Nutrition is critical to daily living and can have a significant impact on our overall health. Indeed, the food that we put inn our bodies affects how our bodies fight illnesses. While pain medication offers some relief to back pain sufferers, good nutrition is often the most sustainable remedy for an aching back.
The Link Between Food and Back Pain
If you’re wondering what back pain and diet have to do with one another the answer can be found in one word – inflammation. Inflamed back muscles often lead to back pain and several other ailments.
There have been studies pointing to a link between inflammation and diet. In fact, researchers have even made a connection between certain foods to increased inflammation. Given the positive affect that nutrition has on back health, it’s no wonder that more medical practitioners are recommending back pain sufferers improve their diets.
Foods to Avoid for Better Back Health
A key step in eating your way to a healthier back is avoiding foods that have the potential to inflame your back. Foods that fuel inflammation generally tend to be the foods that we love the most, and are therefore often difficult to avoid.
These foods include:
- Red meat
- Processed foods
- Foods with added sugar, including soft drinks and snacks
- Whole fat dairy products
- Fried food
- Foods containing partially hydrogenated oil
The good news is that since these foods can also lead to weight gain, heart problems, and other health issues; removing them from your diet may also help you avoid other problems.
Planning a Back Pain Free Diet
The next step towards using nutrition to reduce your back pain is having a well-balanced diet that includes anti-inflammatory foods. The most appropriate back-friendly diets should mirror the Mediterranean diet, which consist of foods that are rich in antioxidants, lean protein, healthy fats, and whole grains.
For a successful back pain free diet, consider the following helpful tips:
- Choose the Right Side Items – Your daily meals should include vegetables, legumes, fruits, and nuts. Any inclusion of fat should be healthy fat, such as olive oil. You can add flavor to your meals with natural herbs and spices.
- Manage Your Menu – It is best to prepare or have control over the preparation of your food. Restaurants, family, or friends may not disclose all the ingredients in a meal, which can potentially expose you to foods that you are seeking to avoid.
- Build Omega-3s into Your Diet – Don’t forget about Omega-3 rich foods. It’s a good source of nutrition for your back pain free diet. You want to try and get at least two to three servings per week. This vital nutrient can be found in tuna and salmon.
- Eat More Chicken – Avoid beef and eat poultry, making sure to remove the skin before cooking.
- Water – Drink lots of water.
The beauty of these tips is that they have the potential to reduce or eliminate back pain, while improving overall health. One point to keep in mind is that if you are accustomed to eating ample portions of red meat or processed foods; you can start by phasing them out, one day at a time.
Calcium and Healthy Bones
Additionally, you should know that strong bones are instrumental in contributing to the strength of your back. Likewise, as you age, you naturally lose mass in your bones, which weakens your entire skeletal system.
Unfortunately, your back is no exception and is just as susceptible to aging as the rest of your body. However, the solution calls for adding calcium to your daily nutritional intake. Of course, it’s always best to consult with your physician before making major dietary changes.
Back pain is no laughing matter. If not taken seriously, it can have crippling effects on your body and limit your ability to carry out day to day responsibilities. The good news is that you can reduce back pain by taking charge of your nutrition.
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