Vegetable harvest isolated

Foods that Reduce Inflammation and Back Pain

Here are some eating tips that can help reduce chronic back pain that is caused by inflammation. These foods are easy to integrate into your diet and there are some other foods you can avoid to reduce your pain and start living your most radiant life. In ancient cultures before there were synthetic medications, the natural plant world held was studied by medicine men and women. This knowledge is invaluable and still actively used in cultures across the world. While some herbs and vegetables will help reduce inflammation, there are certain foods (mostly unnatural) that wreak havoc on the nervous system because our body is not made to process their ingredients. Many people have found their back pain and anxiety diminish or disappear by adopting a gluten-free diet. While not everyone is severely intolerant to gluten, most people experience the intolerance to one degree or another.

You may be wondering what gluten is. Gluten is a protein in wheat, barley, and rye that is an inflammatory agent. Most processed foods such as breads, pastas, and sauces have lots of gluten as a filler or preservative. What if your back pain could be eliminated just by eating fruits and vegetables? There is a lot of information available now about how to eat a gluten free diet and in the last five years supermarkets and restaurants have evolved to offer gluten free options and labeling to meet the growing demand of gluten-free products. Gluten can also create anxiousness because when the body is under attack it sends signals to the nervous system which is then put on alert. As we make more natural food choices that are whole foods and do not have an ingredient list, our body can return to it’s normal state of breaking down and digesting food without being on alert.

There are also anti-inflammatory herbs and plants that will help reduce the inflammation in your intestines that cause joint point and put pressure on your back. Ginger and turmeric are two wonderful inflammation reducing plants. You can find teas with these herbs, supplements, ground spices, and usually juice bars offer drinks with these roots. You can incorporate these into your cooking and eat your way to a healthy back.

Herbs that are calming can also help reduce tension in your back. Since the back and neck hold stress, any way you can reduce your stress will help reduce the pain in your neck and back. You could find essential oils that are ingestible online such as the DoTerra brand. People have remarkable success with essential oils that are ingestible and topical because they are organic and permeate the cell membranes in your skin and go directly into the places that need to relax without side effects found in synthetic pain relievers. I recommend the more expensive organic brands that are 100% herbal and do not have an alcohol or grain base.

That brings us to our next point. If you are experiencing chronic pain, chances are you may want to look at the root cause of any stress that is in your life and address that. Often times people reach for a glass of wine as a band aid for their stress but alcohol is a temporary relaxant and will not address the root cause of your stress. Inevitably, it is a depressant and may exacerbate your back pain. Make a list of what you would like to change in your life and simple action steps you can take towards positive resolution. Moreover, almost all alcohol has gluten which is an inflammatory agent and will affect your body systems negatively. Healing back pain is best approached with a clean and toxin free diet. Eating clean can be very enjoyable and empowering. One great resource is Dr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory cook book, True Food: Seasonal, Sustainable, Simple, Pure which is on the New York Times best seller’s list. You can also find his anti-inflammatory food pyramid and recipes on

Shannon Yrizarry

Shannon Yrizarry is a health and wellness professional who was healed from chronic back pain in 2003 after studying the mind-body connection. She went on to study the physical and mental benefits of yoga and now teaches classes and workshops in Southern California. She has also worked as an organic health consultant and writes about how to eat a clean whole foods diet incorporating gluten-free, raw, and dairy free options.