Nutritionists

Nutritionists: How They Can Help Back Pain Disappear

Is there a connection between nutrition and back pain? Will good nutrition really contribute to back pain relief? Why do people use an anti inflammatory diet when they have back pain or any pain for that matter? Let’s find out.

When Medical Treatment and Chiropractic Back Pain Management Are Not Enough

When you have back pain, you want to do anything that can result in relief. You may visit a doctor and neurologist, take a painkiller, suffer through painful injections and surgery, put up with physical therapy and even see a chiropractor. You may even purchase a TENS unit or a back exerciser to strengthen your back muscles.

But there are times when this type of plan still isn’t enough to stimulate your total recovery. There’s something missing in the picture of your recovery but you can’t seem to put your finger on it.

That missing part could be diet. There actually is a strong link between nutrition and back pain. When certain key nutrients are low in the body, the body struggles to create strong muscles, bones, ligaments and tissues. Seeing a nutritionist for back pain may seem like  out-of-the-box thinking for many people, but for years, the field of dietetics has been the counterpart to medicine.

Once you understand the connection between nutrition and back pain, you won’t ever think it is out-of-the-box thinking again!

How Nutrients Affect the Spine and Back

Here are some of the not so well-known connections of nutrition and back pain:

• Calcium and magnesium – especially important to prevent muscle cramping and muscle spasms. Cramping and spasms can squeeze nerves surrounding the muscles so much that there is actually compression of a nerve. And nerve compression, such as in sciatica when the sciatic nerve is compressed, leads to pain! Hyperlink to sciatica page

• Vitamin A, D, E, beta carotene and selenium are antioxidants that quench free

radicals found in every case of inflammation. Free radicals prolong your recovery and damage all body tissues.

• Phosphorus is necessary for your body to absorb calcium. Without enough

calcium, you can have muscle cramping and even jerking or tetany (fast contractions) of the muscles.

• CoQ10 is not considered an essential vitamin or mineral for human health, but a

CoQ10 deficiency, frequently found in those who take statin or other drugs, causes muscle related problems, especially cramping, which then can be related to nerve impingement.

These are just a few of the nutrients that are linked directly or indirectly to muscle, bone, tendon and ligament health.

How A Nutritionist or Dietitian Helps You

Thus, if you have multiple vitamin and mineral deficiencies, it’s best to go to a nutritionist or dietitian for a series of consultations. And the sad news is that many of us do have them; we just don’t know it. Study after study shows that up to 75% of us are deficient in vitamin D, for example. Pregnant moms can easily be deficient in B vitamins and stressed out individuals are almost always low in B vitamins and minerals.

Here’s what happens at the nutritionist’s office:

• You’ll be asked what you ate and how much of it you ate for the last three days. What beverages did you drink – these can impact your back pain. For example, something simple as drinking enough more water may relieve back pain. It may not cure it, but back pain relief is always a good thing!

Another example is a coffee or caffeine habit. Caffeine dehydrates the body and prevents your intervertebral discs from drinking the water they need to stay plump and hydrated. It’s a common cause of back pain that many people, including health professionals, never consider.

• Your nutritionist may want to order lab tests to determine whether or not you are deficient in vitamins and minerals.

• If you are overweight, she will create a diet for you. Losing weight is one of the best ways to relieve back pain because it takes the pressure off the vertebral discs, muscles, tendons and ligaments.

• When your lab tests arrive, your nutritionist will be able to set up a program of supplements that you need to restore levels of vitamins and minerals in your body. All you have to do is take the supplements regularly.

• Your nutritionist will also set up follow-up appointments to make sure you stay on track.

Is An Anti Inflammatory Diet for You and Your Back Pain? 

An anti inflammatory diet is a diet that can offer support in the area of back pain relief. It does this by providing antioxidants and carotenoids that stop free radical damage. Since free radicals contribute to the inflammation process, by consuming antioxidants and carotenoids in higher amounts than what is usually eaten, you can block some of the inflammation that is occurring in your body.

An anti inflammatory diet is rich in fruits and vegetables and more importantly, it omits the foods that contribute to the production of inflammatory compounds that head straight to your injured back. These inflammatory compounds are multiplied inside your body and cause a chain reaction of even more inflammatory compounds to be created. That’s why it’s true that you can be contributing to your back pain with your fork!

Some of these foods that create inflammation in the body include:

• fried foods

• processed foods

• foods that don’t have very many nutrients in them (rice cakes, for example)

• sugary foods such as pastries, cakes, cookies, pies and candy

Your nutritionist or dietitian will know how to incorporate the anti inflammatory diet into your present lifestyle to help you overcome your back pain and get back pain relief once and for all.

Read more about how other practitioners can help speed your recovery.