Spinal arthritis affects the joints in the back and neck. It creates stiffness, swelling and pain in the joint and the muscles surrounding the joints. It is a vicious cycle that may require medication to treat. In addition to regular exercise and stretching routines, many patients have found a spinal arthritis diet to be beneficial.
Maintaining a healthy weight can dramatically reduce the pain of spinal arthritis. As little as 10 extra pounds can increase pressure on the joints. Obesity can make you more prone to develop certain types of arthritis. Being overweight reduces mobility and puts pressure on the entire frame of the body, not just the joints. A person at a healthy weight is better able to handle the demands of dealing with arthritis.
There is not a specific spinal arthritis diet, but there are diets and nutrition guidelines that can help you achieve or maintain a healthy weight. A good weight loss diet will help you lose 2-4 pounds a week, by changing your eating habits, controlling portion size and making wise food choices. There are several different weight loss diets available through your doctor or on the internet. Examine the diets and programs available, choosing one that you think is something that you will stick with. If the diet calls for eating lots of protein or fish and you don’t like meat, pick one that is more fruit and vegetable based. Some diets include meal bars or protein shakes for those that don’t have a lot of time to prepare food.
There is an anti-inflammatory diet designed by Dr. Weil, which includes foods that have anti-inflammatory properties that potentially decrease inflammation in the body. Although there isn’t much scientific information to support his claims, many of the foods suggested are heart healthy and help people safely lose weight.
A spinal arthritis diet or arthritis friendly diet includes, increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables. It is suggested that 5-9 half cup servings a day are necessary to get correct amounts of nutrients, anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. High fiber food choices are encouraged, such as berries, leafy greens, sweet potatoes and whole grains. Salmon, beans and yogurt are also on the list. Foods rich in omega-3 fats like sardines and ground flax have also been found to be beneficial. It is also suggested that consuming 4oz of red wine daily can increase heart health and have other benefits to overall health.
The top ten spinal arthritis diet foods are: Canola oil, Grass Fed Beef, Omega-3 rich Oily Fish, Nuts, Cocoa (not chocolate candy!), Cranberries, Cherries, Grapes, Apples and Broccoli.
As important as the foods you should eat are the foods you should not eat. Basically, the same foods that make you fat, can make you hurt. Avoid fast food, sugar, hydrogenated oils, high fructose syrup, highly processed foods, white flour, white rice and other high carbohydrate foods. Sugary sodas and drinks should also be avoided. Limit your intake of alcohol. All the foods and drinks on the do not eat list are thought to trigger inflammation in the body. If simple diet changes can reduce inflammation and pain, than it should definitely be implemented in treating Spinal Arthritis.