Papaya and a red juice on a timber recatangualr board. All placed on a bed with white linen sheets and next to a bunch of yellow flowers and a book that that open

If you have sustained an injury your first thought may be to book in for some physical therapy with the intentions of restoration of movement, improvement of function and strength, and the prevention and the promotion of health, wellness, and fitness.

Which is great! But did you know that nutrition can also play a role here?  Your diet can have a significant impact on your physical therapy goals and the overall rate of recovery.

As nutrition plays an essential role in injury recovery and rehabilitation, combine this with physical therapy treatment pathways after injury, surgery, or those with low strength or tone, and you are bound to see some great results.

How Can Nutrition Help?

Nutrition can play a crucial component in controlling; inflammation, providing key nutrients for rebuilding injured tissue, minimising muscle loss, and supporting strength preservation and muscle gain.

During rehabilitation, higher protein consumption is recommended, with an emphasis on consuming higher amounts of leucine and amino acid. This stress factor can also increase metabolic energy demands from about 20% for minor injuries and surgeries to 100% for more severe bodily insults such as burns.

Loss of lean body mass is an independent risk factor for increased length of hospital stay, whereas malnutrition, especially of protein can lead to delayed wound healing and increase risk of post-surgical infection.

How a Dietitian Can Help You On Your Rehabilitation Journey

How A Dietitian Can help at various stages of rehabilitation

How A Dietitian Can Be Involved From Start To Finish

  1. Pre-Operative:
  • Increase in caloric requirements secondary to this hypermetabolic state (cascade of inflammatory, immune and metabolic processes are activated)
  1. Post-Operative:
  • Adequate calories and protein to aid in wound healing and prevent loss of lean muscle mass. In addition to macro and micro-nutrient optimisation for recovery
  1. Healing Phase:
  • Reinforcing the facts


If you feel that a Dietitian could assist you in your rehabilitation journey or you would like to learn more about what are Dietitians treat click here or call your nearest Sports & Spinal clinic today!

Written by Dietitian, Rachael Gilholm