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Functional Medicine and Physical Therapy

Often patients come in the clinic with a musculoskeletal condition, but sometimes working on the mechanics of mobility, control and strength aren’t enough to relieve their pain. These patients will truly benefit from lifestyle changes in addition to physical therapy treatment.


Nutrition is often the missing link to comprehensive care in managing and relieving musculoskeletal pain. Nutritional education is an effective and useful tool to improve overall health outcomes, optimize performance and help our patients feel better. Diet and nutrition are key components of primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention of many conditions managed by Physical Therapists. 

It is well known in the literature that nutrition plays a key role in both prevention and treatment of injuries. 


When muscles are exercised, they have tears at the microfiber level. This is normal, and results in local inflammation in the specific muscle to repair the fibers and increase resilience against future damage. This is the process by which muscles grow, or hypertrophy. In a similar manner, when a person is injured, an inflammatory response is initiated. 


The success of this repair and build process depend on the person’s body composition and is influenced by nutrition.


If a person does not meet adequate dietary intakes when the body requires extra energy for recovery with an exercise program, the result may be repetitive stress injuries, such as stress fractures or ligamentous tears. Furthermore, nutrient deficiencies during recovery will delay the repair process and prolong healing. 


Therefore, nutritional status and energy requirements should be assessed throughout recovery and nutrient intake adjusted accordingly for optimal prevention and recovery from injury. 


Contact us for a consultation to determine individualized wellness strategies to optimize your results with physical therapy. 

References:

Tipton, Kevin. "Nutritional Support for Exercise-Induced Injuries." Sports Medicine. 2015. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4672013/.

Demling, Robert. "Nutrition, Anabolism, and the Wound Healing Process: an Overview." Eplasty. 2009. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2642618/.