Nutrition plays a major role for a healthy life. Globally, poor or inappropriate dietary intake is a major modifiable risk factor for many health problems and lifestyle diseases, like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, obesity and also for chronic pain problems, including spine related disease, joint arthritis or even nerve-related pain also known as neuropathic pain.
It has been found from multiple studies, including epidemiological studies that chronic pain (it can be spinal pain, slip disc, spondylitis, joint arthritis, headache, nerve pain, or even cancer pain) is a significant disease burden and even more than the combined hypertension, diabetes or heart disease burden in many industrialized countries.
Poor nutrition or even high calorie inappropriate food leading to obesity can lead to many chronic pain conditions especially spine or joint-related pain. Hence, optimization of dietary intake and behaviour should also be given priority for overall benefit.
Pain conditions related to poor or inappropriate nutrition
Some chronic pain conditions have direct relationship with poor nutrition (malnutrition), or inappropriate nutrition leading to obesity. These are:
- Spine Spondylosis or Early degenerative disc disease
- Knee Joint Osteoarthritis
- Slip disc
- Other joint arthritis
- Nerve pain or neuropathic pain which typically manifests as tingling, burning or stabbing type
- Musculoskeletal pain
- Migraine headache
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Gout arthritis
Beneficial effects of good/healthy nutrition
A healthy dietary habit or proper nutrition helps relieve chronic pain and plays a preventive role as well. It also has important role in prognostication of many chronic pain conditions.
- Healthy dietary intake can improve the function of the nervous, immune and endocrine systems which in turn can directly affect our pain experiences.
- Weight loss in patient with obesity leads to reduction of the load on joints. This is very important in weight bearing joint arthritis of hip, knee and foot. It also offloads pressure on one’s spine. Maintaining healthy diet also leads to reduced degeneration of spine, and delayed manifestation of spondylosis.
Foods beneficial in the setting of chronic pain
- Fruits & vegetables- encourage wide range of coloured fruits and vegetables including green leafy vegetables as it reduces oxidative stress and inflammation. Frozen fruits and vegetables are also a healthy option as they maintain their nutritional quality.
- Meat and meat alternatives- One can choose fish, chicken and avoid read meats like mutton, beef or pork. Intake of large amount of red meat is not a healthy diet as it is correlated with high uric acid leading to gout, and can lead to oxidative stress. Include oily fish like salmon etc which is rich in omega-3 fatty acid as it has antioxidant property.
- Diary & dairy products- It includes milk, cheese and yoghurt (curd) which contains proteins, fats, some important vitamins and minerals.
- Healthy Fats & Oils- Oils play an important role in our food as we use a wide variety of oils for cooking, and frying. Omega-3 and monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats are good as they reduce inflammation. Olive oil, flaxseed oil, sunflower oil, mustard oil or canola oil is good for health. Reduce saturated or trans-fat intake (like ghee, banaspati, coconut oil etc).
- Drink- Consume 2-3 litres of water daily; add fibers to your diet. Avoid carbonated soft drinks like cold drinks
Balanced diet is key to a healthy bone, joint and spine. Your food should be a mix of carbs, fat, proteins, fibers, vitamins, minerals and plenty of water.
Here is a summary of 7 super foods good for your spine and bone
- Green Leafy vegetables- Spinach, varieties of saga that we eat, broccoli and salads
- All colored fruits & vegetables- orange, apple, berries, leach etc
- Curcurium- found in turmeric (you can add in warm milk & drink daily)
- Green Tea
- Calcium rich foods- Milk & milk products, beans, lentils, orange, carrot, broccoli, almond etc
- Dark chocolate (Do not eat a lot)
List of food one must avoid
- Refined carbohydrates- white bread, white pasta
- Soft drinks like colas and carbonated drinks
- Junk foods- fries
- Processed food
- Excess alcohol
Smoking cessation goes a long way in preventing osteoporosis, arthritis and other inflammatory changes.
For More Information consult with Dr.Rajendra Sahoo
And watch about all spine and pain related video
This Post Has One Comment
Pingback: Role of Nutrition in Chronic Pain and its manag...
Comments are closed.