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Guest Blog: Why it is important to focus on nutrition during physical therapy

Fiona Hayers: Founder of Nourish from Within


Regular guest blogger and good friend Fiona Hayers has appeared a few times on the Life Made Simple Physiotherapy website. As a nutrition expert, her insightful topics and thoughts inspire health and wellbeing, with outlines as to how to improve. Fiona’s special interest is sports nutrition and it’s great that she has been able to share her latest insights below. Thank you to Fiona!

 

It is widely accepted that physical therapy helps to improve speed and strength of recovery after injury or operations involving joints such as hip or knee replacements. However, nutrition is also a crucial component for healing and recovery.


Body trauma and the increased need for nutrition


All body tissues need nutrients because they are built from the nutrients obtained from the food we eat. However, after the body suffers trauma, it has an increased need for nutrition for several reasons:


  • When your body moves into a state of repair it enters into a higher metabolic state – put simply this means your body requires more energy (calories) beyond that required when in a normal healthy state.

  • During repair your immune system is kicked into action. Without sufficient nutrients supporting the increased demand your immune system cannot work to repair as efficiently and effectively as you require.

  • When trauma occurs either through injury or operation, your body immediately decreases the use of the injured area to protect it. This lack of use, even for a short period of time, leads to atrophy or wasting of the muscles. Without sufficient nutrition, especially protein, this atrophy can increase.

  • As part of the repair process your immune system responds with inflammation which helps to encourage supply of nutrients to the injured area and to remove the waste products generated. Whilst this is a necessary part of the initial repair process, prolonged inflammation can delay healing and postpone the introduction of physical therapy interventions.

Personalisation of many factors


Of course, everyone’s nutritional needs are different, and a personalised nutrition plan needs to be put together based upon various factors such as age, level of normal physical activity, any medications and the injuries / operations for which you are being treated.


If you are undergoing surgery, it is also very important to consider pre-surgery nutrition to improve recovery. Although this is not possible with injuries, it is important to review your normal nutrition on a regular basis to ensure your intake is meeting your physical and psychological demands.


Therapy options


I am fortunate to have a variety of therapy options available with special focus on injury / operative recovery and I am very pleased to announce a new offering to further improve the speed and strength of your recovery – Nutri Align.


Nutri Align combines rehabilitation physiotherapy and nutritional therapy over a 6-month period.

I am fortunate to work alongside a number of different therapists who can consider your individual needs, and sports focused care, putting together a plan to allow you to work at a pace which feels comfortable for you with the goal of getting you back to your desired level of fitness, mobility and health.


Summary


If you would like any help and assessment of injury, recuperation and your nutritional needs, please do contact me on 07734111347 or via email Fiona@nourishfromwithin.co.uk and I would be delighted to work with you to see what can be achieved.



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