If you have ever suffered from lower back pain, you will know just how painful and debilitating this can be. You may also have tried a host of reactive measures to alleviate lower back pain, from gentle muscle exercises to practicing yoga.
What you may not be aware of, however, is that there are also numerous preventative methods of avoiding back pain. Absorbing the right nutrients from your diet is crucial, for example, as this aids muscular strength and flexibility while ensuring that you maintain a healthy weight.
5 Nutrients That Will Help you to Alleviate Lower Back Pain
The following nutrients also enable your body to repair itself after an injury, which can also negate the risk of long-term complaints and alleviate lower back pain:
Let’s start with calcium, which has proven qualities that enable muscles to contract and relax properly (including those that surround your heart and other organs). This can be found in numerous food items, including citrus fruits, soybeans, tofu, salmon and sardines. Leafy vegetables such as kale and broccoli are also viable natural sources, although similar items such as Swiss chard and have a negative impact on consumption rates.
Both men and women should aim for an average intake of 1,200 milligrams each day, which the body’s utilization of calcium can also be enhanced by the consumption of Vitamin D.
Potassium is another key nutrient and one that serves the pivotal role of communicating nerve impulses to individual muscle groups (allowing them to stretch and relax as required). Although this is present in meat, grains and dairy products, it remains a seminal component of fruit and vegetables and these should play a central function in your diet. Both men and women also need to consume an estimated 4,700 milligrams each day, so items like bananas and potatoes should be eaten regularly.
For preventative care, parents should also encourage the consumption of potassium in their children from an early age. After all, nations like the US and the UK have disproportionately high rates of back pain and among the lowest, recommended quota of fruit and vegetables per day, while schools are already partnering with outlets such as Premier Polytunnels to empower healthier diets among youngsters.
While it is proven that a lack of protein can restrict your ability to build muscle mass, it also hinders the body’s capacity for maintaining and repairing damaged tissues. Conversely, a protein-rich diet improves your energy levels and enables muscles to contract properly, so it is important to consume food items such as chicken, fish, beef, eggs and milk. The recommended consumption levels only differ slightly between athletes and everyday citizens, with two or three servings of lean protein enough to maintain functionality.
If you are a vegetarian or a vegan and cannot consume meat or dairy, consider introducing legumes, seeds, grains and dark, leafy vegetables into your diet.
4. Vitamin C
We have already touched on the importance of Vitamin D in your diet, but Vitamin C is also a vital component. This nutrient produces collagen, which is a connective tissue that makes up a staggering 90% of all muscle mass in the human form. It can also be found in most fruits, particularly citrus items such as oranges and lemons.
Once again, vegetables are also a rich source of Vitamin C, with bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, spinach, tomatoes and potatoes all key dietary components. If you are a man, aim for an average consumption level of 90 milligrams each day, while women should target a slightly lower intake of 75 milligrams.
The relationship between iron and muscle has been well-researched, with the former enabling red blood cells to oxygenate the latter. An iron-rich diet can ensure that your muscle cells supply the required level of oxygen to the core tissues and fibres, enabling them to function well under stress and over a prolonged period of time. This is key to reducing injury, particularly for those who work in physically demanding jobs.
Iron can be found in red meat, poultry, eggs, fruits and fortified grain products, while it is also a key component of green vegetables such as spinach and broccoli. The recommended, daily consumption level for men and women aged under 51 is 8 milligrams, and this rises to 18 milligrams for women who are older than this.
The Last Word
Make no mistake; back pain is a debilitating condition that is thought to cost $34,000 per 100 employees annually in the US alone. It is also considered to be a key contributor to a lack of employee engagement across the globe, so eliminating it can improve your quality of life and improve your career prospects.
So, if you do find yourself struggling with lower back pain, seek out professional guidance and shape your diet accordingly. If you are pain-free for now, focusing on incorporating these nutrients into your diet and preventing problems in the future.