Nutrition and Dietary Supplements
There is no special diet for back pain, but keeping your body in good shape by eating a healthy diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help. Choose foods that are low in saturated fat and sugar. Drink plenty of water. Also eating foods that are high in antioxidants (such as green leafy vegetables and berries) may help fight inflammation which will decrease pain.
As always, avoid caffeine and other stimulants, alcohol, and tobacco.
When we are in pain it is so easy to find over the counter medicine for pain. In an emergency, this works great but over time, these drugs can cause a great strain on your kidneys, liver, pancreas and other organs. Deciding to take natural supplements puts less strain on your body and allows your organs to filter it out more easily.
These supplements may help fight inflammation and pain:
- Omega-3 fatty acids, such as flaxseed and fish oils, 1 – 2 capsules or 1 tablespoonful oil daily, to help decrease inflammation.
- Glucosamine/chondroitin, 500 – 1,500 mg daily. In some but not all studies, glucosamine and chondroitin have helped relieve arthritis pain. It has not been studied specifically for low back pain.
- Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), 3,000 mg twice a day, to help prevent joint and connective tissue breakdown. In some but not all studies, MSM has been shown to help relieve arthritis pain.
- Bromelain, 250 mg twice a day. This enzyme that comes from pineapples reduces inflammation. Bromelain may increase the risk of bleeding, so people who take anticoagulants (blood thinners) should not take bromelain without first talking to their doctor. People with peptic ulcers should avoid bromelain. Turmeric is sometimes combined with bromelain, because it makes the effects of bromelain stronger.