Tag Archives: Back Pain

How Diet Can Relieve Pain

Yuri ElkaimOne of the surefire ways you can reduce your pain, especially joint pain, is to eat an Alkaline-Forming Diet. This guy Yuri Elkaim is one of my favorite nutrition and health experts and although his book Eating for Energy  is promoted as being for energy and weight-loss, it is an excellent resource for learning about the correct foods that your joints and muscles thrive on – as well as almost every part of you!

An Alkaline-Forming Diet includes most fruit and vegetables, especially when eaten raw. It even includes citrus fruits, which confuses some people because citrus is acid. But that’s where the “-forming” part comes in. Acid-forming foods which include most meats and lots of carbohydrates aggravate muscle and joint pain, causing friction and reducing flexibility. But foods that form alkaline in the body reduce inflammation in joints and increase flexibility in muscles.

Yuri’s great book Eating for Energy is about eating raw food and the vast majority of it is alkaline forming. I eat a lot of raw fruit and vegetables, but still have meat which is mostly acid forming. Even though my diet is not completely alkaline forming, I eat enough of the right foods for it to make a difference.

And how do I know it’s the food that makes a difference to my pain relief, and not some of my other methods? Because it turned out to be an amazing experiment while on an intensive project while I was a student. I was practically chained to a computer and did hardly any exercise for three weeks. Within days of being on an alkaline forming diet, I was amazed at how much less hip pain I was in, and nothing else about my lifestyle had changed.

But the great thing about the food in this book is that it all has a low GI (glycemic index) meaning it gives you lots more energy and a lot less likely to be tired. And when we are tired we of course eat more of the wrong foods, so this diet is self sustaining!

It also keeps you fuller for longer, so you naturally eat less in general because you don’t feel hungry all the time. This has a synergistic effect on your body in tems of relieving pain, because as you already know, when you are tired, as well as eating more to make ourselves feel better, we also have a lot more aches and pains, and feel stiff all over. For people who suffer from chronic pain, that effect is multiplied and our normally just about tolerable pain can become unbearable.

So a low GI, high energy, alkaline-forming diet like the one suggested in this book, is perfect for a number of reasons. But don’t just take my word for it; try it yourself and if you’re not impressed, Yuri has a full 60 day money back guarantee.

And don’t forget, the great side-effect of using the advice in the book, is; you get to lose weight too! So you’ll love it, I promise.

Callanetics for Chronic Back Pain

Callanetics for back painI have been doing my Beginner’s Callanetics for years, which is an hour long video of special intensive exercises devised by Callan Pinckney. I would not recommend them without a warm-up beforehand. Just do the Mom-Dancing for a week or two before doing any Callanetics.

Callan Pinckney is somewhat of a miracle lady. She was a disabled child with curvature of the spine, but that didn’t stop her completely banishing her disability, traveling the world and becoming a fitness instructor with top selling books and videos.

But again, everyone who complains that Callanetics doesn’t work for bad backs, has overdone it the first or first few times. It is so easy to overdo it in the beginning. And it’s basic psychology. It takes so much mental effort just to get started, that once we have started, we tend to think “Well I’m up now – might as well carry on.”


And please start with the beginners DVD. Sounds obvious, but some people I know have thought the beginner ones are only for the first few weeks, and attempted the advanced ones before they were ready. I still use the Beginner one after many years I still have the VHS in fact! But also now the DVD. And I missed out the exercises I couldn’t do for several months.

Also, don’t make the mistake of doing Callanetics more than twice a week. I did them every day for nine days to begin with (especially after I saw those photos showing how much the butt had tightened after only 19 hours of exercise!), soldiering on through the pain, but Callan Pinkney herself says only 2 – 3 times a week is needed for optimum improvement. She was right. I ended in up in too much pain and then wouldn’t do them again for several weeks. Totally stupid.

But used correctly Callanetics is a fantastic set of exercises. I’m certain I wouldn’t be able to touch my toes with ease if it wasn’t for Callanetics. The perfect tool to have in your arsenal against pain.