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Healthier Eating Habits and Less Back Pain

The following story from North American Spine explains that healthier eating habits may result in less back pain.  There is a considerable amount of medical literature linking obesity with back injuries and pain. But the basis for this relationship isn't clear. It is widely though and assumed that back pain naturally discourages participation in athletic activity, and a sedentary lifestyle promotes weight gain. Now a research study, reported on Reuters Health, may provide an explanation for this connection and also suggest how adapting healthier eating habits will help treat back pain.

The researchers, from the Yale University School of Medicine, tracked 18 people with back pain and 19 healthy subjects. They wanted to learn whether chronic low back pain would reveal different enjoyment patterns for high calorie and tasty food than their healthy counterparts. The subjects were given a high fat pudding and asked to rate how they liked it.

The back pain group in general liked it less compared with the healthy group. Yet the healthy subjects stopped eating when they were full, whereas the back pain subjects did not. Both groups were also given a sugary orange drink, which they liked equally.

The study, published in Pain online, concluded that when it comes to high fat tasty foods, people with chronic back pain tend to have a lower satisfaction experience, and so they tend to overeat in order to achieve enjoyment. This dysfunctional eating habit will clearly lead to weight problems. Obesity, we know exacerbates ongoing injuries, inflammation and pain.

Back pain can contribute to a whole range of additional problems including depression, immobility and lifestyle dissatisfaction.  It may be more difficult to eat healthy when suffering back pain, but being aware of the benefits and taking some action may help avoid more serious remedies such as back surgery.

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