About 80% of adults experience some form of lower back pains at some point in their lifetimes, making it one of the most common cause of job-related disability. Certain foods, nutrients and supplements can alter the underlying cellular metabolic processes that maintain chronic inflammation, degeneration and pain. Besides regular exercise and maintaining good posture, we can also include these health supplements in our diet which can help ease those backaches that are impeding our daily lives.
1. Essential fatty acids (2,000 milligrammes daily)
The body uses Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) to make chemicals that control inflammation. As the body cannot produce these substances on their own, it is essential that one consumes them from food or food supplements. There are two main groups of EFAs: Omega-3 fatty acids and Omega-6 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids, which are mainly found in wild-caught fishes (salmon, mackerel and herring) and flaxseed, have been shown to help reduce inflammation. Fish oil supplements high in Omega-3 are often required for people with back pain as most of our diets do not include the necessary dosage.
Omega-6 fatty acids, which are mainly found in common cooking oils such as corn and safflower, as well as plant seed oils like evening primrose oil, borage and black currant, have been shown to produce pro-inflammatory substances and anti-inflammatory mediators.
2. Turmeric (1,000 milligrammes daily)
Besides making curry smells really good, this bright yellow-orange spice is arguably the most powerful herb on the planet, with over 6,235 peer-reviewed articles published proving the benefits of turmeric and one of its renowned healing compounds curcumin.
We will save the immense list of benefits of Turmeric for another article. What we need to know, in regards to easing backaches, is its ability to control inflammation. Turmeric contains curcumin, which is the active ingredient that has powerful anti-inflammatory abilities, anti-aging effects and reduces pain. The journal Oncogene found that aspirin and ibuprofen are least effective, while curcumin, is among the most effective anti-inflammatory compounds in the world.
3. Huiji Waist Tonic
Huiji Waist Tonic is a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that is purported to help in strengthening the waist. In a forum, a user claimed that a taxi driver, who suffered from back problems for 12 years, was relieved of his back pains after finishing a bottle of Huiji Waist Tonic. Made with premium ingredients like cordyceps, ginseng, duzhong, danggui, shouwu and dazao, the waist tonic is popular among breastfeeding and confinement moms, and is often one of the recommended health supplement for people suffering from backaches.
Here is a list of its purported benefits:
- Strengthen the body and the waist
- Nourish and darken hair
- Relieve aches in the waist and knee
- Waist strengthening
- Improve blood circulation
- Relieve numbness of hands
- Gentle on the stomach
- Relieve muscles stiffness
Huiji is currently having a Father’s Day promotion on their website. Visit the links below for more details:
Minerals, such as zinc and copper, may help in reducing pain and inflammation. At a molecular level, zinc is involved in processes supporting life such as cellular respiration, DNA reproduction, preservation of cell membranes, and elimination of substances called radicals which contribute to aging.
Copper, on the other hand, is the third most prevalent mineral in the body, yet it cannot be made by the body itself and must be obtained through certain foods. Because it is involved in the maintenance of cells related to almost every part of the body’s tissues, copper is important for preventing joint and muscle pain. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of zinc is 8 mg/ day for women and 11 mg/day for men, while copper for adult men and women is 0.9 mg/day.
5. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 has been shown to have analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects and may have a role in the treatment of back pain. It helps to ease your back pain by encouraging your body to thicken its protective coating around your nerves, so they don’t “short circuit” and cause pain.
Take just 1 to 2 mg of Vitamin B12 daily.