According to the Cleveland Clinic, 80 percent of people will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Sometimes this back pain is minor; other times it is so severe it interferes with every day activities.
Overall, back pain is one of those things with many causes. Some people experience back pain after strenuous activity, such as moving furniture or lifting boxes. Others experience back pain because of an underlying cause or no obvious reason at all.
The Treatment of Back Pain
Depending on the cause of back pain, treatment options may vary. Often, treatment includes a lot of rest as well as physical therapy, non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs, and muscle relaxants. In severe cases, or in cases where the pain is exceptionally chronic, surgical intervention may be the only feasible option.
Food and Back Pain
Perhaps one of the simplest ways to control back pain is by controlling diet: recent findings suggest that what we eat can play a major role in the body’s inflammation.
In fact, per Web MD, back pain may be related to a diet too high in processed foods (and omega-6 fatty acids) and too low in omega-3 fatty acids. Due to this imbalance, the body can become inflamed, causing pain in a variety of areas, including the back.
However, controlling this inflammation is highly doable: there are a variety of foods (such as plant foods rich in phytochemicals) that can help reduce the body’s inflammability.
Thus, some of the foods that can help with back pain include: fruits and vegetables; fish, fish oil, and walnuts; whole grains such as brown rice; lean meats such as chicken; and spices such as curry. Avoiding other foods such as those high in trans-fat, refined carbohydrates, full-fat dairy, and red meat can further help back pain.
Foods that Fight All Pain
In addition to foods that fight inflammation, there are also foods that specifically fight the reception of pain. According to the AARP, some of these foods include:
Red Grapes: This fruit is filled with resveratrol, a compound with the ability to block the enzymes that ultimately contribute to tissue degeneration.
Ginger: In one study, nearly two-thirds of people with chronic knee pain reported less soreness when taking ginger; historically, it has proven to be a successful pain killer.
Soy: A study at the University of Oklahoma found that people who consumed 40 grams of soy protein each day for three months were able to get by on half the amount of pain medication originally needed for their ailment.
Turmeric: Turmeric is commonly used in Indian foods and found to fight the pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis as effectively as ibuprofen. A study conducted by the University of Arizona also found that turmeric had the ability to inhibit the destruction arthritis causes.
Coffee: Coffee is known to compound the effects of aspirin and acetaminophen, making them more effective as pain reducers.
Back Pain and Weight
According to the medical professionals at Gulf Coast Spine Care, diet is also tied to back pain because of obesity: a person who is obese, or overweight at all, ultimately carries around more weight, putting undo strain on the back (particularly the lower back). Due to this, adhering to a healthy body mass index can help reduce the odds of back pain occurring (as well as minimize the pain when it does occur).