What is the first management regimen that comes to your mind when suffering from back pain?
Undoubtedly, the pain relief medications that can provide instant relief from back pain, but they have associated side effects and complications. Along with the medications, use of back braces, backrest, ergonomic chairs and some exercise routines in daily life are also helpful to get rid of back pain.
These regimens come into the first row when talking about back pain treatment, but there is also one other essential way to adopt for effective management of back pain which cannot be forgotten, and that is the anti-inflammatory food for back pain relief.
Food is one of the most essential elements for living, it keeps our metabolic processes going. Healthy food fortifies us with essential nutrients that protects us from various health problems. Starting from a diet rich in proteins and vitamins to anti-inflammatory foods, all are essential for the health of the body.
So, how there cannot be specific food for back pain relief?
The understanding of good and bad food is essential for a person with back pain. Today we talked about the healing food for back pain because consuming healthy, healing diet is the key to reduce pain.
Inflammation is one of the primary causes of back pain, it can occur due to underlying inflammatory conditions like inflammatory arthritis.
The symptoms of such type of back pain include inflammation of spinal joints, entheses (the connective tissue between bone and ligament or tendon) and vertebrae, postural changes, loss of hip abduction, tenderness over entheses and pain over thoracic spine, sacroiliac joint or lumbar spine.
There can be specific reasons for initiation of inflammation.
- Nerves which are able to deliver pain signals deep into the annular structures.
- Damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) like fibronectin fragments and hyaluronic acid, which may initiate sterile inflammation of disc via pro-inflammatory cytokines or matrix-degrading enzymes activity.
- Due to subclinical anaerobic bacterial infections, stimulated by hypoxic situations.
This inflammation leads to both central and peripheral sensitization which have an essential role in the onset of chronic back pain.
Consequently, including anti-inflammatory foods to daily diet can help in relieving inflammatory back pain up to a fair extent.
What are these anti-inflammatory foods?
Spices like turmeric, cinnamon, mustard seeds, Kokum, ginger, fenugreek, clove, black pepper, red pepper and black cumin are known to have significant anti-inflammatory properties. The phytochemicals present in these spices like curcumin, 6-gingerol, diosgenin, capsaicin, eugenol, garcinol, thymoquinone, piperine, and sulforaphane are the reason behind these spices have the ability to fight against inflammation.
One of the best spices which contains extraordinary anti-inflammatory properties which effectively modulates the inflammatory mediators is turmeric. The phytochemical present in it is ‘curcumin’ which is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.
One of the significant benefits of all the above spices is that these can easily available in the market at very affordable prices. Never miss a chance to include these spices in your diet.
Not only spices, but some herbs also have anti-inflammatory properties. These herbs are also available quickly.
The herbs like basil, rosemary and garlic bulbs due to their phytochemicals diallyl sulphide (DAS) and α-pinene significantly acts on inflammation.
Dark Coloured Vegetables
Include the vegetables with a high content of polyphenols such as deep-coloured vegetables like spinach, red lettuce, broccoli, parsley, kale, beets, onions, carrots and sweet potatoes. These are well known natural food for back pain. Never skip these vegetables from your diet.
The fruits like watermelon, berries, cherries, oranges, pomegranate, and grapes can effectively soothe inflammation. So, include these fruits to your daily diet.
Omega-3 Enriched Foods
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids are very beneficial for treated inflammatory conditions by reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines and eicosanoids. Therefore, never forget to add the omega-3 rich foods in your diet.
Add eggs, flax seeds, chia seeds, salmon, cod liver oil, walnuts, tuna, soybeans, herring, oysters, sardines, trout and mackerel to your diet greatly helps you to fight against inflammation.
Yes, drinking herbal tea is also advantageous in reducing inflammation.
Green Tea: being a rich source of antioxidants, it helps to reduce swelling and pain.
White Tea: With high polyphenols content, helps to reduce inflammation.
Masala Tea: Tea made of cloves, cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom significantly reduces the inflammation.
Ginger Tea: With the richness of shogaol and gingerol phytochemicals, ginger tea effectively reduces chronic pain.
Minerals are also the key to relieve back pain: Alkaline Multi-mineral Supplementation
Yes, you read it right. An alkaline diet enriched with minerals is crucial to get relief from back pain.
We already read about the importance of magnesium and potassium above, but the combination of these minerals with some other minerals like calcium and sodium makes an excellent diet for back pain.
Some scientific studies also evident this statement. One study published in the Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology, 2001 emphasises on the importance of the supplementation containing above said four minerals in reducing back pain.
So having these minerals in your life is very important.
You can get calcium from food sources like dairy items, green leafy vegetables, tofu, nuts, sardines, pilchards, or soya beans and sodium from baking soda, dairy items, eggs, smoked meats and olives.
Potassium Rich Foods
Potassium helps to reduce swelling and also acts as an essential electrolyte for nerve and muscular functions. Also, some of the potassium channel subunits are directly gated to pain relevant stimuli.
Therefore, having a diet rich in potassium is must for getting relief from back pain. You can get potassium from bananas, green leafy vegetables, and coconut water and fermented milk products.
Magnesium Rich Food
One of the significant reasons behind chronic idiopathic (pain of unknown origin) back pain is magnesium deficiency. Its deficiency leads to impaired muscular function. This might can cause chronic back pain.
Therefore, having a diet rich in such minerals are essential. Include spinach, beet green, summer squash, pumpkin seeds, legumes, nuts, and turnip greens.
Vitamin Rich Diet:
Vitamin D deficiency is also one of the primary causes of back pain. Vitamin D potentiates the anti-inflammatory cytokines and regulates the pro-inflammatory cytokines, therefore having a diet with vitamin D is essential.
You can get vitamin D from egg yolk, tuna, milk, salmon, herring, soy, margarine, mackerel and trout.
According to recent studies, a relationship was found between vitamin B12 and low back pain. In one study, the introduction of parenteral vitamin B 12 lowers the back pain, associated disability and consumption of paracetamol among patients suffering from irritative or mechanical lumbago.
So, never forget to include vitamin B 12 to\ your diet. You can get it from milk, yoghurt, cheese, ham, eggs, chicken, cereals, tuna and trout.
It is one of the essential vitamins for collagen cross-links. Collagen is an integral part of ligaments, tendons, and bones.
One of the recent studies also showed an association between vitamin C and spinal pain.
Therefore, vitamin C is also helps to lower back pain.
The best source of vitamin C are citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, kiwi and grapefruit. Except these, you can also have cauliflower, broccoli, capsicum, papaya and cantaloupe to increase vitamin C intake in your diet.
Try to add the above natural foods for back pain relief as these foods help you to build innate immunity to fight against back pain. Not only this, but adding such items to your diet also reduces your pain killer medicine consumption.
So, think before you eat as eating habits may cure or may worsen your back pain.