Everyone is well aware that good nutrition and a balanced diet are essential components of maintaining good health. But perhaps seniors with low back pain are less aware that following a proper diet can play a crucial role in preventing and relieving low back pain and improving its treatment, along with appropriate exercise and weight. Bones, muscles, and other parts of the spine need adequate nutrients to be strong enough to support different parts of the body. So it is better to use a proper diet during the day to relieve back pain. In this article on Living Maples Mag, we will introduce some of the best nutrients to ease seniors’ back pain.
Choosing the Right Diet and Optimal Nutrition
If you want your bones, muscles, discs, and other parts of your spine to function correctly and avoid back pain, you need to have a balanced diet and get enough of a variety of vitamins and nutrients. A variety of nutrients and vitamins are good nutrition for back pain, but the following have a direct impact on lower back pain and back problems than other options:
It is one of the most essential and well-known minerals for the back and bones. Calcium keeps bones healthy and helps maintain bone mass throughout a person’s life. Furthermore, calcium intake is necessary for bone health, especially in old age. Calcium is also vital to prevent osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disorder in which the bones become weak and brittle, and painful fractures occur in the spine’s vertebrae. Of course, calcium intake alone cannot prevent osteoporosis. Evidence of this claim is found in many seniors who still have osteoporosis despite high calcium intake. To have strong bones, you need to consume other substances besides calcium.
Calcium is found in a variety of foods. The most famous ones are dairy products such as yogurt, milk and cheese. Vegetables with green leaves such as kale are other examples of calcium-rich substances. Fish such as sardines and salmon and other foods such as almonds, oranges, and tofu also contain large amounts of calcium. Hence, calcium is vital to relieve back pain in seniors.
Magnesium is an essential component of bone structure and is necessary for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It is essential that seniors eat magnesium-rich foods to relieve back pain. If blood magnesium levels rise, magnesium is also pulled out of the bones. Seniors can compensate for magnesium deficiency by taking supplements to help maintain bone density and prevent back pain. Magnesium-containing substances help relax and contract muscles and are necessary to strengthen the protective muscles of the spine. This beneficial mineral can be found in vegetables with green leaves, fish, beans, whole grains and nuts, yogurt, avocados, and dark chocolate (over 70% cocoa), to name a few.
Vitamin D3 to Treat Back Pain in Seniors
Vitamin D3 is also another essential nutrient that seniors should include in their diet to reduce their back pain. This vitamin helps absorb calcium in the body and is therefore essential for the growth and strengthening of healthy bones. Without adequate intake of this vitamin, the bones become very thin and brittle or out of shape. Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent among seniors. If your doctor prescribes a blood test, you can determine this vitamin’s level in your body.
Vitamin D is naturally present only in fatty fish, salmon, cod liver oil, liver and egg yolks. In Canada, milk, some breakfast cereals, and some bread and juices are fortified with vitamin D. Sunbathing and taking vitamin D supplements can also help overcome the deficiency.
This vitamin acts as a guide for directing bone minerals. Vitamin K2 is needed for the proper distribution of calcium in soft tissues and its transport to bones. There is an urgent need for this substance in the diet for good bone metabolism, which unfortunately is not included in most seniors’ diets. The combination of vitamin K2 and calcium keeps the bones of the spine and other parts of the body healthy and strong. Vitamin K1 is the plant form of vitamin K, which beneficial digestive bacteria convert to vitamin K2. You can find vitamin K2 in the beneficial fats of meat, cheeses, egg yolks and other dairy products. Vitamin K1 is also available in leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach and broccoli.
This vitamin is essential for building collagen in the body. Collagen is the substance that keeps the skin cohesive and the organs of the body together. It is present in bones, muscles, skin, tendons, and most notably in converting cells into the tissue. Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant. You need to get enough of this vitamin to repair damaged muscles, tendons, bruises and intervertebral discs. It is also necessary for strengthening the lumbar vertebrae.
You can find vitamin C in fruits such as strawberries, kiwis and citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits, guava) and vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, green and red peppers and sweet potatoes. The supplement form of this vitamin is also available.
Proteins to Reduce Back Pain in Seniors
Proteins are essential components of bones; hence, they can reduce back pain in seniors. But you can easily ignore their consumption. Proteins are one of the primary and vital building blocks of the body. Therefore, their daily consumption is necessary to maintain health, repair, and improve the body’s bones, cartilage, and tissues. In addition to all this, protein plays an essential role in digestion and immune function.
Collagen protein makes up 30% of the dry weight of bones. Dry weight refers to the calculation of body weight without fluids and water. Collagen is necessary for the formation of amino acids, the composition and composition of which depend on vitamin C.
Excessive protein intake reduces the amount of calcium in the bones because excess protein is burned. Both calcium and protein are essential for the body and bone health, but seniors must not overuse them.
This vitamin is necessary for bone-forming cells and the formation of red blood cells in the bone marrow. Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia can cause osteoporosis. You can get vitamin B12 through animal proteins such as eggs, poultry, fish, meat and dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese. Because plants do not contain vitamin B12, vegetarian seniors should take supplements to prevent anemia.
Iron to Relieve Back Pain in Seniors
Iron is necessary to make collagen and convert vitamin D to its active form in the body. It is also a component in the production of myoglobin and hemoglobin. These two substances are responsible for transporting oxygen to different parts of the body, including the protective tissues of the spine. Severe iron deficiency is not common but can cause anemia. Of course, iron does not play a direct role in bone health, but it helps other bodily systems strengthen and care for bones.
You can find iron in meat products such as liver, seafood such as oysters, red meat, poultry, green leafy vegetables, lentils, beans, soy, eggs and whole grains.
We should follow a proper diet to ensure our back health and reduce symptoms of back pain. However, if you cannot meet the body’s need for healthy and appropriate substances through consuming nutrients and proteins in your diet, you should add supplements to their diets. Of course, before taking any supplement, you should consult with your doctor.