Sciatica is inflammation of the lower spine from compression or overuse which causes shooting pains that often extend from the lower back down to the legs and feet. The pain can be diffuse and constant or sharp, stabbing and abrupt. For some people, sciatica is completely debilitating and without physical therapy they would not be able to resume their daily activities in comfort.
While physical therapy and other treatment protocols are very successful for sciatica, often your daily routine and lifestyle needs to be examined to make sure that you are doing everything that you can possibly do for your own comfort. If you have not considered that your diet might contribute to your sciatica pain, here are some foods that you should avoid while you are treating your sciatica.
Sciatica Foods to Avoid
- Foods with lots of sugars. Sugar has been shown to be linked to inflammation. Any diet that is high in sugar content will lead to inflammation in various parts of the body and can aggravate existing inflamed body parts. If you are dealing with sciatica, you would be wise to avoid foods that spike your blood sugar such as candy, soda, sweetened cereal, pie and brownies.
- Refined Grains. Refined grains are stripped of many of their nutrients, most of all B-vitamins. Bleached and refined flours are lacking in many essential nutrients that your body needs to remain healthy and pain-free. To make sure that you are still getting the right amount of healthy carbs and fiber, you can switch to ancient grains, quinoa and whole wheat products.
- Items Containing Trans-Fats. Trans-fatty acids are chemically created and are therefore not properly broken down by your body into healthy lipids, or fats. They have been proven to be pro-inflammation and cause many problems if they comprise a large part of your diet. You will want to cut out stick margarine, shortening and other commercial and fast foods that are made with trans-fats.
- Saturated Fats. Saturated fats have been linked to inflammation just like Trans-Fats. Saturated fats should be limited to under 7% of your daily intake. You will need to cut back on poultry skins, fried food, egg yolks, high-fat dairy and processed meat if you want to limit your saturated fat intake.
Nearly any item on the list above can be replaced with a healthier option. If you want to trade out processed gluten, you can swap for ancient grains or whole wheat. If you are looking to trade out the red meat in your diet, you can eat more fish. If you want to get some fats in your diet but are worried about the unhealthy kind, you can opt for natural fats that come in real butter or change to goat or sheep’s milk.
Additionally, many herbs and fruits are sources of helpful anti-inflammatory properties that can assist your body while it heals. Eating a well-rounded diet of whole foods that come from local sources is always going to be the best way to support your overall health. If you are dealing with sciatica, the switch to better dietary choices can often lead you to quicker healing time and less chance that your symptoms will return.
Remember as well, that your sciatica is often due to strain and poor posture. If you need to revamp your cubicle or your home desk, you should make sure that you shop for the best office chair for sciatica pain and that your entire workspace is designed for your health and comfort.