Sciatica is a condition that can cause debilitating pain in the lower back, hips, and legs. While there are many treatment options available for sciatica, including physical therapy, medications, and surgery, making changes to your diet can also be helpful in managing your symptoms. In this article, we’ll explore the foods and drinks that can worsen sciatica and what you can do to reduce your pain.
One of the main culprits in worsening sciatica symptoms is inflammation. Inflammation can cause swelling, which can put pressure on the sciatic nerve and cause pain. Foods that are high in sugar, saturated fat, and processed ingredients are all known to cause inflammation in the body.
Processed foods, such as fast food, frozen meals, and packaged snacks, are often high in sodium, sugar, and saturated fat. These ingredients can cause inflammation and lead to weight gain, which can put added pressure on the lower back and worsen sciatica symptoms.
Refined sugar is found in many foods, including baked goods, candy, and sugary drinks. Consuming too much refined sugar can lead to inflammation in the body, which can cause pain and make sciatica symptoms worse.
Fried foods, such as french fries, fried chicken, and donuts, are high in saturated fat, which can cause inflammation in the body. Consuming too much saturated fat can also lead to weight gain, which can worsen sciatica symptoms.
High-Fat Dairy Products
High-fat dairy products, such as cheese, butter, and cream, are also high in saturated fat. Consuming too much saturated fat can cause inflammation in the body and lead to weight gain, which can worsen sciatica symptoms.
Caffeine is a stimulant that can make sciatica symptoms worse. Caffeine can cause inflammation in the body and disrupt sleep, which can exacerbate pain. Caffeine is found in many drinks, including coffee, tea, and soda.
Drinking alcohol can worsen sciatica symptoms in a few different ways. First, alcohol can lead to dehydration, which can cause muscle cramps and worsen back pain. Alcohol can also interfere with sleep, which can exacerbate pain. Finally, drinking alcohol can cause inflammation in the body, which can make sciatica pain worse.
What to Eat Instead
Now that we’ve covered some of the foods and drinks that can worsen sciatica symptoms, let’s take a look at what you can eat instead to help reduce your pain.
Foods that are high in antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber can all help reduce inflammation in the body. Some examples of anti-inflammatory foods include:
- Fruits and vegetables, such as blueberries, cherries, kale, and spinach
- Whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat bread
- Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines
- Nuts and seeds, such as walnuts, almonds, and chia seeds
- Legumes, such as lentils, chickpeas, and black beans
Herbs and Spices
Adding herbs and spices to your meals can also help reduce inflammation in the body. Some herbs and spices that are particularly effective at reducing inflammation include:
- Turmeric: contains a compound called curcumin, which has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body
- Ginger: contains compounds called gingerols, which can help reduce inflammation and pain
- Garlic: contains a compound called allicin, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties
- Cinnamon: can help regulate blood sugar levels, which can reduce inflammation in the body
While you should avoid foods that are high in saturated fat, it’s important to include healthy fats in your diet. Healthy fats can help reduce inflammation in the body and provide other health benefits. Some examples of healthy fats include:
- Avocado: contains monounsaturated fats, which can help reduce inflammation in the body
- Olive oil: contains polyphenols, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties
- Flaxseed: contains omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation in the body
Drinking enough water is also important for reducing inflammation in the body and managing sciatica symptoms. Dehydration can cause muscle cramps and exacerbate pain, so it’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day. Aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day, and more if you’re physically active or live in a hot climate.
Relieve Back Pain & Sciatica in 7 Movements…
If you are suffering from sciatica or back pain, you need to watch this video to learn why traditional stretching should be avoided…and do the 7 gentle movements that have been proven to provide instant relief from pain: