As an Ealing chiropractor, I see a lot of patients who come to me with back pain. Our aim at the clinic is to fully assess each case on its merits and come up with an appropriate treatment based on the evidence.
Quite often, however, people also ask me what they can do to avoid further back pain in the future. While there are a number of measures, such as regular exercise and working on your posture, I impress on patients the need for a proper, healthy diet.
What We Put in Our Bodies Makes a Difference
When we talk about diet in relation to back pain and muscular-skeletal problems, we tend to focus on being overweight. Extra bulk in the stomach area will put unnecessary pressure on the back and make it more likely there are going to be problems. Losing weight should obviously, therefore, help to alleviate this issue, especially if you suffer from persistent, chronic back pain.
But the impact of diet on back pain is actually a bit more nuanced by that. There has been some research done that suggest diet choices, including alcohol, caffeine and sugar, can have an impact on our body’s natural anti-inflammatory processes. In other words, it could be that drinking too much wine or having too many sugary drinks could be impeding how well you recover from an attack of back pain.
There still needs to be a lot more research done in this area but, at our Ealing chiropractic clinic – The Spine & Joint Centre, we’re keen on helping patients to take a closer look at their diet and improve it if necessary for a whole range of reasons.
How to Change Your Diet
We can all get into bad eating habits. When we’re busy, we’ll grab an unhealthy snack to keep us going or, because we’re tired when we get home from work, we’ll settle for a takeaway rather than a freshly cooked meal.
The good news is that a few simple changes can help improve your diet and, hopefully, have at least some impact on your back pain and your potential to recover quicker.
1. Stay Hydrated
One thing that people forget is to drink enough water. Our advice is to monitor your intake and increase it if you are not getting enough fluids. Try to avoid drinks like sugary sodas which will leave you more dehydrated and also cut down on those caffeinated drinks. The easiest way to stay well-hydrated is to keep a bottle of water nearby and take sips regularly.
2. Eat a Balanced Diet
Kick out the takeaways and comfort food and start eating fresh, healthy meals. It’s surprising how easy it is to get into bad eating habits. Fresh veg, unprocessed food choices and smaller portion sizes are all important. If you have difficulty finding time to cook because of your busy schedule, make up healthy meals in batches and freeze them.
3. Avoid Snacking
We can also get into the habit of grabbing unhealthy snacks from chocolate bars to crisps without realising how bad these are for us nutritionally. If you do one thing, swap these unhealthy choices for healthier nuts and other natural foods should you want a snack between meals.
4. Cut Down on the Alcohol
While one or two drinks is okay, if you’re going over your recommended limit more often than not, we suggest you cut down on alcohol. Not only does it have lots of hidden calories but it can result in us eating more unhealthily because we suddenly get the ‘munchies’ late at night. Too much alcohol can also affect how well we sleep at night and that can have a massive impact on our back health.
If you are currently suffering from back pain, our Ealing chiropractor can certainly help. Contact our chiropractic clinic in Ealing today to book an appointment.