Nutrition can play an important role in how your body naturally manages, prevents, and responds to pain. While there’s a lot of research to suggest what foods are likely to help prevent pain and ward off certain illnesses, it’s also worth considering input from patients who have had success with their own dietary choices both before and after spine surgery.
A growing number of patients living with some degree of pain are spreading the word about the many benefits of a high-fiber diet. Mustard greens, cabbage, kale, broccoli, spinach, beans, barley, brown rice, mushrooms, and oranges are just some of the foods you can enjoy on a fiber-rich diet. Studies suggest a high-fiber diet may also control inflammation by lowering body weight.
Some patients have discovered the one-two punch of honey and apple cinnamon tea. Cinnamon alone has anti-inflammatory properties that can help keep pain in check. Honey has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties and cinnamon is loaded with antioxidants that can maintain cell health. For an equally healthy, pain-fighting variation on this recommendation, try sprinkling some cinnamon on your morning coffee.
It’s no surprise that many patients with recurring pain are chatting up the benefits of moderating or eliminating their intake of grains, sugars, and processed foods. There is, however, a distinction between healthy and unhealthy grains, with whole grains considered the healthier option.
Turmeric can do more than enhance the flavor of many foods, a fact confirmed by patient input. The curcumin in turmeric has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that make the peppery Middle Eastern spice a tasty pain-fighter.
Many patients attribute a noticeable reduction in back pain and a better night’s sleep to a diet that includes tart cherry juice. Rich in cell-protecting antioxidants, cherries are an especially nutrient-rich fruit.
Even though the information presented here is primarily based on patient feedback, it aligns fairly well with much of the existing research on how certain foods can help manage pain. Before making any substantial adjustments to your diet, however, check with your doctor or consult with a dietitian.
To learn more about managing chronic back pain through conservative spine treatments, reach out to The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration by calling (310) 828-7757. Schedule an in-person consultation today.