Beejal Y. Amin MD

Is Your Diet Negatively Impacting Your Spine Health?

Dec 01, 2022

Is Your Diet Negatively Impacting Your Spine Health?

If you suffer from spinal issues like back pain, you could be surprised to learn that your dietary choices might be at the root of the problem. What should, and shouldn’t, you eat for spine health? Read to learn more.

With all the problems that spinal health issues can cause, it makes sense to take preventive steps to keep your spine in good shape! Did you know that your diet can make a difference in your spinal health? Your answer to holding off back pain problems and other spinal issues could lie in what you eat!

Board-certified neurosurgeon and spinal expert Dr. Beejal Amin, MD, FAANS, provides expert care and treatment for various spinal issues. Dr. Amin sees patients at his offices in Oak Lawn, South Holland, and Orland Park, Illinois. He can also advise you on what to do to prevent spine problems and what you need to eat to keep your spine healthy.

Getting enough calcium

You need calcium to maintain healthy bones. Your spine contains many small vertebral bones, all of which can suffer from bone density loss, chips, and cracks. Keeping your spinal bones strong with plenty of calcium is a great way to avoid spinal issues like herniated discs, broken vertebral bones, and spinal deformities.

You can add calcium to your diet by consuming plenty of low-fat dairy and some types of fish. Eating leafy greens increases your ability to absorb calcium, another beneficial effect. Calcium supplements are also helpful, especially for women after menopause who have a heightened risk of bone density loss.

Inflammation and food

Inflammation can wreak havoc on the tissues and nerves clustered around your spine. You can reduce the levels of inflammation in your body by paying attention to what you eat.

Foods that increase inflammation include refined carbohydrates, processed foods, trans fats, and highly sugary foods and beverages. If your diet includes these items regularly, and you’re concerned about spine or back pain problems, consider cutting back.

Other foods have anti-inflammatory effects. These include fruits and vegetables, plant-based proteins, poultry, eggs, dairy, and seafood. Healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil, and foods high in Omega 3 and 9 fatty acids, are also beneficial for anti-inflammation dietary goals. 

The “Mediterranean Diet” is an overall good dietary model for spinal health.

Spinal benefits of maintaining a healthy weight

Another way your diet impacts your spinal health is with overall body weight. Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining a healthy weight for your frame, along with regular exercise and other good lifestyle habits.

Think about how your spine works to support your body. The more weight you carry, the more your spine has to deal with in terms of wear and tear. Each added pound over a healthy weight contributes to spinal stress.

We measure your weight using the body mass index (BMI). Talk to Dr. Amin about whether your BMI is healthy and how to lose weight and take pressure off your spine, if needed.

If your dietary choices are negatively impacting your spinal health, there’s no time like the present for positive change. Small changes now can have large preventive effects over time, saving you from chronic pain, back surgery, and other spine-related complications.

To learn more about protecting your spinal health, consult with Dr. Beejal Y. Amin and his team. Schedule your first appointment by calling now or request an appointment online today.