Arthritis is oftentimes a natural part of getting older as our joints eventually start to feel the effects of time and physical activity. We’ve talked about ways you can slow and treat spinal arthritis on the blog in the past, but today, we want to explore the relationship between your diet and the expression of spinal arthritis symptoms. More precisely, we want to explain how smart dietary choices can help with your spinal arthritis and why poor eating habits can make spinal arthritis worse.
Spinal Arthritis And Your Diet
Spinal arthritis is a degenerative condition in which the cartilage in your joints wears down and the surrounding bones begin to degenerate because they can no longer move as freely. When your spinal discs begin to degenerate, your vertebrae won’t be able to move as freely, and they can begin to suffer from arthritis degeneration. Exercise is a great way to help keep your joints healthy, but so too is being conscious about what your’re putting in your body. Here’s a look at your how your diet can help manage your spinal arthritis.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Despite the name, these fatty acids are actually great at helping to control and limit the onset of spinal inflammation. Inflammation can make movement harder, which only makes spinal arthritis worse.
Dark Green Vegetables – Leafy green vegetables like cabbage, Brussels sprouts and broccoli contain sulforaphane, a compound that has been shown to help slow the progression of spinal arthritis.
Vitamin D and Calcium – Dairy products like yogurt and milk are full of Vitamin D and calcium, which helps to keep your bones strong. Bones points if you choose low-fat options.
Losing Weight – If you pair a healthy diet with regular exercise, you can maintain an ideal weight or work towards a healthy weight, which will help take stress off your spine. If you’re carrying excess weight, your spine will have to handle more stress with every step, and that can speed up spinal degeneration and make arthritis symptoms worse.
On the flip side, there are also some foods that can serve to make your spinal arthritis worse. Most notably, processed sugars and refined carbohydrates can contribute to the onset of painful spinal inflammation, and they can also lead to weight gain. It’s fine to indulge here and there, but don’t make sugars and carbs the focal point of your diet.
If you strive to have more good days than bad when it comes to your dietary choices, there’s a good chance that you diet will help to calm and prevent against spinal arthritis instead of contributing to its onset. However, a healthy diet is only one aspect of a comprehensive spinal arthritis care plan. To learn more about how you can treat your spinal arthritis, reach out to Dr. Chang’s office today.