Normally, is not the first thing patients think about when considering how to address their low back pain or neck pain. Yet, proper nutrition can have profoundly positive effects on a patient’s lifestyle, including reducing their overall neck and back pain levels. While anti-inflammatory drugs and pain relievers help to temporarily reduce a patient’s chronic back pain, these medications actually do not address the underlying causes of the pain, some of which may be related to the patient’s diet.
First, proper hydration is crucial in preventing muscle spasms and cramping. Many people do not consume enough water (typically an ounce per pound of body weight, varying according to physical activity) in the course of their daily routines. Severe cramping or muscle spasms can have adverse effects on the spinal column, causing compression in the spinal nerves that in turn produces severe pain. Proper hydration also helps maintain the cartilage between the spinal column’s joints—a dehydrated joint degrades more quickly as a result of the load-bearing stress of daily movement.
Protein—particularly from lean meats and fish—will help maintain the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the spinal column. Along with physical therapy and core strengthening exercises, protein is a key component in ensuring the muscles of the spinal column can properly assist the spinal joints in load-bearing activities. Healthy fats from coconuts, beef, and fish will help maintain the cartilage in the spinal column’s joints, as well as the joints in other regions of the body. This significantly lowers the chances that a joint will degrade to the point of compressing nearby spinal nerves.
Calcium, vitamin D, and many trace nutrients will help maintain proper bone density. This is particularly important in older patients, as osteoporosis (low bone density) can cause weak regions in the bones. When subjected to the normal stresses of daily movement, spinal or hip fractures can lead to dangerous falls in elderly patients. Proper nutrition and nutritional supplements reduces incidence of spinal and hip fractures, in addition to keeping bone density at near-optimal levels.
The Kraus Back and Neck Institute in Houston, TX, believes that proper nutrition and a healthy diet is important for preventing low back pain and neck pain, but additionally, if one already has these conditions, it will help to improve healing and reduce the pain. Proper nutritional counseling may be very important for the healing process. The KBNI treats patients, from the Houston TX area and surrounding areas including Sugarland, Woodlands, Memorial City, Pearland, Katy, Beaumont, Humble, Kingwood, and the Texas Medical Center (TMC). Any patients suffering from low back pain or neck pain, in Houston or other areas of the county, are welcome to call for an office appointment. They may also schedule online at www.spinehealth.com
Keywords: low back pain, neck pain, proper nutrition, hydration, spinal column, katy, kingwood, humble, memorial city, memorial city, sugarland, woodlands, Texas Medical Center, TMC