Maintaining a healthy weight is one way to avoid back pain. Another way to prevent an aching back is to watch what we eat.
When it comes to prevention, weight is certainly one of the most important factors and excess weight can put a lot of strain on the lower back.
So we want to use foods that promote ideal body weight, which include lean protein sources, staying away from the white, refined foods or sugary foods, and incorporating those foods that are nutritious, high in vitamin and mineral content, such as fruits, vegetables, salad, etc.
Once you are suffering from acute back pain, doctors find that there are some nutritional steps that can be taken to make things better.
By increasing lean protein intake, you will not only help with the weight control, but you will also help with rebuilding, especially if you are involved in a rehabilitation program to improve muscle strength.
Foods to watch out for are eggplant, potatoes, tomatoes and peppers. These foods can actually increase some of the chemicals responsible for inflammation and getting these out of the diet can help 30-40 percent of patients substantially decrease their levels of inflammation and pain.
Foods that can help ease nerve pain are broccoli, spinach and kale. These dark green leafy vegetables contain a high vitamin B content and a lot of the nerve problems show a deficiency in B vitamins. B vitamins are required to transfer a proper message along the nerve segment. Therefore, these foods can help ease nerve pain and can also help increase the production of serotonin-our "happy" hormone- so that in itself can ease the ill side effects of the back pain.
Pineapple is a fantastic food because it contains natural enzymes that help break down the fibrin capsule that forms around an acute injury area. By breaking down that barrier, it allows nutrients into the area. Papayas and kiwi are also fantastic.
Carrots are high in vitamin E and C. These antioxidants help protect healthy tissue around the area of inflammation.
Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory that decreases inflammation in four different ways. You can slice it into hot water with lemon and make tea. Or you can make a glaze and put it over salmon which is a great source of protein that also decreases inflammation.
The digestive system is home to more than 500 different types of bacteria, they help keep the intestines healthy and assist in digesting food. They are also believed to help the immune system. By taking a good Probiotic daily it will help strengthen your immune system, improve intestinal function, and maintain the integrity of the lining of the intestines.
Spring is here, so while doing your spring cleaning and yard work remember to use good body mechanics to minimize back strain and muscle tension.
Body Mechanics Basics:
1. Test the load. Before you lift, check the weight and make sure you can lift it safely. If not, get help or use an assistive device.
2. Keep your back in its natural curve. Bend at the hips and/ or knees. With the low back erect, the forces are distributed safely.
3. Maintain a wide base of support. A solid and wide base will help reduce the possibility of slipping.
4. Hold objects as close to you as possible. This reduces stress on the back.
5. Do not twist when carrying. Move or change directions with the feet. This decreases the stress and load on the back.
6. Tighten stomach muscles when lifting. This helps the abdominal are to help in the lift and reduce strain on the low back.
7. Think before you lift. First think how you will lift the object. Plan the path and make sure it is clear.
8. Lift with the legs or the large muscles. Using the large muscle groups helps diminish the forces on the low back.
9. Maintain good communication if two or more people are involved. Good timing on a lift reduces the likelihood of jerky or sudden unexpected movements.
10. Move obstacles out of the way. Making sure the path is clear (clearing away toys, tools, loose rugs, etc.) decrease the risk of slipping or falling.
11. Push rather than pull. It is easier to utilize your weight advantage when pushing.
12. Eliminate repetitive lifting duties if possible. Place things or supplies that you constantly need or use at a better height initially to decrease lifting activities.