Back pain is among our nation’s most common ailments, and we all have a variety of sources to blame. Perhaps your day-to-day life requires excessive amounts of manual labor, including bending and lifting. On the other end of the spectrum, you may sit at a desk most of the day and suffer back pain among the other health consequences that accompany a sedentary job. Perhaps you have had years of battling an old injury that flares up frequently. Whatever the case, most patients are quick to blame their back pain on one primary factor. Yet, pain is rarely so cut and dried.
Did you know that your nutrition also plays a significant role in your back health? Most back pain stems from inflammation, which can become chronic when exacerbated by other factors. One of the main contributing factors of inflammation is a diet heavy in inflammatory foods. These foods can increase your cortisol levels which may cause your back muscles to contract without relaxing, keeping them in a tense state. And, while you may not be able to control when and how you perform your job, you can very much control your diet.
WHICH FOODS CAUSE INFLAMMATION?
Preventing back pain through diet begins with knowing which foods to avoid. Unfortunately, many of those responsible for inflammation are common staples in the typical American diet. This can make them exceptionally difficult to avoid unless you know exactly what to look for. Take care to eliminate the following wherever possible:
• Red meat
• Highly processed / packaged foods
• Refined grains (white bread or pasta)
• Whole-fat dairy
• Sugary drinks or foods
• Fried foods
• Excessive caffeine
• Hydrogenated oils
WHICH FOODS HELP WITH INFLAMMATION?
Just as important as knowing what not to eat is understanding your healthy alternatives. These foods offer many healthy benefits, including anti-inflammatory capabilities:
• Fruits and vegetables
• Whole grains
• Olive oil, nuts, legumes, seeds
• Fish rich in omega-3s, like tuna or salmon
• Red wine (Red wine contains heart-healthy antioxidants. One four-ounce glass per day or less is recommended)
• Calcium-rich foods such as fat-free milk or calcium-fortified juices
• Supplements of vitamin D which helps in calcium absorption
• Staying hydrated (Water is a key component)
HOW CAN YOUR CHIROPRACTOR HELP REDUCE BACK PAIN?
Spinal adjustments are also a great way to make your back feel better. The purpose of an adjustment is to correct spinal subluxations and stop nerve interference. A subluxation is when one or more vertebrae in your spine is misaligned, which interferes with your nervous system. Subluxations are usually caused by desk jobs, heavy lifting, housework, or yardwork, as well as extreme falls and car accidents. Adjustmentsresult in less tension and stress in your spinal cord during everyday life, thereby increasing comfort and range of motion.
Additionally, most chiropractors, including those at SouthEast Chiropractic: The Motion Centers make nutrition an integral part of their practice. As the goal of chiropractic is to treat the underlying problem and not merely the symptoms, nutritional guidance is a natural complement to regular adjustments. If you feel that you may benefit from a spinal adjustment or nutritional counseling, contact our Gastonia or Belmontchiropractic offices, and request an appointment.