Diet, Disorders And Physiotherapy: Things You Should Know

Published On February 7, 2018 | By Andrew Williams | Health

Nowadays, more and more people are starting to be aware of how significant a healthy diet is. We are all familiar with the saying ‘you are what you eat’, but not until recent years has it been taken seriously, or appreciated. As the threat of obesity and cardiovascular diseases increases worldwide, with 300 million people expected to suffer from diabetes by 2025 around the world, nutrition, diet and exercise are now more important than ever.

Unhealthy diet and poor lifestyle choices are the main causes for disease and the leading cause of death in Canada. About 60% of Canadians aged 18 and over are not eating the daily recommended intake of fruits and vegetables[1]. Even though the majority of people report that they are quite happy and satisfied with their diets, the availability and affordability of healthy foods has been deemed as one of the main obstacles in having a proper diet. Simultaneously, nine out of 10 children and adolescents, and two in ten adults are not meeting the levels of physical activity recommended by the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines[2]. Physical activity can enhance health and lower the risk for many chronic conditions, such as heart diseases or diabetes.

What’s the link to physiotherapy?

There is a common misconception that physiotherapy is in the same category with less proven ‘alternative medicines’. However, there is now enough evidence to back up the actual health benefits of it, especially when taking into account diet. Because physiotherapy is known to empower the patient and help them take matters into their own hands, professionals should factor in the dietary side as well.

Blood flow is of utter importance, as low levels can increase the possibility of developing cardiovascular diseases, or musculoskeletal disorders[3]. Physiotherapeutic exercises can promote an increase in blood flow, and in combination with the right aliments, it has the potential to help the circulation to muscles and develop or expand exercise tolerance. For instance, it has been proven that consuming orange juice daily for four weeks can decrease blood pressure and have anti-inflammatory effects. Beet juice consumption reduced hypertension considerably in just 24 hours. Alongside physiotherapy training, these can stimulate the central nervous system and improve brain function.

Additionally, doing physical exercise can put a strain on the glucose in the blood, and it becomes increasingly difficult for the body to transport it to the muscles. This becomes especially difficult for people already suffering from diabetes. While exercising can positively impact insulin sensitivity, having the right nutrition to support it adequately is key. This also links to cardiovascular problems and their management or prevention. Physiotherapy can improve cardiac output and have effects on heart rate, endurance, and arterial blood flow. The evidence further demonstrates that to achieve optimal health and lower chances of developing cardiovascular diseases, diabetes or being obese, one should have an integrated approach: a balanced and appropriate nutrition combined with physiotherapeutic exercise.

[1]https://cfccanada.ca/sites/default/files/CFCC%20Diet-Related%20Diseases%20and%20Healthy%20Eating.pdf

[2]http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/publications/department-ministere/state-public-health-status-2016-etat-sante-publique-statut/alt/pdf-eng.pdf

[3]http://www.utpjournals.press/doi/abs/10.3138/ptc.69.2.GEE

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