back pain diet

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Back Pain Diet and Nutrition


Eating a healthy diet also is important. For one thing, eating to maintain a healthy weight or to lose weight, if you are overweight helps you avoid putting unnecessary and injury-causing stress and strain on your back. To keep your spine strong, as with all bones, you need to get enough calcium and vitamin D every day. These nutrients help prevent osteoporosis, which is responsible for a lot of the bone fractures that lead to back pain. Calcium is found in dairy products; green, leafy vegetables; and fortified products, like orange juice. Your skin makes vitamin D when you are in the sun. If you are not outside much, you can obtain vitamin D from your diet: nearly all milk and some other foods are fortified with this nutrient. Most adults don't get enough calcium and vitamin D, so talk to your doctor about how much you need per day, and consider taking a nutritional supplement or a multivitamin.

A study investigated the contribution of vitamin D deficiency as a cause for idiopathic chronic low back pain, to find a simple and sensitive test for screening patients with low back pain for vitamin D deficiency, and to determine the correlation between the vitamin deficiency and pain. Vitamin D deficiency is a major contributor to chronic low back pain in areas where vitamin D deficiency is endemic. Screening for vitamin D deficiency and treatment with supplements should be mandatory in this setting.
- Spine. 2003 Jan 15;28(2):177-9. Vitamin D deficiency and chronic low back pain in Saudi Arabia.Al Faraj S, Al Mutairi K.

Another study found that your weight can have a major affect on whether you are at risk for back pain and even arthritis. The current therapeutic tools available for weight management are: (1) lifestyle intervention involving diet, physical activity, and behavior modification; (2) pharmacotherapy; and (3) surgery. Moderate weight loss (5-10% of initial weight) by any programs is a realistic target in management of obesity associated with improvement of risk factors of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.
- Acta Med Indones. 2006 Oct-Dec;38(4):231-7. Update in the management of obesity.Suastika K.


References and Sources: Medline, Pubmed, National Institutes of Health.


last update: April 2009


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