For most people, the rich foods that deck the holiday table represent impending weight gain and possibly gastric discomfort. For people with scoliosis, they represent something more—a potential worsening of scoliosis curves and pain.
While most doctors believe poor diet doesn’t cause scoliosis, research indicates that it’s a contributing factor. No one knows exactly what triggers the scoliosis genes. However, numerous studies have linked scoliosis progression to nutritional deficiencies, and strong evidence points to an interaction between poor nutrition and genetics.
Regardless of the cause, there’s no doubt that when you’re seeking treatment for scoliosis, nutrition plays a big role in supporting recovery.
Today we know a lot more about the relationship between healthy food and scoliosis. A balanced, whole-food diet rich in nutrients that support bone density and neurotransmitter development is ideal. Unfortunately, the typical holiday fare consists mostly of foods that are high in calories and low in nutrition. To top it off, the weight gain from holiday overeating can aggravate back pain and other scoliosis symptoms.
So how can patients navigate this dietary minefield? For starters, you need to know which foods to eat and which to avoid.
Good Nutrition for Scoliosis
In the battle to halt scoliosis curve progression, inflammation is your enemy.
When the digestive system becomes inflamed, it becomes unable to absorb the minerals required for bone and muscle growth. Plus, the body releases cytokines that ultimately result in bone loss—so much so that people with high inflammation markers have a 73 percent higher risk of hip fractures. Inflammation also weakens the muscles responsible for holding the spine in position.
Unfortunately, the typical American diet is high in processed foods that cause inflammation and mineral depletion, such as:
- Sugar and corn syrup
- Excessive salt
- White flour
- Low-fat dairy
- Vegetable oils
- Greasy foods
- Chemical preservatives and additives
- Artificial sweeteners
For people with scoliosis, nutrition experts recommend a healthy, balanced diet filled with fresh fruits, vegetables and organic meats. Avoiding the foods listed above—and limiting citrus—can help minimize inflammation and maximize mineral absorption to support a healthy spine.
Holiday Nutrition Tips
Of course, it’s hard to avoid inflammatory foods when the holiday buffet table is usually loaded with them. But don’t worry. People with scoliosis can still enjoy the feasting by making some simple substitutions. For example:
- Replace soda and alcohol with water.
- Choose whole-grain bread instead of white.
- Eat small amounts of dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate.
- Use Stevia instead of sugar.
- Opt for fruits and vegetables as snacks or meal sides.
- Drink herbal tea instead of coffee or caffeinated tea.
Dietary Supplements for Scoliosis
Eliminating inflammatory foods from your diet is just the first step in treating scoliosis through nutrition. It’s also important to replace lost nutrients and correct any mineral deficiencies that are contributing to scoliosis progression.
Neurotransmitter testing helps pinpoint which nutrients are lacking and identify the right dietary supplements to bring your body back into balance. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that carry messages from your brain to the rest of your body. Scoliosis has been linked to deficiencies in the neurotransmitters responsible for postural control. Improving neurotransmitter levels through nutritional supplements is an essential part of a holistic scoliosis treatment plan.
There are many different supplements that can help support treatment of scoliosis. For example, our Scoli StrongBone Formula combines Ossopan, a basic building block for bone re-mineralization, with the right levels of calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus and boron.
The holidays can be stressful enough without having to worry about scoliosis pain and progression. Following a healthy diet can help minimize the seasonal impact on scoliosis symptoms.