If you haven’t heard of it yet, the eating plan I have been following is called the Whole 30. To make a really long explanation short, food groups such as sugar, grains, dairy and legumes have been reeking havoc on people’s bodies since the beginning of time. The thing is, most people don’t even realize whether the symptoms they are experiencing are from just normal every day ware and tear or from the food they have been eating.

I am constantly searching for techniques and tools to add to my arsenal to keep any occurrence of back pain away as well as strengthen the areas that are weak. I feel like I can finally say I have gained a huge amount of control over how my back feels which I am super thankful for and excited because I am confident that if I can do it then anyone else can to. With all the success I have had with controlling my back pain, I’m still not satisfied.  I am constantly challenging what I know and do in an effort to show people that even with permanent damage such as a ruptured disc (like me) You can keep fighting for relief and actually find it with the right tools.

Over the past couple of years, I have slowly allowed certain foods to become a big part of my diet and not so much for the good. Whether because laziness or legit addictions, these things worked their way into my diet and started setting up shop.

It has taken me a few years to rewire the way I use my body and its muscles to be able to go from terrible daily pain to being 90% pain-free. Today I have zero muscle tightness or radiating pain going anywhere away from my lower back. Instead, if I do have a flair up, I can feel that it’s brought on by inflammation. It’s this dull pain that I can usually knock out with Tylenol or Ibuprofen but I don’t believe in living on pills so I wanted to get to the root of the inflammation. I figured if I could figure out what could be causing or adding to the inflammation it would allow me to take my recovery to the next level.

I drank the red cool-aid…I sold my soul…I did the Whole 30

A buddy of mine suggested this to me after seeing awesome results himself (doesn’t currently suffer from any back pain). I knew I needed a change so my wife and I, Meahgan decided to give it a shot. As of today, we are on our last week of the Whole 30 program and all I can say is it has been the most eye-opening program I have ever been a part of and actually stuck with.

I have experienced a lot of breakthrough over the past 30 days in a few different areas but the number one thing I wanted to talk about was the effect the program has had on the inflammation in my back.

I mentioned earlier that I deal with what I think is inflammation between my L5-S1 vertebrae. The pain is normally manageable but I have noticed (before the diet) I was getting flair ups more often. It would get to the point where I would have to go through drastic measures just to get my body back on track and to learn from whatever mistake I had made to get me there in the first place.

Strip them from your diet completely. Cut out all the psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. Let your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be causing. Push the “reset” button with your metabolism, systemic inflammation, and the downstream effects of the food choices you’ve been making. Learn once and for all how the foods you’ve been eating are actually affecting your day to day life, and your long term health.

Taken right from www.Whole30.com

In my case, I had gotten myself to the point where I was crushing sweetened cream filled coffee twice a day 7 days a week, ice cream, tons of grains and other sugars. I wasn’t eating to the point where I was getting fat but I knew that compared to previous years I had a lot more of these things going through my body on a weekly bases than I did before. I wasn’t ever really convinced that things like dairy, sugar or grains could actually affect someone’s body when it came to pain management. This is probably because the tests I had done on myself in the past were never for really that long I would do them for a week or two not really see any change and just quit.

The coolest part about the 30 days is that I can safely say that it has made an impact on my lower back inflammation. I didn’t notice it at all until the end of the 3rd week when the headaches stopped, the cravings subsided and I was actually diggin the plan. I was sitting with my wife the other night talking about how I have been doing all the same things I would normally do but this time without any real noticeable pain. I stood for 60% of my day as well as sat for 40%, sat in traffic or drove around for over 30-45 minutes in my truck every day, twice. Simply stated, I didn’t really change anything the whole 30 days as far as my activity. Now about 26 days into the program I have noticed a HUGE difference in the pain in my back.

3 Take-a-ways from the Whole 30 program

1) Foods do cause inflammation in joints. Not everybody will have the same reaction but it’s good to pay attention to how foods react in your body. How do you feel after drinking that glass of milk or eating that pasta dinner? There is a reason for everything.

2) Your taste for something can easily be changed with time. I thought I would never be able to really appreciate a cup of black coffee yet by the second week of this program my body really wasn’t craving the added sweetener.

3) The Whole 30 program may be set up for only 30 days but the foundation of the plan can be maintained for a lifetime. Learn new recipes and pay attention to the way they are put together. Don’t get stuck or be limited to how you were raised to cook food.

So what was it? Was it the dairy? The sugars and grains or was it the legumes? I am not really sure. What I do know is that this program has changed the way I look at the foods I eat. I had gotten myself into this habit of eating super clean during the week and then not really caring what I did over the weekend. Which isn’t terrible but whether it’s a lot or a little if your eating foods that don’t settle with your body then its going to suck either way.

So what do you do from here?

Try it for yourself. You can do the full program or do your own thing. Whatever you do, let it run its course. Give it at least 1 full month before you rule anything out.

I know for me I always follow science and true proven statistics. Sugars, Dairy and Grain’s have always gotten a bad rap when it comes to their effect on the body and the issues they cause. I will be in search for healthier alternatives and raise the standard on what I consider healthy. No, I’m not shunning all crappy food I will always including them in my diet but if taking my recovery to the next level means making wiser choices more often I’ll do it!

Never underestimate the healing power of food!



4 thoughts on “How the Whole 30 Diet effected my back pain

  1. Thank you for this post. I have been dealing with sciatica and lower back pain for a year. Despite of PT, injections, and regular exercise I still find myself dealing with depression and anxiety caused by the ongoing (sometimes manageable) pain. I think your story and eating habits is something I should explore so thank you for sharing.

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