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Back pain is a common condition that affects most people at some point in their lifetime, according to the NHS. But you could be raising your risk of developing backache by eating more cheese, green leafy vegetables and certain types of fish, it’s been claimed.
Back pain could be caused by sleeping in the wrong position, having bad posture, or even by having a minor injury.
In most cases, back pain isn’t anything to worry about, and it’ll get better by itself within a few weeks or months.
But, you can speed up your recovery, or even prevent back pain from developing in the first place, by making a few changes to your diet plan.
One of the best ways to avoid backache is to eat more calcium-rich foods.
Foods that are packed full of calcium, including cheese, green leafy vegetables and sardines, are crucial for the health of your back, according to chiropractor Dr Kelly Andrews.
Calcium is very important for bone health in the spine – especially in old age.
Not getting enough calcium in your diet increases the risk of osteoporosis.
One of the key symptoms of osteoporosis is back pain, as a result of fractured vertebrae.
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“As most people are well aware, good nutrition and a balanced diet are important components of overall health,” Dr Andrews told medical website Spine-health.
“What may surprise people with back problems is that diet, exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight also play a major role specific to back health.
“[Calcium] is essential for bone health and helps maintain the necessary level of bone mass throughout the lifespan, and especially in old age.
“Adequate calcium intake is particularly important to help prevent the development of osteoporosis, a disorder characterised by weak and brittle bones that can result in painful vertebral fractures in the spine.”
Calcium is also crucial for regulating muscle contractions in the body, including the heartbeat.
All adults need at least 700mg of calcium every day from their daily diet.
Meanwhile, you could also lower your risk of back pain by cutting back on the amount of vegetable oil in your diet.
Vegetable oil is rich in omega-6 fatty acids, which contributes to inflammation in the body.
Regular exercise and doing stretches could also help to prevent back pain from returning, said the NHS. Speak to a GP or physiotherapist for advice on which exercises to try, said the NHS.
Those most at risk of developing back pain are people that are overweight.
You should see a GP or dial NHS 111 immediately if you have back pain, combined with a numbness or tingling around your genitals, a loss of bladder or bowel control, or severe chest pain.
These symptoms could be a sign of something more serious, and need to be checked immediately.
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