In addition to the right types of gentle exercises and a combination of integrative rehabilitation therapies customized to your specific needs, what you eat can minimize the extent and duration of your low back pain, whether it’s chronic or intermittent.
Which Types of Foods Can Help the Most?
The best foods to consume are the ones that have anti-inflammatory properties to reduce the inflammation that’s contributing to your low back pain. As you consume and digest these foods, substances that fight inflammation enter your bloodstream and reach your back, providing a measure of relief. These foods can alleviate other forms of pain as well, including neck pain and the pain and discomfort caused by headaches and arthritis.
Berries, Cherries, and Other Fruits
These fruits have a soothing effect, thanks to phytonutrients, those natural chemicals that assist with everything from repairing damaged tissues to calming down inflammations. Cherries have been seen to reduce the pain associated with gout inflammation, as well as muscle inflammation following workouts. Tart cherries in particular seem especially effective, and it doesn’t matter if you eat the fruit fresh or drink it as a juice.
Blueberries and other berries, including strawberries, also offer anti-inflammatory benefits, reducing inflammation in both muscle and cartilage to minimize aches and stiffness. As an added benefit, the phytonutrients in blueberries and blackberries also support heart health.
Herbs and Spices, Including Ginger
If you enjoy the flavors of a variety of herbs and spices, you’re in luck, as these sometimes-overlooked foods also contain healthful, inflammation-reducing phytonutrients. Ginger root can be dried, pickled, or ground up into a delicious spice that can be added to salads, stir-fries, and other dishes. In addition to fighting nausea, ginger offers welcome relief against muscle inflammation that can aggravate low back pain. Another effective spice is turmeric, which is also a root that fights inflammation. Helpful herbs include mint and thyme, which are thought to reduce pain perception.
A Variety of Seeds
Pumpkin, chia, and flax seeds make a great snack in addition to adding flavor and texture to any meal, and these seeds supply magnesium and other important nutrients that can ease low back pain.
Vegetables are a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that our bodies need to repair damage and to function optimally. Eat a range of colorful vegetables to get all the nutrients you need for your lower back health and overall wellbeing. Chile peppers in particular are recognized as great inflammation-reducers.
Teas are known to supply antioxidants, with green tea being near the top of the list. For a great, inflammation-reducing brew, drink a cup of green tea with some ground ginger mixed in. Herbal teas can also help alleviate pain. Oolong and white teas are good choices as well.
Eating the right foods can alleviate low back pain, but an approach that incorporates a chiropractor’s services and integrative medicine is often necessary to fully get the issue under control. At Advanced Integrative Rehabilitation and Pain Center, located in the Washington, DC area, we regularly utilize integrative healthcare strategies for optimum results. If you are experiencing low back pain, contact us today to get started on your healthier, pain-free journey.