Chronic back pain is a problem for as many as 31 million Americans at any time, according to the American Chiropractic Association. Back pain is a very complex problem that can have a number of different causes, or even various intersecting causes. As a result, treating back pain often requires more than one approach. Chiropractic manipulation is a popular and effective technique for treating back pain. However, there are also things you can do at home or work in conjunction with professional treatment that can help, like exercising regularly and using safe lifting techniques. And while you may be surprised to hear it, making changes to your diet can also help to reduce your back pain. Take a look at some foods to watch for that can help your back feel better.
Red Grapes, Berries, and Cherries
It may be time to start incorporating more fruit salads and fruit pies into your diet. Red grapes, cherries, blueberries, cranberries, and blackberries are all good sources of resveratrol. Resveratrol, a compound made up of powerful antioxidants, works to block certain enzymes that cause damage to the tissues that make up your joints and muscles. This enzyme damage is often responsible for back pain.
Resveratrol is available in supplement form for those who have trouble getting enough of it into their regular diets. However, as with most plant-based nutrients, resveratrol is more easily absorbed by the body when you get it from your food rather than taking it in pill or powder form. Try making fresh fruit smoothies for a delicious and pain-relieving addition to your regular diet.
Tuna fish, salmon steaks, or pan-fried trout are all good options to add to your regular meal rotation. Mackeral, snapper, and halibut are good options too. You probably already know that fish is good for your heart and your brain because of the omega-3 fatty acids found in the fish oil. If that wasn't enough to motivate you to add more fish to your diet, you should know that the same omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory effects that are good for relieving your back pain.
Studies show that fish oil is just as effective in relieving back pain a typical over the counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen. What's more, fish oil is actually safer than the NSAIDs. It doesn't carry with it the risks of bleeding, ulcers, and other complications of NSAID use. Adding more fish to your regular diet can greatly reduce the amount of back pain you experience. If you really can't stand to eat fish, try taking a fish oil supplement that contains both DHA and EPA, the two most important omega-3 fatty acids.
It's common knowledge that caffeine can boost the pain-relieving effects of other drugs. That's why it's included as an ingredient in some over the counter pain reliever. But several studies show caffeine and coffee have pain relieving properties of their own. Two cups of coffee is enough to cut pain and soreness after a workout almost in half, so if your biggest problem is post-workout soreness, this is an easy cure. A dose of caffeine given prior to a workout may even reduce the amount of pain you feel during the workout, increasing your endurance.
But it's not just the caffeine that makes coffee a good pain reliever. The coffee itself may help ease your aching back, even if you're a decaf drinker. Scientists from Brazil have located a protein in coffee beans similar to – but more effective than – morphine. Having a hot cup of coffee when you're experiencing acute back pain may relieve the symptoms until you're able to see your doctor.
Ask your chiropractor to help you create a back-friendly diet plan, personalized for your specific condition and your needs. You can also find a chiropractor near you by visiting sites like http://cochiropractor.com.