· Cramps and abdominal paon
· Poor abdominal topne
The abdominal muscles compress the abdomen, raising intra-abdominal pressure, helping to stabilise the back. Any inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract can reflex into the abdominal and back muscles, inhibiting them. This is because nerves from the stomach, small intestine and large intestine travel back to the spinal cord, where they meet with nerves from the abdominal and back muscles. Once the muscular support of the back is disrupted it can cause joint instability, joint shearing and pain.
Imagine if you had a sore thumb, it would hurt if you squeezed or compressed it. The same is true if the gastrointestinal organs are compressed by the abdominal and back muscles, hence their inhibition.
The most common causes of gastrointestinal inflammation today are:
· Gluten intolerance from all grains except corn, buckwheat, rice and millet.
- Lactose and casein intolerance from cow’s diary products.
- Caffeine / alcohol.
- regular medication use - particularly NSAID
1. Eliminate all grains, except those named above, from your diet. Including bread, spaghetti, pasta, bagels, cakes, biscuits, breakfast cereals, etc…
2. Eliminate cows dairy from your diet, including milk, cheese, yoghurt, cream, milk chocolate and ice cream. Supplement your diet with goat or sheep milk products instead, or make your own cultured diary such as kefir oe whey. For those worried about calcium intake, plenty of calcium can be found in green leafy vegetables, or just take a calcium supplement.
3. Avoid caffeine and alcohol (tea, coffee, fizzy drinks, sports drinks, beer, wine, spirits) and drink plenty of good quality water, such as Volvic or Evian. To work our how much water you need, times your weight in Kg by 0.033 to equal the amount in litres, for example a 70 kg man (70 C 0.033 = 2.3) requires 2.3 litres.
4. Incorporate stress reduction techniques into your lifestyle, such as breathing exercises, yoga, Qi gong, Ti Chi or a reading sports massage.
These dietary changes need to be done in conjunction with the treatment and exercise programme from your physiotherapist so that the spinal stabiliser muscles can start to work again. You will need to maintain these changes for between 3-6 months to allow the gastrointestinal tract to heal. After this time you may try to reintroduce some of these foods. If your symptoms return then avoid the offending foods indefinitely.