Best Diet For Back Pain – Why Your Diet May Be Causing You Back Pain
Lower back pain is something the majority of us will experience at some part of our lives. For a number of us, it will be a condition that will render us disabled affecting the quality of our life completely. Up to 80% of the population in the US experiences lower back pain, where as up to 5 million people are either chronically or temporarily disabled due to back pain.(1.)
Has it always been this way? Why are so many people suffering from back pain in modern times compared to generations before. It can not be because we are lifting heavier objects and surely it is not because we are more physically active now and tweaking our backs from being in odd postures. In this post I hope to answer these questions and also advise on the best diet for back pain, which may help alleviate your lower back pain problems.
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What Causes Back Pain.
The majority of incidents of low back pain is unknown and appears suddenly. It might have been caused by an injury, a strain from bending over, twisting or lifting something heavy or awkward. However, a minority of cases stem from a more serious cause, for example, an infection, arthritis or even a tumor.
Nerve root pain, often called a trapped nerve, is another cause of lower back pain and happens when a nerve from the spinal cord is irritated or pressed on. This pain does not stay in the lower back region but follows the course of the nerve, therefore, the pain can extend all the way down a leg.
What Really Causes Back Pain
Artheosclorosis (a hardening of the arteries) reduce the size of arteries that feed the body, including the spine. As a result of the narrowing of the arteries blood flow is diminished to the spine and can lead to a host of back problems. Researchers are finding that atherosclerosis of the arteries that supply blood flow to the lumbar spine were associated with disk degeneration and lower back pain.(2.)
Postmortem studies showed blockages from plaque in the spinal artery holes which would have reduced the amount of blood capable of feeding the spine. They concluded that high cholesterol levels and smoking had the most consistent associations with disk degeneration and lower back pain.(3.)
This may be something to get checked out if you are a chronic low back pain sufferer. Lower back pain could well be a warning sign of cardiovascular disease. If a person has atherosclerosis in one area then the person has atherosclerosis in all areas.
Conditions like erectile dysfunction and lower back pain are considered warning signs of cardio vascular disease because the arteries in these areas are smaller than the main arteries to the heart. Therefore, clogging of the arteries in the smaller arteries will show signs of blockages before symptoms appear in the larger arteries.
Symptoms like erectile dysfunction and lower back pain could well be a canary in the coal mine warning. If you have long term erectile dysfunction or chronic back pain then it might be worth paying your doctor a visit to have a look at your heart health.
In this study subjects with higher LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) complained of more severe low back pain than those with normal LDL cholesterol.(4.) The study concluded spinal arteries were often blocked in patients with nonspecific chronic lower back pain.
Not only does reduced flow effect the supply of nutrients to the spinal region but blockages will also effect the removal of waste, such as lactic acid. Preventing the removal of waste can irritate nerve endings, which in itself will cause more pain and deterioration.(5.)
But I Am Too Young For Blocked Arteries
Signs of atherosclerosis are seen as early as childhood in most individuals. Coronary fatty streaks are prevalent in most people by their 20’s.(6.) Is it surprising that lower back problems are not exclusive to the elderly anymore. More and more young people are complaining of back problems and diet could be one of the main reasons why.
Is the Standard American Diet having a big influence on the population’s back health. Diseases that were once associated with getting older, such as, High Cholesterol, High blood Pressure and Type 2 Diabetes are now becoming more and more common in younger generations. Now we are seeing the consequences of our dietary choices and it is influencing our bodies at a much quicker rate than one could ever have imagined.
As chronic illnesses are becoming more common for all age groups it is not surprising to see statistics showing lower back pain as a public health concern not only for older people but for children and adolescents as well.(7.)
Here Is A Video From Dr. Gregor Detailing The Link Between Atherosclerosis And Lower Back Pain
What Is The Best Diet For Back Pain
It is never too early to start eating healthier and many conditions are reversible and preventable. In my opinion, a whole foods plant based diet is the best diet for a healthy heart. A plant based diet has been proven to lower LDL cholesterol levels, lower High Blood Pressure and even reverse Type 2 diabetes and Coronary Heart Disease.
Dr. Ornish placed over a thousand patients on a low fat (10% of calories) plant based diet, moderate exercise and stress reduction plan for 12 weeks. 74% of patients with mild to limiting angina were now angina free after 3 months on this plan. As you already know, a healthy heart equates to healthy heart arteries, and healthy heart arteries equates to healthy arteries in other parts of the body, including the arteries that supply blood to the spine.(8.)
Lower back pain is becoming a problem for a major part of society in modern times. Lower back pain is no longer a problem affecting people of old age as more and more young people are visiting their local doctors with lower back complaints.
I believe diet may have a major role to play in these issues as diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes, once known as adult-onset diabetes, are now commonly diagnosed in children due to the prevalence of childhood obesity. The modern Standard American Diet is being associated with many diseases, including lower back pain, that a change in dietary habits must be changed to reverse these conditions.
As a diet that is healthy for the heart will be healthy for the rest of the body, therefore, a whole foods plant based diet could be one area that can help you make your lower back pain a thing of the past. In addition to taking care of your diet to help relieve your lower back pain, how about having a look at my other post on the best back exercises for lower back pain.
I hope you found my post helpful. If you have any other questions about a whole food plant based diet, please do not hesitate to leave a message in the comment box below. Have a nice day 🙂