Pain in back: Could red wine ease your back pain? Study finds surprising connection

Pain in back: Could red wine ease your back pain? Study finds surprising connection

Back pain is either specific or non-specific, which means the cause is either identifiable or hard to pin down. According to Bupa, the latter is more common than the former but its impact is no less significant. Degenerative disc disease, a form of specific back pain, can greatly impair your ability to daily tasks such as lifting objects. As Bupa explains, degenerative disc disease is when the discs that are located between the bones in your back (vertebrae) become worn down or damaged.

“This is usually as a result of ageing or repeated injury,” says the health body.

Research suggests you can treat this damage by modifying aspects of your lifestyle.

Research published in the journal Spine, suggests that injecting the resveratrol, a compound that comes from the skin of grapes used to make red wine, could help.

The study found that resveratrol slows down the rate at which discs in the spine degenerate.

Scientists found that injecting the substance into injured backs stopped further damage to the cartilage in the discs.

So far the results have been limited to animal studies, but it hints at the promise of red wine in helping those who suffer from worn discs.

Resveratrol is known to be a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.

This is significant because pain, heat, redness, and swelling are the classic manifestations of the inflammatory process, notes an article published in the Surgical Neurology International (SNI).

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To arrive at their conclusion, scientists at Rush University Medical Centre in Chicago injected resveratrol into disc cartilage from cattle.

They found the red wine substance boosted levels of proteoglycan, a healing substance, and significantly slowed the rate at which cartilage wasted away.

General tips to treat back pain

It may seem counterintuitive, but one of the most important things you can do is to keep moving and continue with your normal activities as much as possible.

As the NHS explains, it used to be thought that bed rest would help you recover from a bad back, but it’s now known that people who remain active are likely to recover quicker.

“This may be difficult at first, but do not be discouraged – your pain should start to improve eventually,” says the health body.

It adds: “Consider taking painkillers if the pain is stopping you from carrying on as normal.”

According to VersusArthritis, exercise should ease your pain within two weeks and you should recover over approximately a four to six week period.

You should carry on with exercises for at least six to eight weeks to help prevent another injury, advises the health body.

One exercise it recommends is the pelvic tilt – this involves laying down with your knees bent.

One you are in this position, you should tighten your stomach muscles flattening your back against the floor.

Hold for five seconds and repeat this five times.

“A GP may be able to provide information about back exercises if you’re unsure what to try, or you may want to consider seeing a physiotherapist for advice,” adds the NHS.

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