The Surprising Connection Between Diet, Chronic Inflammation and Lower Back Pain

Person with anti-inflammatory meal
By Dr. Peter Klapper Ph.D.

Did you know that by making a few tweaks to your diet you can alleviate lower back pain? When a person experiences chronic inflammation, it can contribute to various health issues, including back pain. Sometimes, the solution is all a result of what you are putting into your body.

Can Certain Foods Cause Inflammation?
Yes! Foods that are over-processed, fried, and quick and ready to eat out of the box are packed with added sugar. Those foods may include fast food, processed meat such as hot dogs, ham, bacon, candy, sweetened snacks such as cereal, red meat, alcohol, battered, deep-fried foods, and soda.

Sure, all things can be fine in moderation, but if you tend to overeat ultra-processed foods and have back pain, it may be your diet.

Anti-Inflammatory Foods
By incorporating more anti-inflammatory foods into your diet, you may start to notice a change in the amount of pain you feel in your lower back. Those foods include:

Fatty Fish: Certain fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties. Try adding in salmon, mackerel, sardines and trout as a substitute to red meat.

Berries: Various berries such as blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are packed with antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation.

Leafy Greens: By adding in spinach, kale, and Swiss chard into your diet, you will reap the benefits of vitamins and minerals that have anti-inflammatory effects.

Nuts and Seeds: Various nuts contain healthy fats and antioxidants that can combat inflammation and alleviate lower back pain. Those include almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds and chia seeds.

Turmeric: Turmeric is widely known to have anti-inflammatory properties because it contains a spice called curcumin. When cooking, consider adding turmeric to your dishes or take a supplement. 

Whole Grains: When you can, incorporate whole grains into your diet such as brown rice, quinoa and whole wheat over refined grains. Whole grains contain fiber and nutrients that can help reduce inflammation.

Dairy Alternatives: Some may experience more inflammation from dairy products. Great substitutes can include almond milk, coconut milk or any lactose-free products.

Healthy Fats: Avoid trans fats by substituting with healthier fats. Those may include products such as olive oil, avocado and nuts. All in which have anti-inflammatory properties that will help reduce back pain. 

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