I hear this every day. Most people have a self-care routine for their back and muscles that has worked most of their life. The problem arises when things stop working. That’s when it’s time to change the routine and investigate what could be possibly going wrong. Doing the same routine you did 10 or more years ago needs to be revised. Also, research shows that different things work more effectively today than they did many years ago. There is more to maintaining your musculoskeletal system than just stretches and exercise. Diet, supplementation, rest and more must be factored in.
Over the past 27 years, I’ve helped patients feel better by helping them revise their daily routine. What I find, is that most of their routines do not involve specific dietary changes as time goes on. For those of you who read my column regularly, you know I share that so many people think they are eating healthy foods, and yes they are, but they lack certain things.
And now with what we know about inflammation, an otherwise “healthy” food can cause an increase in inflammation in your body. The inflammatory process usually starts with pain. Pain is your body’s way of saying there’s something wrong. In Western medicine, it is taught that pain relievers are accepted. They actually cause more harm than good, by increasing heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and internal bleeding. In functional medicine, we want to find out why the pain is there. By masking it, we’re not getting to the root cause. I’ve written articles on inflammatory foods and oils, so please visit my website at the bottom of this article to read those if you have not already. As a quick recap, inflammatory oils like seed oils raise inflammation by raising Omega-6 fatty acid. Sunflower seed, grape seed, sesame seed, Canola (rape seed) oils and more, are found in so many otherwise healthy foods. Unless those seed oils are cold-expeller pressed, they are processed with hexane, which is highly inflammatory.
Patients will tell me that they never use any of those oils when cooking, however when I have them review what’s in their kitchen cabinets, inevitably they find out that many regular foods they have, contain the unhealthy seed oils I just mentioned.
The more we eliminate these oils from our diet, the better we feel. I have apps and website links for my patients so that it helps them make better choices when buying products. So many people are surprised when they think the healthiest things they have are actually not healthy and quite inflammatory. Omega-3 oils found in fish oils, pasture raised egg yolks, grass-fed/ grass-finished beef, and more will help you to raise the ratio of Omega-3 oils to Omega-6. They also have specific fatty acid profiles that are necessary for bodily functions.
The bad oils are all not only detrimental to your musculoskeletal system, but cardiac, respiratory and all of your systems.
For many years, the FDA has advised us to avoid fats. The food industry has created so many fat-free products, that now we have a dangerous situation on our hands. Many people have so many diseases, not just aches and pains as a result. Adding healthy fats into your diet will not make you fat, but help your body work better. Provided you are exercising, and eating an otherwise balanced diet, you will feel so much better and your blood work will show that. Ultimately your blood work will show you how balanced you really are.
There are people who feel great, but their bloodwork says otherwise. It’s always important, as I say in my articles, to have your bloodwork done annually. This way, we can see how things are going so we can catch small issues, rather than once they become a crisis.
Another important factor in muscle aches and pains is electrolytes. Electrolytes are positively charged minerals. If you are drinking reverse osmosis water at home and most commonly in bottled water, you are not drinking water with minerals. You cannot make electrolytes if you are insufficient with minerals. Drinking healthy water that still contains minerals is very important. If you do not drink water that way, then you must supplement with minerals. Especially here in Arizona where it is hot and dry. For those of you who exercise regularly outdoors such as playing golf and tennis, you must be sure you are getting enough minerals into your body. This does not have to be done via supplementation and can be done with the right diet as well.
There are many things that may contribute to your aches and pains; however these are just a few easy things you can do to feel better. If you or anyone you know complains of muscle aches and pains regardless of their stretches and exercise, please call my office for a complimentary consultation.
For any questions regarding my articles, please email me at [email protected]
Leisa-Marie Grgula. DC
Accurate Care Medical Wellness Center
18261 N. Pima Rd. Ste. #115