non surgical orthopedistDr. Hector L. LopezMD, CSCS, FAAPMRWith advanced higher education in nutritional biochemistry and exercise science, Dr. Hector Lopez integrates nutritional medicine with orthopedic medicine to ease pain, reduce recovery time, and enhance the recovery process. He is a respected consultant to the nutritional supplement industry and has developed his own line of powerful neutraceuticals.

  • Conference Appearances and Presentations

    September 18, 2013: "The Science and Safety of Stimulant Dietary Supplements" - Council for Responsible Nutrition, Park City, UT

    April 25-26, 2014Presentation Title coming soon! Europa-ISSN University, Orlando, FL

Nutrition for Pain Relief

Better Healing, Less Chronic Pain

(February 15, 2011) In the treatment of chronic pain, programs harnessing the healing power of food are becoming increasingly popular. “Nutritional strategies may provide a safe alternative to other treatment methods in medicine, which may carry more risk” says nutritional medicine specialist Dr. Hector Lopez, MD, CSCS, FAAPMR. “By strategically using diet and nutritional supplements, we address biomechanical mechanisms that contribute to further pain and injury…and fill in the gaps of a comprehensive treatment program.”

Rarely used as a stand-alone treatment plan, nutrition for pain relief is typically used to supplement more aggressive treatments. This provides the patient a host of what Dr. Lopez calls “side benefits” – a reduced risk of certain cancers and heart disease, increased immune and nervous system function, carbohydrate and fat metabolism, and improved mood and mental acuity. Nutritional planning can be used as a tool to help expedite the recovery process and can also increase a patient’s tolerance to rehabilitation from an orthopedic injury. The program is an excellent complement to medication management, often providing a safer alternative to painkillers.

Everyone, whether in pain or not, can benefit from good nutrition. Each program is custom-designed and takes into account the patient’s medical history, lifestyle, and demands. In addition to the location and type of injury or pain, the patient’s lifestyle (active or sedentary), age, medication list, occupation, short and long term goals, and current diet can have a huge influence on their nutritional needs. “We look at the patient’s actual metabolic and hormonal profile to see if there are any deficiencies or potential therapeutic targets,” says Dr. Lopez. “Using an integrated approach, I assess the patient’s physical functional and biomechanical status with a thorough history & exam, along with what is happening structurally using diagnostic imaging, and finally we look deeply on a biochemical and molecular level to uncover underlying roadblocks that may be keeping our patients from achieving the absolute best possible outcomes.”

A Typical Program

A typical program begins with an evaluation of the patient’s needs and the introduction of key nutritional supplements for their condition. After this first phase, many patients find the foundational dietary changes necessary to improve overall nutrition much easier to adopt. Dietary changes consist of incorporating food with a high content of the specific vitamins, minerals and nutrients that they may be lacking, in addition to reducing intake of foods that may hinder healing and recovery.

Developing a diet for pain relief is a safe and therapeutic way to improve tissue healing, repair and reduce inflammation naturally. An advocate of minimally invasive, safe and effective treatments, Dr. Lopez also performs minimally invasive spine procedures, injection therapy (such as regenerative injection therapy and transforaminal epidural injections), and PRP therapy at his practice. He is developing his own line of nutraceuticals and sees nutrition as a way to “fill in the gaps in a comprehensive, integrated treatment program,” he says. “It’s just one more tool we can reach for in our non-surgical armamentarium for pain and injury.”