Reduce Back Pain with the Right Nutrient Balance in Your Diet

Reduce Back Pain with the Right Nutrient Balance in Your Diet


Good nutrition is key for lowering or avoiding back pain and staying healthy. Balanced diets give muscles, cells, and bones the nourishment they need. Eating healthy has many advantages, such as decreasing inflammation in the body that can cause back pain.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons suggests exercising and eating right to reduce the risk of backache from poor posture, muscle imbalances, or weak core strength. To keep healthy, your body needs essential vitamins and minerals; food is your medicine!

If you want to lower the risk of getting back pain, watch what you eat; poor nutrition can seriously affect physical health and quality of life. An analysis in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism found that dietary restriction leads to more musculoskeletal pain than an unrestricted diet.

Calcium and Vitamin D

Eating the right balance of nutrients is essential for relieving and preventing back ache. Calcium and vitamin D are vital for a healthy spine. They are the building blocks for strong bones, muscles and ligaments, which help in supporting the spinal column.

Let’s understand why calcium and vitamin D are important for back health.

Sources of calcium

Calcium is vital for healthy bones and lessening back pain. Our bodies absorb it from our meals, so it’s important to know which foods have adequate calcium.

Dairy products like milk, cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese are full of calcium and also have Vitamin D to help us digest it. Other good sources include leafy greens like kale, bok choy, spinach, mustard greens, turnip greens, and collard greens. Plus, canned fish with bones (like sardines), tofu, almonds, fortified grain products, beans, lentils, sesame seeds, Brazil nuts, and dried figs.

If your diet lacks enough calcium, consider taking a bone health supplement. Those over 50 should take up to 1000 milligrams of elemental calcium and 1000 IU’s of vitamin D daily for proper absorption.

Sources of Vitamin D

Vitamin D is vital for a nutritious diet. Fish, eggs, liver and fortified foods like milk, yogurt and cereals are great sources. Sun exposure can also help make it in the skin. For adults, 600 IU or 15 mcg is the suggested daily intake.

Fish liver oils have the most Vitamin D, 1,360 – 2,087 IU per tablespoon. Cod liver oil (1 tablespoon), salmon (3 ounces), canned tuna (3 ounces), sardines (2 ounces) and mackerel (3 ounces) are top dietary sources. A 6-ounce glass of milk can also provide up to 100 IU.

People usually don’t get enough Vitamin D through their diets, so supplements are often advised by healthcare providers. If you’re taking a supplement, make sure it has both forms: vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. Ask your doctor which one they suggest for you.


Magnesium: an essential mineral! It’s hugely important for many of the body’s systems. If you get the right balance of this mineral in your diet, it may reduce back pain symptoms. So why is magnesium so beneficial for back pain? And what dietary sources can you use to get it? Let’s find out!

Sources of magnesium

Magnesium is a must-have mineral, needed in over 300 metabolic pathways of the human body. It’s vital to be mindful of dietary sources of magnesium and to include the daily recommended amount.

Green veg are great sources: spinach, Swiss chard, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and bok choy. Nuts and seeds such as pumpkin, almonds, sunflower, cashew and sesame, plus beans like black, chickpea and kidney. Whole grains like wheat breads and cereals, plus fish like mackerel. Fruits like banana and avocado, plus yogurt for an extra magnesium boost!

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients. You can find them in fatty fish and vegetable oils. These healthy fats are thought to lower inflammation. This may be of benefit to those with chronic back pain. They can also assist with heart health and lessen the risk of certain diseases.

Let’s explore how omega-3 fatty acids can help manage your back pain:

Sources of omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats found in plants and animals. ALA, EPA and DHA are the three main types. Our bodies can’t make them, so they must be obtained from diet or supplements.

Cold water fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and walnuts are good sources of omega-3s. Soybeans, canola oil and flaxseeds are plant sources. Fish are the main source for most people.

DHA is essential for pregnant women, nursing moms, newborns and children. It reduces inflammation and may protect against heart disease.

Having a variety of omega-3-rich foods or taking a supplement is important. Fish oil capsules or liquid emulsions that provide EPA/DHA are good options. Plant-based products fortified with EPA/DHA are also now available.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is key for body health and it helps lessen back pain. It should be included in a balanced diet as it aids in making red blood cells. The body needs B12, as it produces myelin, which is essential for the neural pathways to work properly.

Now let’s delve into the role B12 plays in reducing backache:

Sources of vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is a must-have nutrient found in animal-based foods and fortified plant-based foods. It helps the brain and nervous system, but low levels can cause nerve problems and back pain.

Getting enough vitamin B12 can help reduce back pain by helping the body’s metabolism. Most people can get enough from food, but some have to take a B12 complex vitamin.

Food sources include:

  • Beef, pork, poultry, fish and eggs;
  • Dairy;
  • Nutritional yeast;
  • Mushrooms;
  • Nori;
  • Tempeh;
  • Fortified cereals; and
  • Fortified milks.

Vegans and vegetarians need to check that their food is fortified. People over 50 may not absorb B12 properly, so they may need to supplement.


Changing your diet can be great for your health, especially if you have back pain. Usually rest and anti-inflammatory meds can help, but eating the right foods can reduce inflammation and help healing.

Everyone’s body is different, so it’s important to get advice from a doctor when making your diet plan. Nutrients are very important for bone, joint, and muscle health. So, make sure to include lots of nutritious foods. Eating as many whole foods as you can is a great way to make sure your diet has plenty of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to reduce back pain.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can a nutrient balanced diet reduce back pain?

A: Nutrients like magnesium, calcium, and vitamin D play a crucial role in maintaining healthy bones and muscles. Thus, a nutrient balanced diet can reduce the risk of back pain by strengthening the spine and muscles.

Q: What foods should I eat to reduce back pain?

A: Foods rich in calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D, such as dairy products, leafy greens, nuts, and fish, can help reduce back pain. Additionally, consuming a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can also help decrease inflammation and pain in the body.

Q: Are certain foods known to trigger back pain?

A: Yes, certain foods can trigger inflammation and pain in the body, which may contribute to back pain. These include processed foods high in sugar and trans fats, as well as alcohol and caffeine.

Q: How much water should I drink to reduce back pain?

A: Staying hydrated is important for maintaining healthy joints and muscles, and thus, can help reduce back pain. It is recommended to drink at least eight cups (64 ounces) of water per day.

Q: Can supplements be used to reduce back pain?

A: In addition to a nutrient balanced diet, supplements like magnesium, calcium, and vitamin D may also be beneficial for reducing back pain. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before adding any new supplements to your diet.

Q: Should I exercise along with a nutrient balanced diet to reduce back pain?

A: Yes, exercise is an important component of maintaining a healthy spine and reducing back pain. Incorporating activities like yoga, stretching, and low-impact aerobic exercises into your routine can help strengthen muscles, improve flexibility, and reduce pain.

the back recovery program by alex larsson
Jane Smith is a natural health enthusiast on a mission to uncover effective methods for achieving pain-free living. Through her personal journey with chronic back pain, she has become well-versed in holistic approaches such as yoga, Pilates, and essential oils.

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