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The Ultimate Back Pain Relief Tips Blog

Certain Foods Are Good And Bad For Back Pain. Do You Know Which Ones?

Posted by Illinois Back Institute on Mon, Dec 09, 2019 @ 04:47 PM

Sugar BAD 470x246Inflammation is a huge contributor to back pain and sciatica. It can cause any number of symptoms which can directly effect your back's health. People with chronic inflammation may suffer from many of those symptoms, which can include:

  • Joint and Muscle Aches and Pains
  • Stiffness and Swelling
  • Fever and Chills
  • Headaches and Fatigue
  • Nausea and Loss of Appetite
  • And More!


It is not uncommon for people to have many of these symptoms and not even know that it is due to inflammation. They might not even realize they have it! Many people have chronic inflammation and suffer these symptoms for years without knowing why, when often times a simple change to what they are eating could reduce their inflammation and help decrease not only their back pain and sciatica but the other symptoms as well!

So what foods are good and bad for your back? Here are some tips of what foods to try and avoid for better health:

- First is anything high in Sugar. Although this may seem obvious, a lot of people don't understand why sugar is such a problem. The issue is not with sugar itself, but with how much of it people are ingesting. 

A little bit of sugar is fine, but many people are eating way more than their bodies can handle.

sugarTo put it in the simplest terms: when there is too much sugar in the body, it causes an increase in something called advanced glycation end-products (AGEs), which causes damage to proteins in the body. Then the body's immune system attacks the AGEs, and the result of that is inflammation.

- Another obvious food type to avoid is anything that is processed. These are not only high in sugar or sugar substitutes like high fructose corn syrup, but also in other bad for you items like Omega-6 Fatty Acids and Trans Fats. Omega-6 Fatty Acids in particular cause inflammation and have been linked to arthritis and even cancer. Processed foods also tend to include no-no's like artificial compounds, additives, colors, preservatives, and all sorts of chemicals.

- The third type of food to avoid is not so obvious: caffeine. One of coffee's main affects is to increase the levels of stress hormones in your body. This increase in turn leads to an increase of insulin, which causes inflammation.

Most of the time when we say a certain food can be "bad" for your back, like in the following list, it is because it is high in one or more of those three items. Conversely, foods that are "good" do not have high levels of those three items. Here is a brief list of various types of foods that can be good and bad for your back:


Bad - Any soft drinks, sport drinks, alcohol, coffee, or tea.

Good - Water (mineral, filtered, or distilled) or decaffeinated herbal tea



Bad - Almost everything: butter, cheese, milk, ice cream, yogurt, many more

Good - Dairy substitutes such as almond, coconut, or rice milk




Bad - Corn, wheat, rye, barley, anything containing gluten

Good - Potatoes, oats, rice


Meat, Chicken, Fish

Bad - Beef, Pork, Shellfish, Eggs, other meat related foods like hot dogs or sausage

Good - Chicken, fish, turkey



Bad - Oranges (very high in sugars)

Good - Any other fruits



Bad - Corn

Good - All other vegetables



Bad - Peanuts and peanut butter, tofu, anything with soy

Good - Almonds, cashews, pecans, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, walnuts, all legumes except soybeans



Bad - Chocolate, ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce, soy sauce

Good - Most spices (salt, pepper, cinnamon, garlic, etc.) and vinegar



At the Illinois Back Institute we strive to educate everyone as much as possible about their back pain and sciatica, because it is proven that the more people know about their problem the more likely they are to eliminate it!

Our 9 Step Solution specializes in treating the causes of back pain and sciatica. Are you ready to put an end to your pain? Schedule a Free Consultation by calling us at 844-408-0462 or click here!

Also, if you would like to learn more about how we can eliminate your back, neck, and sciatica pain, you can join us for our Back Pain and Sciatica Relief Webinar! Just click on the link below for information on the Webinar and how to register for it:

Upcoming Webinars at Illinois Back Institute



Disclaimer: The content on this web site is for information purposes only and should never be used as the basis for diagnosis or treatment. We always recommend consulting a qualified professional before embarking on any form of self treatment or rehabilitation.

All content is protected by the usual copyright laws and cannot be used, stolen or reproduced for any purpose without Illinois Back Institute permission. Please feel free to call about anything although we are unable to give advice on any specific injuries or conditions over the phone.