Diet, Health, and Back Pain

Though we would like the discs of our backs, joints, and muscles to remain as strong and vibrant as ever as we get older, in truth they do wear out over time. On the other hand there are things we can do to extend the healthy life of the discs and facet joints in our spine. In some cases, though, the joint structures in our backs may become damaged and work out even when we take the best precautions against arthritis and disc disease. Nevertheless, even in cases where degenerative changes in the back do become irreversible, the symptoms of pain will not be. There are lifestyle changes that we may make in order to develop the muscles that support the spine to compensate for the other structures that have become worn out. Also, we may do everything that we can to keep the rest of our bodies healthy. It is a known fact in back medicine that healthier patients - physically and emotionally - experience less back pain than patients who are in a worse state of health. Unhealthy lifestyle factors, as well as disease, may affect the ability of the body to supply the back structures with oxygen and other nutrients that they need to either heal injured tissues or maintain their structural integrity. Unhealthy lifestyle factors such as smoking, and diseases such as diabetes, may affect the blood vessels which supply the back as well as the nerves which branch off of the nerve roots of the spine. Diet and nutrition may also be important in the maintenance of back health or in aiding the regeneration of injured back structures. It is also known that some things that we eat increase inflammation of injured joints, while other things that we eat reduce inflammation. Here, we will take a look at diet and nutrition, and how these two lifestyle factors may help us to maintain health or cause back pain.



Getting a balanced diet for optimal nutrition: A balanced diet includes a day's worth of calories and water, as well as all the nutritional needs required to build and maintain the body structures. While supplements and vitamins may be beneficial to certain people, the most important thing is to have a diet that is diverse in protein, vegetables, fruits, and other healthy sources. Eating a balanced diet will give the bones, muscles, discs, and other structures the nutrients they need to remain healthy, or regenerate if injured. One nutrient that must be abundant in a person's diet is calcium, which is one important element that is found in abundant supple in strong bones that have a dense bone density. People with osteoporosis and other medical disorders that affect the density and strength of bones; have reduced calcium levels in the matrix of their bones, making them more prone to fractures or collapse. Nutritional sources that are rich in calcium include dairy products (e.g. milk, yogurt, and cheese), Chinese cabbage, turnip greens, kale, tofu, and orange juice. Here is a list of other vitamins and nutrients that are important to the body's general health, as well as the health of joints and other soft tissue structures recovering from injury.

Vitamin A: vitamin A is an antioxidant that boosts the immune system, which is the body's mechanism for fighting off disease. Vitamin A is also one of the metabolic minerals that is essential to the growth and maintenance of bone, as well as the repair of injured tissues. Some food sources that are rich in vitamin A include carrots Pistachio nuts, Summer squash, Broccoli, Apricots, Peppers, and Cantaloupe.

*Disclaimer* Here's one disclaimer that should be made about vitamin A, and all nutritional sources in general. One should not assume that just because a vitamin or mineral is essential and good for the body, that consuming them in large amounts will be even better. In some cases, high concentrations of certain nutrients, such as Vitamin A, may even be harmful to the body. For example, it is noted that when too much vitamin A is consumed, it may lead to bone fractures. This concept should be kept in mind before overloading on products such as vitamins and supplements.

Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 is necessary for the spine and other body structures - especially the bones - to grow normally. Vitamin B 12 can be found in animal and fish proteins, milk, and seafood proteins.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C is essential for the development of collagen, which is one of the structural components of the body's connective tissue structures and other body tissues. The development of new collagen is especially important in the event of injuries, which will require the regeneration of new healthy tissues to replace the damaged or worn out old cells. Sources of Vitamin C include citrus fruits such as Papaya, Kiwifruit, Oranges, and Pineapple. Non-citrus fruit sources of Vitamin c include Kale, Cantaloupe, Brussels sprouts, Strawberries, and Bell Peppers.