Chronic back pain is a product of inflammation in the muscle or the nerves in the said area.

While it is usually attributed to stress after a strenuous exercise or a sudden muscle movement, it can also be affected by one’s diet. What you eat or do not eat can help make the pain go away. Here are some diet changes that you need to make to help treat chronic back pain.

1. Drink less alcohol, caffeine and sugary foods

All these mentioned foods are high in cortisol, which when in excess in the body can cause inflammation in the connective tissues. These include crackers, pasta, breads, alcoholic drinks, hydrogenated oils, sodas and artificially flavored juices, milk-based drinks, coffee and tea. Even fruits such as cherries, grapes and dried fruits contain inflammatory ingredients. To help combat high cortisol levels, you might want to include more of the following to your diet: probiotics (yogurt, soluble fiber), pears and dark chocolate.

2. Bring variety to your meals

Sticking to just one type of diet can also promote the production of cortisol; same with either skipping meals or consuming large portions of food. For example, if you eat just salads daily, your digestive tract can react differently and trigger the muscles to go on overdrive. To fix this and to reduce inflammatory episodes on your back or everywhere else, vary the types of food you eat daily and veer away from too much routine when it comes to what you eat.

3. Be conscious of your nutrients

Micronutrients such as iron, folic acid, zinc, vitamins A, C, E and B6 can help boost one’s immune function, thereby helping the body combat inflammation and infection. Chronic back pain can also be a factor of nutrient deficiency, so consuming foods and supplements that are rich in polyphenols is a good thing. That said, you might want to add more of these to your diet: dark green leafy veggies, whole fruits (berries), legumes, whole grains and nuts. Omega-3 fatty acids are also recommended for fighting chronic back pain, usually found in fatty fish like sardines, mackerel and salmon, and olive oil.

Certain types of food alter the way our body functions and how we generally feel. By being more mindful of our consumption and what we put inside the body, we understand it better — and the more effective our efforts will be to treat chronic back pain.

Yoga may be the new prescription for low back pain, new research suggests. Photo courtesy of Pixabay