REDUCE BACK PAIN BY REDUCING INFLAMMATION IN YOUR BODY.
It is worth checking if you have the below nutrients and vitamins in your diet as these can help lower your pain levels by reducing the inflammation in your body and encouraging tissue repair. However, it is important to check any contraindications – particularly if you are taking blood thinners or Warfarin and to seek advice on dosage and duration of usage if taking supplements. *
Bone broth is full of collagen, supporting soft- and hard-tissue repair (and great for the skin too!). Homemade broth is preferable, there are many recipes available online and you can buy natural stock in the supermarket. I personally cook a chicken in a brick which keeps all the wonderful natural juice as the chicken cooks, as well as keeping the oven clean! You then have a complete meal for the family as well as the stock, which I make into a gravy. Recommended Dosage: one cup twice a day on your food.
Oily fish/Omega 3
Omega 3 is natural anti-inflammatory which may help reduce pain and discomfort.
Dosage. For an Omega 3 supplement look for a 500 EPA/350 DHA ratio-if not on Warfarin. Please check with your doctor first if taking medication. There are also non-fish omega oil supplements on the market, for vegetarians.
Curcumin, if in pain, is a potent anti-inflammatory, but it doesn’t have the side effects and risks of ibuprofen.
(Important note: curcumin is contraindicated if you are taking a blood thinner, which may be prescribed post-surgery or for heart conditions.) and check for duration of usage with your doctor.
Vitamins and minerals work in synergy and may help provide nutrients lacking in the diet; they also provide the co-factors necessary for proper mechanical function. Insufficiencies in the following key micronutrients are implicated in various joint disorders:
- Vitamin D – reduces the inflammatory response, and we often are deficient in this in the UK in winter.
- Magnesium and potassium. A deficiency in these can increase muscular pain and a maganese deficiency, in particular may be linked to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Calcium and magnesium. The ratio needs to be kept in balance to help reduce muscle cramps
- Vitamin C, to help rid the body of a build-up of toxins, causing an inflammatory response in the body
In this day and age, we are prone to feeling continuous stress, which in turn leads our muscles to tense up, leading to back pain. B vitamins can help with stress by working with brain chemistry and balancing neurotransmitters, thus aiding us in achieving balance over stress.
- Thiamin, also known as Vitamin B1, is vital for nerve cells to function properly and aids in the metabolism of fatty acids. Like other vitamins in the B family, thiamin is a water-soluble vitamin that is released from the body in urine and must be replenished daily. Thiamin deficiencies may lead to a disease called beriberi that affects the heart and nerves. When taken as a supplement, thiamin promotes healthy nerves. Vitamins & Health Supplements Guide states that the recommended daily intake of thiamin for adult males is 1.1 mg and 0.8 mg for adult females, but always check with your doctor.
- B3: A deficiency in B3 can cause depression, irritability, stress and mood disturbances.
- B6 can help the body manufacture neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which aids in the body’s ability to cope with depression, stress and anxiety. Vitamin B6 may also help boost the immune system during times of anxiety. Vitamin B6 is another vitamin that is essential for proper functioning of the nerves and nervous system, and necessary for protein metabolism. In addition, when used as a treatment for nerve pain, it may actually aid in the healing process. The Environmental Illness Resource states that nerves take time to heal, therefore natural remedies should be taken for three to 12 months.
- B9 and Folic Acid. Folic Acid is an essential vitamin needed for energy. The body is unable to produce folic acid on its own. If there is a deficiency in folic acid, people may experience depression and fatigue which may produce higher levels of stress
- B12 could be called the memory vitamin because the organ that depends on it the most is the brain. B12 deficiencies may cause mental confusion, neurological changes and make it difficult to cope with stress. This water-based vitamin is significant in the creation of the sleep hormone melatonin and the mood hormone serotonin. Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin essential to proper brain and nervous system function. A fatty sheath made up of complex proteins called myelin surround the nerves; Vitamin B12 is essential in the maintenance of these proteins
B vitamins are vital for optimal mental health and stress. Water soluble, they need to be replenished on a daily basis. Sources rich in B vitamins include cereals and grains, meats, fish, poultry, milk, eggs, peas, beans and vegetables.
Taking a B-complex vitamin, which contains most the major B vitamins, might be the best option to supplement your diet.
Reduce red meat consumption
Studies show that the arachidonic acid present in red meat (beef, lamb, pork) contributes to increased inflammation and consequently pain in joints and muscles.
*This is advice given by a variety of functional nutritionists over the years of advising clients with a build-up of inflammation in the body and collated into an information guide for you. Similar advice is given for inflammation in the intestine and gut too, so helps with IBS. Find what works for you, always take advice from a doctor before taking any supplements and note that, anecdotally it takes around 6 weeks to start to notice the full effect of the benefits, so be patient.