Back Pain Treatment – What Foods to Include in Your Diet to Ease Back Pain
Back pain usually gets better with over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Staying active and continuing with daily activities also helps.
Your healthcare provider will examine your back and may do some tests to find the cause of your pain. These may include X-rays and tests of strength, flexibility, and sensation. Visit Saunders Therapy Centers, Inc for more information.
If your back pain has not improved after resting, using over-the-counter medications and other conservative treatments, you may be referred to a physical therapist. Physical therapists, or PTs, are movement experts who help patients retrain how they move and learn to avoid movements that will worsen their back pain.
In addition to assessing and treating the back, a PT can offer the following:
Therapeutic exercises are designed for your unique condition. These are performed or learned under the supervision of your therapist so you can be certain you’re doing them correctly and won’t injure yourself further.
Manual therapy, including spinal manipulation and other techniques that decrease impairments in joints, discs, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Education on proper body posture techniques for sitting, bending, and lifting to reduce strain and possible future injuries. Exercises to strengthen abdominal, pelvic floor, and gluteal muscles to provide support for the back and minimize back pain. They are stretching exercises that improve range of motion and mobility. TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) relieves muscle spasms and inflammation and improves muscle and nerve recovery.
The most important thing a patient can do to speed up back pain recovery is stick with their treatment plan, says Lozada. She says that it is very common for people to stop their PT sessions or to skip doing the prescribed at-home exercises, and this can make the injury worse.
It is also important for patients to do all of their PT exercises as often and in the exact order and frequency as instructed by the therapist, she adds. This will strengthen the muscles more quickly, and patients can resume regular activity much sooner.
Finally, if your back pain is severe and doesn’t improve with over-the-counter medications or other conservative treatments, see a doctor right away. This could indicate a serious medical problem, such as a herniated disc or a kidney infection. You should also seek immediate care if you experience numbness or tingling in your arms or legs, have bladder or bowel issues, or are experiencing fever or night sweats.
The spine is a remarkable structure. It supports our weight, protects the spinal cord, and holds our ribs in place to protect our heart and lungs. It is also flexible enough to allow us to move. Most people take their spines for granted — until they experience back pain.
If you’re experiencing chronic back pain, OTC analgesics such as ibuprofen and naproxen may help to reduce the discomfort. If your pain is severe, a doctor might prescribe stronger drugs to control the pain. These medications might include narcotics, cyclobenzaprine, or tramadol. The prescription medication will not cure the cause of your back pain, but it can provide relief while you work to address the underlying problem.
NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, are the most common type of pain reliever used for back pain. They work by reducing swelling and inflammation to ease pain. If you are taking NSAIDs or acetaminophen for more than a week, talk to your doctor to see if they are safe for you. In some cases, NSAIDs can trigger stomach ulcers or bleeding, especially when taken in high doses or for extended periods.
Your doctor may also prescribe muscle relaxants to treat the back pain caused by tense muscles. These medicines can help you sleep better but might not relieve pain caused by nerve compression or a damaged disc. Try topical pain relievers, such as creams, ointments, or patches that deliver pain-relieving substances directly to your skin. Some antidepressants, such as amitriptyline (Elavil), duloxetine (Cymbalta), and venlafaxine (Effexor), might be helpful for chronic back pain.
Alternative treatments, including chiropractic care, acupuncture, and massage, ease back pain. Acupuncture involves inserting thin, sterilized needles into specific points on the body. A growing number of studies support acupuncture’s effectiveness for back pain. Other treatments that might help are tai chi and yoga. These practices improve flexibility, strength, and posture. They can also help you cope with stress, which might be contributing to your back pain. Always discuss new alternative therapies with your healthcare provider before trying them.
As most people know, a healthy diet is important for overall health. However, a well-rounded diet is especially vital for back pain patients. Inflammation is a common cause of back pain, and some foods can increase inflammation while others reduce it. Those who want to ease their back pain should consider incorporating the following foods into their diet.
Inflammation is a normal part of the immune system’s response to injury and infection. When an area of the body is injured, the immune system sends white blood cells to the area to counter the infection or injury and to remove any damaged tissue. However, if the white blood cells aren’t removed quickly, the body can develop a chronic inflammatory response that causes discomfort.
Those suffering from back pain should avoid sugary drinks and processed carbohydrates to combat inflammation, as these can contribute to inflammation. A good alternative is water, which can help hydrate the spine and keep it healthy. People should also try to eat more fruits and vegetables, including leafy greens, tomatoes, strawberries, berries, and blueberries, as these can provide the body with many vitamins and minerals.
Those suffering from back pain should also try to eat more calcium-rich foods. This mineral can help strengthen the bones and muscles that support the spine. In addition, it can prevent osteoporosis, which is a condition that can cause brittle bones and painful back pain.
Some foods high in calcium include dairy products, fortified breakfast cereals, almonds, and cashews. Additionally, those suffering from back pain should try to eat more fish high in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation in the joints and the spine.
Finally, those struggling with back pain should ensure they get enough sleep. This is important because insufficient rest can make back pain worse. It is recommended that those with back pain sleep on a firm mattress and place a pillow under their knees to keep the spine neutral.
Back pain is a common health challenge that can profoundly impact a person’s quality of life. Some back problems can be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers and lifestyle changes, while others may require more advanced treatments such as surgery or pain management. A variety of lifestyle factors contribute to back pain, including stress, obesity, and lack of physical activity. Making simple changes to your diet and exercise routine can improve spinal health, reduce back pain, and prevent the recurrence of the condition.
Sedentary lifestyles significantly increase the risk of developing and exacerbating back pain. Prolonged sitting and poor posture can lead to muscular imbalance, compression of the nerves in the spine, and decreased blood flow to the area. The result is that over time, the spine can deteriorate, leading to chronic back pain. Increasing low-impact activities such as walking, swimming, and practicing yoga and Tai Chi can improve flexibility, strengthen muscles in the spine, and enhance overall spinal health.
A well-balanced diet is also important for the health of your spine. Eating a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods such as berries, fatty fish, nuts, and leafy vegetables can reduce inflammation and decrease back pain. Getting plenty of calcium and vitamin D is vital, which helps promote strong bones in the spine. In addition, staying hydrated by drinking water can help maintain the soft discs that act as a cushion between the vertebrae.
Regular massages are another hands-on method of reducing back pain. Studies have shown that massage therapy can decrease pain and improve function in patients with chronic back pain.
If you have a misalignment, you must visit your chiropractor regularly for spinal manipulation to ease the pain. These visits can also help prevent further pain and discomfort. Some studies have shown that spinal manipulation is more effective than taking prescription-strength NSAIDs or opioid medications for pain. Suppose over-the-counter drugs do not alleviate your back pain. In that case, you might benefit from acupuncture or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), which delivers mild electric pulses to the spine and can help block incoming pain signals.