A healthy diet helps you reach and maintain a normal weight while reducing your risk of many common diseases. What you eat has a dramatic effect on your overall health, creating a straight link between your diet and back pain. If what you’re eating isn’t healthy, it can lead to inflammation that affects many aspects of your health. It can even trigger back pain.
The doctors at the Southeastern Spine Institute (SSI) recommend that you do whatever you can to keep your spine healthy. And that includes being active and making good food choices. An anti-inflammatory diet contains nutritional foods that encourage a healthier back. A healthful diet can reduce back pain that you’re already suffering from.
Food isn’t a miracle drug, however. It takes time for your body to get rid of the bad stuff you’ve been eating. It takes time for your body to get used to the good stuff you’re giving it. Keep it up, and you will notice a difference.
Anti-Inflammatory Diet and Back Pain Relief
Reduce inflammation in your body by eating a mostly plant-based diet. Replace sugary, refined foods with wholesome, nutrient-rich foods. Include generous amounts of dark-colored fruits and vegetables, starting with dark green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach. Other good choices for anti-inflammatory foods include:
• Sweet potatoes
• Cherries and berries
Your diet should also include cold-water fish rich in omega-3, such as tuna, trout, black cod, herring, sardines, mackerel and salmon. When you need a snack, reach for walnuts, almonds, pistachios or dark chocolate.
Drink Plenty of Water for Your Back Health
Drinking water is vital for your overall health and well-being. It’s also valuable for the health of your spine. If you become dehydrated, the discs in your spine lose their shock-absorbing ability. Keeping spinal discs well hydrated improves flexibility. Dehydration can also cause muscle cramps and may increase discomfort in your back.
If you work toward increasing the amount of water you consume as part of your diet, your back pain may improve. Have a glass of water first thing in the morning and before each meal. Set reminders on your phone to be conscious of your efforts to drink more water. While some of the fluids you consume can be other liquids such as green tea, aim for half your fluid intake to be pure water. Replacing sugary drinks with water also reduces your calorie intake, assisting with weight loss efforts.
Weight Loss Diet and Back Pain
If you’re carrying excess weight, you may not realize it can contribute to back pain. Being overweight or obese leads to a host of health problems, including fatigue, shortness of breath, muscle strain and joint pain. As your overall health suffers, your back problems increase.
When you carry around excess weight, your muscles need to work harder to accomplish day-to-day tasks. The extra load you put on your spine pulls your vertebrae out of alignment. Weight you carry around your waistline is especially damaging to your spine. Losing weight, particularly if you can stay within 10 pounds of your ideal weight, may result in partial or complete back pain relief.
Talk to the experts at SSI to find out more about the link between diet and back pain. If you find you still suffer from chronic back pain issues that diet doesn’t address, your SSI spine specialist can run some tests to discover the reasons. Your back is in good hands at SSI.