Inflammation is the body’s way of treating irritants. The irritation may be caused by foreign cells like viruses or bacteria. It may also be due to other external reasons, like a cut on your finger. When the body senses these issues, the immune system gets activated and sends out inflammatory cells and cytokines. The inflammatory cells attack the germs and help to heal the wounds. It also traps the germs from further entering the body. Cytokine is a substance that triggers the production of more inflammatory cells.
What Is Inflamation? Can It Cuase Back Pain?
Inflammations are of two types acute inflammation and chronic inflammation. Normally when we encounter an irritant, the body’s sudden response to that stimulus is known as acute inflammation. It can result in pain, swelling, bruising, heat, and redness in the affected area.
But when the immune system continues to send inflammatory cells even when there is no outside danger, the inflammation on the body comes and goes causing severe damage to the affected area. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammation that affects the joint tissues. The immune system attacks the healthy joint tissues by mistake and causes painful swelling in the affected part.
The most common reason for chronic inflammation is an autoimmune disorder. It is a condition in which the body cannot distinguish between host cells and foreign cells, resulting in the immune system attacking the healthy cells and causing inflammation.
Untreated acute inflammation and exposure to certain toxins are also the reasons for chronic inflammations. In addition, some lifestyle factors are responsible for chronic inflammations. Smoking, drinking alcohol in excess, high BMI, lack of exercise, overtraining, and experiencing chronic stress are some of them. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, aspirin, or naproxen are recommended by doctors. Another way of treating chronic inflammation is by steroid injection. A cortisol shot in the affected areas can decrease inflammation.
Symptoms of inflammatory back pain
It is very common for people to experience lower back pain. According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of every four adults in the US reported having back pain last year. But not all back pain is the same. The most common type of back pain is mechanical, often caused by excessive or repetitive strain on the back.
If your back pain is inflammatory, it could be a symptom of arthritis called Ankylosing Spondylitis. With ankylosing spondylitis, the inflammation in the spine can cause pain and stiffness. It is a condition of pain localized to axial and sacroiliac joints.
Inflammatory back pain typically starts in early adulthood and can last more than three months. The pain can be unbearable and you could wake up in the middle of the night. The pain improves after waking up. Another feature of inflammatory back pain is that it improves with exercise and often does not improve with rest. So considering some form of exercise and stretching in your daily routine can relieve you from that scorching back pain.
Consulting a Rheumatologist is what we can do if we experience such back pain. Like other inflammatory diseases, taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can relieve the symptoms of inflammatory back pain. Using foam rollers and applying heat to the affected area has also been shown to relieve pain.
Food For Inflammatory Back Pain
Apart from taking medications and exercising, experts say that following an anti-inflammatory diet can cure lower back pain. The main objective is to avoid those high fat, high sugar, and highly processed foods that are pro-inflammatory. Pro-inflammatory foods are those that have been shown to cause inflammation in the body. Carbonated drinks, refined flour, and processed meat are also considered pro-inflammatory. Here are some foods that nutritionists recommend for people who are suffering from inflammatory back pain.
👉Consume foods rich in omega 3: Seafood is the cheapest and best source of omega 3. Including more omega 3 fatty acid food sources and limiting the intake of omega 6 could help to provide a more inflammatory balance. Other sources include chia seeds, flax seeds, and hemp seeds. Avoiding refined oils for cooking and adding coconut oil or olive oil can be helpful. Another easy way of adding omega 3 to your diet is by eating a handful of nuts every day. Also, you can consider having omega 3 supplements
👉Fruits and vegetables: Adding a portion of vegetables to every meal can help significantly reduce the pain caused by inflammation. Fruits on the other hand are a good snack option and something to munch on when you are hungry. This way you do not have to get your hands on those packaged foods whenever you feel hungry. Plus, fruits and vegetables contain a lot of micronutrients like vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin K, and zinc which is rich in anti-oxidants essential for fighting inflammation. Spinach, kale, tomato, collards, oranges, avocados, and berries are the best in fighting inflammation.
👉Adding spices: Spices like ginger, cayenne, cinnamon, and turmeric have an incredible ability to beat inflammation. Adding them to your meal and smoothies according to the taste can not only add health benefits but also improve its taste.
👉Beans: High in fiber and antioxidants, beans are one of the best sources of vegetable sources of protein.
👉Whole grains: Wheat, brown rice, oats, barley, quinoa and other unrefined grains due to their slow-digesting property would make you full for a long time. In addition, they also contain fiber which is an important component in reducing inflammation.
👉Sweet potato: Purple flesh sweet potatoes have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties
👉Dark chocolate: A 2018 study found that eating 30 grams of 84 percent dark chocolate each day for 8 weeks significantly reduced inflammation in people.
Eating these foods daily, avoiding pro-inflammatory foods, and drinking lots of water can help to reduce inflammations considerably.
An anti-inflammatory diet has also been seen to reduce the risk of certain other diseases like heart attack, COPD, and even cancer.
It is also important to consider exercise in your daily routine and stop smoking and take medications as prescribed by doctors to get the maximum benefits. Basically, The diet is beneficial for every person looking to live a healthy life, preventing not only inflammation but also many other diseases.
Lacey Arlo is a wellness expert and a nutritionist who aims to help members with health and diet queries. Lacey Arlo has worked with junior, national, and Olympic-level athletes by providing them with customizing programmers, supplement strategies, and support during their travel and competition. From weight management, PCOD, thyroid-related weight loss, and nutrition for children to diets for pregnant and diets for senior citizens, She offers nutrition-aided solutions for different age groups with consideration for each person’s unique health demands.