12 Jan 2023   |  Jennifer

Can Anti-Inflammatory Diet Help Back Pain?

If you have reduced back pain, you may have tried all possible solutions to address the pain. According to a study, you might be able to reduce your back pain by taking a less obvious and less expensive approach: switching the foods you eat on a daily basis.

The study, presented at the Organization of Academic Physiatrists (AAP) electronic seminar in February 2021, revealed a link between people's diet and their likelihood of experiencing little back discomfort. They suggest an anti-inflammatory diet that contains entire grains as well as plenty of fruits and vegetables, reducing lower back pain.

Still, if you have severe back pain, consult our specialist at Dallas Back Clinics and know various ways to manage back pain.

Anti inflammatory foods

Disease and Pain : The Role of Chronic Inflammation

Acute inflammation, an immune response, helps in the healing of injuries or the prevention of disease but chronic inflammation can cause damage and lead to many chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, depression, and Alzheimer's disease. Conditions like arthritis or back discomfort may also be affected by chronic inflammation.

A pro-inflammatory diet increases the chance of low back pain

The 2003–2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination (NHANES) survey database was used for the study, which had 3,966 subjects. The prevalence of back pain was determined by asking participants if they had ever experienced low back pain in the three months before the survey. Diet was evaluated and participants were asked what they ate in a day. The Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII) was assigned to participants based on the foods they reported consuming; higher scores indicate the diet is pro-inflammatory (likely to produce inflammation).

When compared to the group with the least pro-inflammatory diet, people in the top quartile, who had the most inflammatory diet, had a 42 percent higher chance of having low back pain. The fact that the researchers controlled for physical activity, body mass index (BMI), and education gives their conclusions some more support.

  • Pro-inflammatory diet :- Pro-inflammatory diet includes refined grains that are easily absorbed and causes blood sugar problems and weight gain. Trans fats, sodas, fruit juices, and meat from grain-fed animals can all cause inflammation. Vegetable oils such as soybean oil, and corn oil contain omega-6 fats which are pro-inflammatory. They are not harmful if taken in small doses but if you use them in every product, they cause inflammation.

Anti inflammatory diet

Anti-inflammatory diet and back pain

Everyone who had experienced lower back discomfort over the previous three months, regardless of the cause, was included in the study. There are many causes of lower back pain, but inflammation was not always the primary underlying cause. Some persons may experience back discomfort due to an injury or a mechanical problem. Inflammatory back pain is usually caused by inflammatory arthritis such as ankylosing spondylitis or psoriatic arthritis.

Tips to ease chronic inflammation

  • Consume lots of colorful fruits and vegetables :- Consuming 4 to 6 cups of colorful fruits and vegetables without any added sugars would provide anti-inflammatory nutrients, in addition to many other advantages. Watercress, broccoli, and arugula have strong anti-inflammatory benefits.

  • Omega-6s can be offset by consuming more omega-3s :- Avoiding refined oils altogether, but increasing omega-3s can help provide those oils a more anti-inflammatory balance.

  • Use anti-inflammatory spices in cooking :- Spices like cayenne, ginger, and cinnamon can be used to reduce inflammation. You can also use turmeric.