Low back pain is a common disorder that affects up to 80% of the adult population. Low back pain can manifest as a dull, constant ache in one localized area or as sharp, stabbing pain that shoots down the legs. Acute back pain can be the result of a specific incident, like a fall or car accident, or it can be chronic.
It is important to first determine the cause of your back pain before seeking treatment. While there is no definitive cure for back pain, there are several treatment options that can offer relief.
If your back pain is caused by arthritis, it is recommended to seek treatment from a rheumatologist or arthritis specialist. If you experience back pain due to muscle strain or sprains, then treatment from a chiropractor or physical therapist is recommended. The most common treatment for back pain is over-the-counter pain relievers. These medications can be used to treat acute back pain caused by muscle strain or sprain.
Vitamin D is essential for supporting the structures that support your spine. Without adequate vitamin D, your bones can become frail and soft, which can lead to problems with your spine. Vitamin D supplements are available, or you can increase your intake of foods fortified with vitamin D, like milk, yogurt, and cereals.
Glucosamine is an all-natural byproduct of the sugar-digesting process. It is found in the cartilage and fluid around the joints. When the joints age, glucosamine levels within the body decrease. The body breaks it down into glucose, which is used by the body for energy. Losing glucosamine reduces the body’s ability to repair damaged cartilage. It may also cause general joint pain.
Magnesium is a mineral found in various foods and is also present in our bodies. Magnesium helps to relax muscles and nerves, and studies have found that magnesium deficiency may exacerbate lower back pain. Magnesium has also been found to improve sleep, which is important for back health. Magnesium can be found in nuts, pumpkin seeds, and legumes.
Vitamin C is an important vitamin found in citrus fruits, strawberries, and broccoli. This vitamin may help decrease inflammation that causes back pain. Although vitamin C doesn’t directly relieve pain, it decreases inflammation in your body, which may reduce the discomfort you feel.
You can take probiotics for back pain. Probiotics are good bacteria that naturally live in your digestive system. They can help reduce inflammation, which can decrease back pain. Probiotics can be found in yogurt, kefir, and other foods. You can also take supplements.
Supplementing with fish oil can reduce inflammation and ease stiff muscles. Fish oil supplements are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are both anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic. So, while fish oil isn’t a direct pain reliever, it’s anti-inflammatory properties help relieve pain.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat. They are “good” fats that may reduce inflammation in the body. Studies have shown that omega-3s (specifically EPA and DHA) may help reduce back pain.
Some back pain can be alleviated by a change in diet. An alternate diet often helps minimize discomfort, whether it’s caused by inflammation, poor posture, or muscle strain. Nutritious foods that help back pain include:
Please reach out to Florida Regional Pain Management, PA: Shonith Manohar, MD in Jacksonville, FL, to schedule a consultation with Dr. Manohar. You can call us at (904) 737-7246 or schedule a consultation online, and we'll guide you further.