Can what you eat help with neck & back pain relief?
Every year, Americans spend billions of dollars on pain medications for the relief of back pain and neck pain. Now, researchers are saying that a healthy diet can promote healing and recovery from pain and injury.
We’ve all heard the saying “Let food be thy medicine”. Recently, The Journal of the American Chiropractic Association looked at the impact that a healthy diet can have on the body’s ability to heal and to stay healthy. The author specifically examines foods that are considered “anti-inflammatory”.
Inflammation occurs in the tissue and joint cells when these cells are powered by foods with low nutritional value and/or a high amounts of chemicals or artificial additives. Chronic inflammation — the kind that persists over a long period of time or recurs frequently — slows down or even prevents the body’s ability to heal. Chronic inflammation can also lead to persistent pain in the joints and tissues or turn into worse conditions, such as arthritis.
An Anti-Inflammatory Diet to Aid in Recovery
Although eating an anti-inflammatory diet won’t necessarily treat your back pain, neck pain or other ailments such as neuropathy, many medical professionals believe that it can help your body to recover and heal faster. When your cells are properly fueled by natural and nutritionally rich foods, the cells can perform at their best. High performing cells help the body recover quickly — and stay healthy.
Eat foods to help fight pain:
- no processed or packaged foods — eat fresh, whole foods instead
- consume plants as much as possible — a wide variety of greens, fruits, vegetables
- add Omega-3 fatty acid foods — like fatty fish (salmon or tuna), flax seeds, and walnuts (raw)
- also add healthy fats from olive oil, nuts (raw rather than processed) and avocados
- high fiber foods like beans, oatmeal and raw vegetable are beneficial
- limit meat and dairy or remove it completely from your diet
- replace processed sugar with natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup
- maintain a high water intake (plain rather than artificially flavored; add lemons if you would like) and drink tea (herbal or regular), coffee, and raw fruit or vegetable juices
- use natural seasonings for your food like: sea salt, olive oil and vinegars, dried or fresh herbs, spices, mustards, and unsweetened flavorings like vanilla or almond
If the body’s cells are fueled by foods with low nutritional value — or high in unnatural ingredients like preservatives and additives — the cells are compromised. This can negatively impact your energy level, weaken the immune system, and make it more difficult for your body to heal.
Avoid the following in your pain-fighting diet:
- high fructose corn syrup or added sugar
- additives like MSG, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, or autolyzed yeast
- sodas or other sweetened beverages
- artificial sweeteners
Fortunately, our bodies constantly regenerate cells and renew tissue. Health professionals know that it is never too late to benefit from the switch to a more healthy, healing diet. If you are suffering with back pain or neck pain, treatment at The Villages Chiropractor, Davis Clinic of Chiropractic, along with a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet can help your body heal from pain and keep you in good health for years to come!