Nutrition can directly affect recovery and function while an individual is under a physical therapist’s care


Limiting calories will prolong the rehab process and will also decrease protein stores, which inhibits the body’s ability to repair an injury. Under-eating decreases the lean mass of healthy tissues and decreases muscle protein synthesis, patients will accelerate muscle atrophy if they eat at a caloric deficit.


Dietary fats protect against inflammation because they signal the movement of blood flow and promote the function of immunity cells. Inflammation is a normal and necessary step in the healing process. Excess inflammation, however, will impair blood flow and potentially cause cell damage to the healthy tissue around the injury.


Our patients will experience muscle disuse atrophy during treatment. Nutrition is an effective intervention to attenuate this cascade from muscle disuse to muscle atrophy. When considering energy requirements, our patients must be especially mindful of protein intake due to the potential of anabolic resistance.

  • Inflammation – studies show a Mediterranean diet rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants that provide anti-inflammatory effects that benefit individuals with rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Obesity – contributes to numerous chronic pain conditions, and the pain, in turn, can lead to sedentary behavior that increases obesity
  • Osteoarthritis (OA) – various nutrient deficiencies, including vitamins C and D as well as selenium, contribute to OA

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