Back Pain Treatments: Antioxidants

Antioxidants, found in many of the foods and vegetables you eat, promote health in the body by helping to neutralize and remove free radicals in the body, and by reducing inflammation. An antioxidant is a molecule capable of inhibiting certain molecules in our body from undergoing oxidation, which can lead to the premature death of cells. Oxidation is a molecular chemical reaction where hydrogen atoms are removed from molecules by an oxidizing agent. Oxidation reactions produce free radicals. The free radicals produced can cause chain reactions to our metabolism where healthy cells in our body become damaged or rapidly aged. Antioxidants, when introduced into our body by foods like cherry and black raspberries, terminate the chain reactions that removing the free radicals. There are a lot of natural foods available in normal diets, and at our local grocery stores. Natural foods that are high in anti-oxidants include beans, onions, red grapes, any berries, apples, eggplant, alfalfa sprouts, plums, raisins, and prunes.

Research studies and patient testimonials have long associated antioxidants with arthritis reduction and back pain relief. Antioxidants have been shown to reduce all joint related inflammation, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.



Antioxidants have many health benefits, and they also are effective in maintaining a strong immune system, so that we are not sidelined from our everyday responsibilities and commitments to workouts and physical therapy. Eating a diet high in natural foods and antioxidants may boost out immune system to make us more resistant to infectious ailments such as colds and flu.

What Are antioxidants? Antioxidants are vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that protect and repair our cells, by neutralizing free radicals that can break down healthy cells and tissues. Antioxidants also include flavonoids which are found in plants. Some plant foods that we eat that contain flavonoids include dark chocolate, wine, tea, and citrus fruits such as orange and grapefruit. Experts in the fields or rheumatology and orthopedic medicine think that free radical damage of cells plays a part in orthopedic (joint-related) and non-orthopedic diseases, including back pain, cancer, and the hardening of our arteries. Free radicals can also lower our body's immune response to disease. So, by boosting the levels of antioxidants in our diet and body, we may become less sick less often, and lower our chances of developing cardiovascular disease and arthritis. For patients that do have arthritis and back pain, antioxidants may be able to lessen the severity of symptoms, and lower inflammation.

We have free radicals in our body, due to natural metabolic processes, and due to certain foods we eat or things we are exposed to in our environments. Free radicals are one of the byproducts of the breaking down of sugars in our body to produce energy, and when digestive enzymes are released into our stomach and intestines to digest food. Free radicals may be introduced into our body by certain medicines, and by pollutants in our air, water, and food.

Certain antioxidant containing vitamins, minerals, and other substances can be absorbed into our to remove these free radicals from our body. Also, people may get antioxidants into their body through supplements that contain Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and beta carotene.