Many factors can contribute to persistent back pain, including your diet. While adjusting your diet is unlikely to resolve back pain, it can support your recovery process and help with pain management. This is because your diet can play a large role in your body’s inflammatory response.
How Does Inflammation Affect Back Pain?
Inflammation is your immune system’s response to an irritant or injury. The immune system sends white blood cells to the affected area to resolve the infection, injury, etc. But, chronic, low-grade inflammation can lead to fatigue, mood disorders, weight fluctuations, and body pain, among other symptoms.
The entire spine can suffer from the effects of chronic inflammation, leading to persistent pain. However, making the right dietary choices can help reduce chronic inflammation and, in turn, reduce back pain.
Pro-Inflammatory and Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Foods may be considered pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory, depending on how they impact your body’s inflammatory process.
Pro-inflammatory foods increase inflammation in the body and include:
- Red meat
- Processed meat
- Margarine, lard, and shortening
- Refined carbohydrates
- Fried foods
- Soda and other drinks that are sweetened with sugar
Anti-inflammatory foods help fight inflammation and include:
- Leafy greens
- Olive oil
- Fatty fish
- Fruits, namely berries, cherries, and oranges
Avoiding pro-inflammatory foods and including anti-inflammatory foods in your diet can help your immune system function properly and prevent chronic inflammation. Aim for balance and avoid extreme dietary changes, which can be difficult to sustain. Maintaining a healthy diet may, in turn, prevent inflammation-related damage to the spinal tissues and help you recover from back pain.
At the Regenerative Orthopedic Institute, we offer leading-edge regenerative treatments for patients suffering from chronic back pain. If at-home treatments, such as improving your diet, fail to improve your back pain, contact us to schedule a free consultation.