Lower back pain is one of the most common types of aches and can affect people of any age group. The cause of lower back pain might be different for different people and ranges from a muscle injury to a bad diet.
This might come as a surprise to many but the relationship between the food we take and lower back pain has been studied and it has been found that taking food that causes inflammation might result in back pain.
How Does Inflammation Cause Back Pain?
There are two types of back pain, namely, mechanical back pain and non-specific lower back pain. Mechanical back pain can be traced to the spine, intervertebral disc, and the tissues surrounding it. As for nonspecific back pain, it cannot be traced to a certain cause and it most often arises from inflammation.
This might be confusing to many as inflammation is known to be essential to the body due to its healing and protective effects. While this holds true, too much inflammation known as chronic inflammation might have the opposite effects on the body.
Causes of chronic inflammation
Chronic inflammation might be caused by a variety of reasons. It might be because of an untreated injury leaving the body in a state of constant inflammation trying to heal it. It can also be caused by irritants or pollutants, or autoimmune disorders. But as far as a diet is concerned, a pro-inflammatory diet can also be the cause of inflammation.
What is a pro-inflammatory diet?
A pro-inflammatory diet is a diet where we take food that might increase inflammation in the body and lead to chronic inflammation in the long term. Food that increases inflammation is called pro-inflammatory and includes refined grains, soft drinks, trans fat, processed food, and meat from grain-fed animals. These are food that is easily absorbed by the body and can cause weight gain and problematic blood sugar levels. Too much intake of this food can cause chronic inflammation in the body.
Relation between inflammation and lower back pain
There are several studies to support that lower back pain can be caused by inflammation. In a study, the food taken by people was noted and their incidence of lower back pain was assessed. It was observed that people who followed a pro-inflammatory diet were more likely to suffer from lower back pain. Increased inflammation attacks the joints of the spine and may cause pain in the other parts of the body as well.
Reducing lower back pain with an anti-inflammatory diet
An anti-inflammatory diet is one where food that helps in reducing inflammation is had. Food that is rich in antioxidants can reduce inflammation that might be causing pain in different parts of the body.
The incorporation of these kinds of food into your diet is just not enough to reduce the effects of inflammation in the body. Care should also be taken to eliminate food that might be the cause of inflammation like processed food and soft drinks from your diet.
The process through which food is cooked can also affect inflammation. Cooking food at very high temperatures like roasting, grilling, frying, etc can produce compounds that can contribute to increased inflammation.
Cooked food that is steamed, simmered, or braised would be a better alternative to food that is prepared at high temperatures.
However, this is not an immediate effect, unlike anti-inflammatory medications. Incorporating food high in antioxidants into your diet and avoiding food that might cause inflammation can help in reducing back pain caused by inflammation if followed over the long term.