You may be surprised to learn that nutrition can play a role in pain mitigation and prevention!
Pain comes in many forms (and be either acute or chronic). There are specific strategies depending on type of pain, but there are a few nutritional strategies that help across most types.
For ACUTE pain:
Look at nutritional deficiencies - especially Vitamin A, C, and Zinc. You may also want to have your iron tested (since it transports oxygen, and lack of oxygen can contribute to pain).
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
Improve digestion to ensure proper nutrient absorption
Get proper sleep (the time when you heal!)
Manage your inflammation, but don’t block it. Blocking inflammation completely will impede healing. Two options are 1) Fish oil, which can take weeks to ramp up and 2) Curcumin which is usually more rapid to help, depending on the person. Usually a higher dose at first, then tapering off to regular dose. Curcumin manages inflammation, but without bad side effects of Advil.
Address food sensitivities
Cut out things that cause inflammation (sugar, coffee, alcohol, smoking, etc.
Omega 3s – more than 4000mg/day. You can get this from fish, flax seeds, hemp hearts, walnuts…. Even just 1TBS of flax seeds gives you 1000mg! You can also supplement with Fish oil (EPA/DHA). 1000mg of combined EPA/DHA a day for regular day to day. For a stronger anti-inflammatory effect: look for a supplement with 1000-3000 of EPA.
Vitamin D plays a huge role in reducing inflammation. It modulates immune and hormone functions (in addition to curcumin).
Muscle pain: Refrain from drinking carbonated beverages (has carbon dioxide which is acidic). Our bodies need to buffer this acidity by leaching calcium and magnesium from our bones. Since magnesium plays a strong role in muscle relaxation, you do not want to lose it when you have pain. Even without fizzy drinks, you may want to supplement your magnesium with 300-600mg/day. Make sure it is Magnesium Bisglyconate, your body absorbs this better than “Citrate”.
These are just a few basic tips, though I always recommend that you see your ND/MD for proper and personalized assistance.