments you may need to make.
We have served thousands of clients and are able to begin addressing your
specific needs and injuries right away.
Schedule your consultation at one of our many Houston locations by calling
(713) 588-0042 today.