Can Food Cause Back Pain?

Did you know that the food you eat may be contributing to your back pain?

Chronic pain is often linked with chronic inflammation. Inflammation, which plays a major role in back pain and also sciatica, can actually be triggered by certain foods.

If you experience any of the following regularly, you may have inflammation:

  • Joint and muscle aches and pains
  • Stiffness and swelling
  • Fever and chills
  • Headaches and fatigue
  • Nausea and loss of appetite

Many people suffer from these symptoms without ever realizing that there’s a chance that they can alleviate them. The good news is, with a few dietary changes, you can help reduce inflammation and make your back pain less severe.

How Food Affects Back Pain

Let’s start with sugar. The issue is not with sugar itself, but rather with how much you consume. A high sugar intake can lead to an increased production of harmful advanced glycation end-products (AGEs), which damage the body’s proteins. The body’s immune system attacks these AGEs to protect itself, and the result is inflammation.

Similar to sugar, processed food can have adverse effects on the body. Not only are they usually high in sugar or sugar substitutes like high fructose corn syrup, but they are also high in omega-6 fatty acids and trans fats. Besides triggering inflammation, omega-6 fatty acids have also been associated with arthritis.

This last one might be hard to hear but caffeine and caffeinated beverages can also affect your back health. Consuming too much caffeine can cause stress hormone levels to rise, triggering insulin spikes and eventually leading to inflammation.

Which food is not good for back pain?

To keep your back healthy, we’ve put together a list of foods that you should eat in moderation and food that you should eat more of. The foods that we recommend limiting are typically high in one or more of the three ingredients that we’ve mentioned above. Likewise, the foods that we recommend eating more of have little or none of those ingredients.

Drink in moderation: Soft drinks, sport drinks, alcohol, coffee, and tea
Drink more: Water (mineral, filtered, or distilled) or decaffeinated herbal tea

Dairy Products
Eat in moderation: Butter, cheese, milk, ice cream, and yogurt
Eat more: Dairy substitutes made from almond, coconut, or rice milk

Grains and Starches
Eat in moderation: Corn, wheat, rye, barley, and other grains that contain gluten
Eat more: Potatoes, oats, and rice

Animal Proteins
Eat in moderation: Beef, pork, shellfish, eggs, hot dogs, and sausages
Eat more: Chicken, fish, and turkey

Eat in moderation: Oranges (they contain a lot of sugar)
Eat more: All other fruits

Eat in moderation: Corn
Eat more: All other vegetables

Seeds, Nuts, and Legumes
Eat in moderation: Peanuts, peanut butter, soybeans, and soy products
Eat more: Almonds, cashews, pecans, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, walnuts, and all other legumes (except soybeans)

Spices and Sauces
Eat in moderation: Ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce, and soy sauce
Eat more: Plain spices, vinegar, and olive oil

Do You Want To Treat Back Pain Without Drugs And Surgery?

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