How Your Diet Affects Back Pain and Sleep

If you are constantly experiencing back pain and fatigue, you may be surprised to hear that your diet might play a significant role in your symptoms. Maintaining a healthy diet is essential to living a healthy life. If you indulge in unhealthy foods frequently, your body may be trying to warn you through your back pain symptoms! Not getting enough sleep throughout the night because of back pain and a lack of sleep hygiene can contribute to an unhealthy lifestyle.

What Is Back Pain?

Back pain is a term that refers to pain felt in the back. The pain may be localized to one area, or it may be widespread. Back pain can be caused by multiple factors, including muscle strain, arthritis, herniated discs, and even a poor diet. The symptoms will vary depending on the cause.

Some common symptoms include:

  • Pain in the back that may radiate to other areas of the body
  • Stiffness in the back
  • Fatigue
  • Numbness or tingling in the extremities
  • Sudden onset of pain

Depending on the cause of your back pain, you may only experience flare-ups. If you’ve had injuries or are diagnosed with chronic back pain, your doctor may recommend frequent therapy sessions to alleviate your symptoms. However, a poor diet can cause elevated inflammation levels in your body, and changing your diet can ease your discomfort.

How Your Diet Affects Inflammation Levels

When you eat unhealthy foods, your body cannot process the food properly.  This can lead to inflammation in the body. Inflammation is the body’s natural response that helps protect it from harm. However, if inflammation is constantly activated, it can lead to health problems such as back pain.

Some common foods that contribute to inflammation include:

  • Sugar
  • Trans fats
  • Processed foods
  • Refined carbs
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine

If you are experiencing back pain, it is important to eliminate these foods from your diet and replace them with healthy alternatives. Eating a balanced diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains can help to reduce inflammation levels and reduce your discomfort. It is also essential to drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and worsen back pain symptoms.

Foods That Reduce Back Pain

If you want to reduce back pain, you may be able to do so by changing up your diet and adding certain foods to your meals. These back pain and inflammation reducers include the following foods:

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Brazil nuts
  • Pecans
  • Avocado
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Cocoa powder and chocolate
  • Beans and other legumes

A doctor may be able to recommend additional foods you can implement into your diet if you wish to reduce back pain. Many of these items have anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce the pain receptor response in any areas where you experience discomfort.

How Weight Can Impact Your Back Pain

While most individuals have a healthy weight range, there can be some benefit to shedding the pounds if you reach a certain point. Excess weight can easily shift your center of gravity, negatively impacting your posture and affecting the shape of your spine.

Because weight can impact your pain, we recommend you work with a medical practitioner to see if you would benefit from changing your diet and implementing other lifestyle changes. Your doctor can help you ensure you lose weight safely.

How Sleep Hygiene Affects Back Pain

If you are having problems with back pain, it is important to make sure that you are getting a good night’s sleep. Sleep is essential for your body’s physical and mental health. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body will not repair itself after the wear and tear that occurs each day.

A good night’s sleep includes:

  • Establishing a bedtime routine
  • Avoiding caffeine in the evening
  • Avoiding meals in the late evening

Poor sleep hygiene may lead to uncomfortable evenings, with back pain flare-ups at the end of the day. You may not notice how tired your body is until the end of a long day. It can be challenging for people to fall asleep or stay asleep for an extended period with poor sleeping habits. When back pain keeps you up during the night, it contributes to your fatigue and negatively affects your daily life.

How to Prevent Back Pain

You can prevent back pain even further by implementing a few habits into your daily routine, including the following:

  • Get regular exercise
  • Try building up your strength
  • Practice good posture
  • Reduce or stop smoking
  • Implement a regular nightly routine
  • Change your chair and desk set-up
  • Avoid screen activities that cause you to hunch forward
  • Make sure your practice healthy lifting with heavy items
  • Wear shoes with arch support
  • Wear looser clothing

For additional tips about preventing back pain, we recommend you work with your doctor. A surgeon can assess your circumstances and determine whether you would benefit from certain treatment options.

Alleviating Back Pain with Our Experts at NJ Spine and Orthopedic

At NJ Spine and Orthopedic, we specialize in treating back pain. You don’t have to live with back discomfort every day or lose sleep because it keeps you up at night! If you are experiencing discomfort, our specialists can help to alleviate your symptoms. We offer a variety of treatments and therapies that fit your needs. Our team will evaluate your spine and find the right treatment plan for you. Contact our office or call us at 855-586-2615 to schedule a consultation and meet our team!

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