More info on me:
By the way, I am a healthy 29yr. old female and I have had this issue for about a year and a half. I have gone to a doctor several times and I have had an MRI done. The only thing they found was that I had a small contusion near my spine (upper back). Doctor said it would go away in a couple of months, but, I am not sure if it has anything to do with my rib cage and upper abdomen brusing-like pain occuring after I sleep.
Any input is greatly appreciated.
Did you ever find answers to this, I have been experiencing similar symptoms?
I also have these same pains, did you ever get any answers?
Nutrition and the Spine
How does nutrition affect the spine?
Nutrition will determine how strong your bones and connective tissue are. We begin to build our skeleton and connective tissue before we are born. Our diet in childhood has a major effect on how strong we are as adults. What you eat during your whole life will decide how able you are to repair bones, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, and muscles.
Everyone has to replace body tissues due to normal every day wear and tear. Some of us also have repair work to do after injuries or surgery. The raw material for repair comes from our diet. Vitamin C, all of the B vitamins, vitamin D, vitamin K and the minerals calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, boron and manganese are especially important for bone and connective tissue health. Drinking enough water is also essential.
Poor nutrition means not getting enough vitamins C, A, B6 and E, as well as the minerals zinc and copper. Daily wear and tear plus injuries from work, sports, or accidents can damage your spinal discs. Good nutrition and adequate hydration (getting enough fluids) play a vital role in your body’s ability to repair the damage and recover from the inflammation that causes the pain of back injury.
Inflammation and Back Pain
Healthy repair depends on good nutrition. Poor nutrition can lead to damaging inflammation in the joints of your spine. Inflammation causes the loss of the cellular framework that holds bone and connective tissues together. Studies show that some people with osteoarthritis have more rapid damage to their joints. This is because they have more inflammatory chemistry in their bodies.
Back pain may or may not be present in people with bone or cartilage changes in their spine. For instance many people have x-ray images that show they have flat and bulging discs. Or they may have brittle bones. Yet they have no pain. It is inflammation that causes the tissue changes that create the sensation of pain.
Inflammation stimulates the growth of new blood vessels in joint tissues. This growth process also causes new nerves to grow in areas around joint cartilage. Doctors think this new nerve growth may be why back pain goes along with inflammation. The increased tissue activity and the swelling that comes with inflammation can make the new nerves very sensitive. All of the steps in this inflammatory process (new blood vessel growth, new nerve growth) keep each other going in a never-ending cycle. Stopping inflammation will relieve pain and slow down joint damage.
Back Pain and Obesity
Abdominal obesity adds to spine problems in very important ways. Fat around your middle can cause strain on the muscles and ligaments that support your spine. The joints of your spine are especially vulnerable to daily wear and tear from lack of support.
Most of us get fat by eating too much of the kind of starchy, refined foods that call up more insulin. Insulin will signal enzymes in your body. These enzymes increase levels of inflammatory cells. They also increase cholesterol and constrict (close down) blood vessels. All of these actions help increase the levels of pain you feel from all over your body.
Abdominal fat is made of the type of cells most active at making the kind of chemistry that causes damaging inflammation to all of your joints. The more belly fat you have, the more inflammatory chemistry you are making. Some lean people are also at risk.
All of the chemical reactions that make up the work of growth and repair require good nutrition. Herbs, fruits, and vegetables contain the dietary sources of antiinflammatory chemistry needed for tissue healing. Plant foods have antioxidants that decrease the chemistry that triggers inflammation. This type of plant is called a flavonoid. Flavonoids are plants that have biologic and metabolic properties in the body. They also strengthen the healing process. They do this by knitting collagen fibers into tightly woven connective tissue. The result is well-knitted skin and blood vessels; dense bone; and strong, elastic ligaments and tendons.
What changes can you make to your diet and supplement choices if you have a spine condition?
It can be confusing to try to sort out what supplements to take. It’s not always easy to know what foods to eat or not eat to help with a spine-related problem. Different musculoskeletal conditions will have some different nutritional requirements. The form of each supplement will also be important, in terms of how useful it is for your condition.
For example, powdered nutrients in capsules or liquid forms are much more likely to be fully digested and absorbed. Tablets are often less expensive. But they don’t break down in many people’s digestive tracts.
Osteoporosis is an example of a spine-related condition with a clear link to nutritional status. Most people with osteoporosis will be advised to take at least a calcium/magnesium supplement. The best quality mineral supplements for osteoporosis are powdered and in the citrate form (for example, calcium citrate). Vitamin D should always be included in an osteoporosis formula.
Inflammatory conditions benefit from antioxidant nutrients like vitamin E. It must be natural vitamin E, not synthetic. It should always have mixed tocopherols in order to be most effective. Any inflammatory condition can be improved with the addition of at least five fish meals a week. A good, pure fish oil supplement taken daily can also help.
Here are some changes you can make to improve your spine condition. Most people will notice results in less than two weeks by following these general rules
Drink at least eight large glasses of water or herbal tea daily. Avoid fruit juices or other beverages with coloring and preservatives added. This includes soda pop.
Eliminate simple sugars. Get rid of sweets and starchy, refined white flour foods from your diet.
Avoid packaged foods with added preservatives and colorings
Take a high quality multiple vitamin/mineral supplements three times daily with each meal
If you have any form of arthritis or any inflammatory condition, take a pure fish oil supplement. Most people are helped by one to three grams of combined omega 3 fatty acids daily. Look for EPA and DHA on the label.
Add vitamin D3 to your supplements; make sure you are get 800 IU to 1000 IU daily
Long-term dietary changes can benefit your spine condition. If you are overweight, ask a health professional to help you lose weight, especially abdominal fat. Most people can do this safely by
eating fresh, raw, or steamed vegetables every day
eating two or three pieces of fresh fruit every day
eating five to seven fish meals a week
eat three to six ounces of clean, lean beef, poultry, lamb, or game meat daily – eggs are also an excellent source of protein for most people
use olive oil on salads and for cooking daily
Enjoy fresh nuts and seeds. Almonds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds give us high quality, healthy fats
If you do not have a regular habit of exercise, invest in instruction with a professional who can teach you how to strengthen your muscles and protect your joints. Certain exercises will be very good for some spine conditions, and possibly harmful for others. An exercise professional is your best choice for guidance to design a safe, effective program just for your needs.
How long does it take to see results from these changes?
Many people who change their diets see results right away. The difference in body pain levels can be noticed in a matter of days. Reducing inflammation by stopping the triggers that sweets and starches create can be felt very quickly. The effects of diet changes are even more when added to the supportive chemistry of antioxidants. Dietary supplements can encourage your healing even more dramatically.