Proper Nutrition and Physical Therapy

Proper Nutrition For Physical Therapy

Is There A Relationship Between Nutrition and Physical Therapy? Let Us Dig In...

The answer is yes. There exists a substantial relationship between nutrition and physical therapy. Nutrition and physical therapy go hand in hand to help a person or patient get better faster. Nourishment comes in when the food you eat plays a significant role in your body and how it will react to what the physical therapist does to enhance a faster healing process. Deficits in what you eat can negatively impact your health and lead to conditions that compromise your ability to live the physically active lifestyle you need.

1. Role of Protein in Recovery Process During Physical Therapy

The role of proteins in overall recovery is an essential aspect of the physical therapy process. The proteins act like building blocks for repairing and maintaining the delicate muscles and tissues that make up your body. These building blocks of the body consist of two classes: the complete and the incomplete.

The complete protein comes from animal sources with eight essential amino acids vital for growth, repair, development, and other bodily functions. The incomplete proteins come from plant sources that lack a few essential amino acids. The effectiveness of treatment depends on the type and quality of the protein you take and other supplements that help with recovery after physical therapy.

2. Vitamins and Minerals Helps Reduce Body Inflammation During Treatment

Vitamins and minerals are powerful nutrients that can help you reduce body inflammation and thus help achieve a better physical therapy treatment outcome. The relationship between nutrition and physical therapy can be an essential factor in slowing or stopping the body's inflammatory response that develops during a treatment or rehabilitation process.

Vitamins A, C, D, and B vitamins help reduce free radicals in your body, which could inhibit the healing process during and after physical therapy. Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial in lowering muscular inflammation, thus speeding up your recovery process. Magnesium is an essential mineral in energy production and in inhibiting inflammation.

What is important is that if you take adequate amounts of these and other vitamins and minerals rather than just enough, it could significantly prevent the reoccurrence of these conditions and diseases in the future. Additionally, minerals and vitamins help boost your immune system, which is essential for physical therapy to be effective. You cannot overemphasize the role of vitamins and minerals in physical therapy!

3. Avoiding Energy Dense and Nutrient Poor (EDNP) Foods

The general population often has a marginal intake of nutrients because they eat high-energy-dense foods that lack nutrients while thinking they are eating healthy. EDNP foods will never meet your required nutrient density no matter how much food you consume!

Such a diet will leave your body prone to diseases and poor recovery in case of an illness. Hence, for physical therapy treatment to be effective, your body needs to have enough of the necessary nutrients to help the body take up the role of regenerating the body tissues vital for recovery from any disease. 

EDNP foods though high in calories have resulted in widespread nutrient deficiencies, especially for minerals like calcium and magnesium, vitamins like vitamin C, folate, and thiamin, which may help explain the role of EDNP in chronic disease. Why not take food rich in nutrients and get your body a natural defense? However, don't forget to meet your daily intake requirements of clean drinking water!

4. Nutrition Enhances Success of Physical Therapy in Reducing Pain

Nutrition is a well-known factor in addressing health issues. However, studies show that nutrition affects physical therapy as well. Physical therapy has helped children and adults recover successfully from sports injuries in conjunction with a healthy diet.

Thus, a proper nutrient intake is beneficial for keeping physical therapy treatment effects optimal and reducing pain. It's, however, crucial to note that there is a strong relationship between inflammation, pain, and metabolism. Persistent inflammation can increase pain levels, which you can suppress with appropriate nutrition.

Hence, taking anti-inflammatory foods may help prevent and treat conditions that bring about chronic pain. Also, note that taking excess sodium may help retain fluids in joints, thus causing joint inflammation. Only take enough amounts of sodium.


Most health professionals are finding that, more often than not, simple changes in the diet lead to the most significant number of successes. Be sure to heed the nutritionist's recommendations for making any necessary changes in your current diet. Remember, good nutrition is one of the foundational pillars underpinning an effective physical therapy program. You will realize how your body starts bearing fruits by paying attention to the basics: quality food and a healthy lifestyle. In turn, you will be able to concentrate on the healing process. It all starts with you taking charge of your health!

About the Author

Dr. Tony
Hi, I’m Dr. Tony and I provide at-home, mobile, and telehealth physical therapy in Phoenix Arizona to patients with needs ranging from Parkinson's treatment to athletic recovery! Whether I am working with elite NBA athletes, Boston Marathoners, or MS patients with heavily limited mobility
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