Seeing as back pain is a physical affliction, it is not surprising that individuals often think of physical treatment as the first response. However, for the multitude of people who want to take recovery into their own hands, their efforts often miss the most fundamental basis of health and body performance – nutrition.
Both your body’s regenerative capacity and the extent to which physical exercise and treatments affect your condition stems from the quality and amount of your fuel source. To put it simply: you can take your V8 engine to the shop for a tune-up, but if there isn’t any gas in the tank when you turn the ignition, you’re not going anywhere.
Embrace the H2O!
Although drinking water seems like intuitive behavior, the average American only gets 30% of their daily water intake from plain water. Not only is water essential for metabolic processes and ensuring your body capitalizes on the vitamins and minerals you are consuming, it also accounts for 80% of the vertebral disks in the spine. As such, consistent and sufficient water consumption throughout the day promotes good spinal disc health. Here are some simple tips on how to get your daily fill.
- Drink water every other hour. Set a timer reminding you to drink water every other hour. As your consumption increases challenge yourself to finish your glass or bottle and be ready for a refill the next time the alarm sounds.
- Make drinking water fun – purchase a personal water bottle. Whether it be temperature controlled, monogrammed, or a bold color, make sure it is convenient to travel with you.
- Download a water tracking app. Having trouble keeping up with your intake? Various applications now offer the ability to track and store data regarding your water intake. The apps record drinking progress and can send notification reminders to keep you on track.
Aside from taking vitamin supplements, the best way to ensure you meet your daily vitamin and mineral requirements is to make sure your diet includes a diverse group of fruits and vegetables. It is easy to forget that our nutrition must cater to the unique needs of our bones as well as the rest of our bodies. Our bones are made up of 80-90% calcium and phosphorous and are rapidly regenerating. In order to maximize bone metabolism, seek out foods high in those two dietary components. Of course, don’t forget other compounds such as protein, magnesium, zinc, copper, iron, fluoride, vitamins D, A, C, and K. Below are some ideal foods to help aid in this process and the vitamins and minerals they offer you.
- Magnesium: spinach, sardines, collard greens, cottage cheese, yogurt, Chinese cabbage, figs
- Phosphorous: brazil nuts, cashews, dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds
- Protein: yogurt, cheese, legumes, lean meats, eggs, fish, milk
- Iron: dried fruit, peas, grass-fed beef, lentils
Remember, back pain is not a condition, but rather a symptom of a greater problem. If you or someone you know is living with acute or chronic back pain, know that there is a solution. Learn more about how Microsurgical Spine Center can serve you in helping to find a solution to managing your back pain here or contact us at 243-841-8939.