Foods that fight inflammation naturally

Inflammation is the body’s response to infection, injury or irritation. It induces redness, swelling and pain, sometimes rendering the affected area nonfunctional. 

As your body heals from an acute episode of back pain, reducing inflammation is a key to a successful recovery. Dr Shaun from Waverley Chiropractic Centre says that if you choose the right anti-inflammatory foods, not only may you be able to quicken recovery but you may be able to reduce your risk of illness. Consistently pick the wrong ones, and you could accelerate the inflammatory disease process.

Foods that cause inflammation:

  • Try to avoid or limit these foods as much as possible:
  • refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and pastries
  • French fries and other fried foods
  • soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages
  • red meat (burgers, steaks) and processed meat (hot dogs, sausage)
  • margarine, shortening, and lard

The health risks of inflammatory foods
Not surprisingly, the same foods on an inflammation diet are generally considered bad for our health, including sodas and refined carbohydrates, as well as red meat and processed meats.

Some of the foods that have been associated with an increased risk for chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease are also associated with excess inflammation.

Unhealthy foods also contribute to weight gain, which is itself a risk factor for inflammation. Yet in several studies, even after researchers took obesity into account, the link between foods and inflammation remained, which suggests weight gain isn’t the sole driver.

Anti-inflammatory foods
An anti-inflammatory diet should include these foods:

  • tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and collards
  • nuts like almonds and walnuts
  • fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines
  • fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges

Benefits of anti-inflammatory foods
On the flip side are beverages and foods that reduce inflammation, and with it, chronic disease. In particular fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, apples, and leafy greens that are high in natural antioxidants and polyphenols—protective compounds found in plants.

Studies have also associated nuts with reduced markers of inflammation and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Coffee, which contains polyphenols and other anti-inflammatory compounds, may protect against inflammation, as well.

Anti-inflammatory diet
To reduce levels of inflammation, aim for an overall healthy diet. If you’re looking for an eating plan that closely follows the tenets of anti-inflammatory eating, consider a diet which is high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fish, and healthy oils.

In addition to lowering inflammation, a more natural, less processed diet can have noticeable effects on your physical and emotional health.

Source: Harvard Health Publishing



What Happens When You Hear a “CRACK” in Your Spine?

You turn your head or bend down to lift something and “CRACK”! What is it? Did you injure something?  The first time that happens can be terrifying. Well, you don’t need to worry. That cracking sound is probably not a broken bone. It typically occurs in the facet joints, or knuckles, of your spinal column and it’s completely normal. Your facet joints are designed to help your spine move through a full range of motion.

Why it Matters:

The facets are little joints on the back side of your spine. Similar to your knuckles, they have a small capsule around them for lubrication and support. When a facet joint is stretched open, gas within the joint is released, making a crunch or cracking sound. The release of gas is perfectly normal and happens because of the negative pressure in the joint. Just like taking the top off a champagne bottle. Sometimes adhesions can occur in the joint making it painful to move. That is why after a chiropractic adjustment many people feel better and have an improved range of motion. Adjustments help the facet joints move more naturally with fewer restrictions.  

– Cracks and pops in your back and neck are typically caused by the release of gas within the joint (like a knuckle)

– Adhesions in the joints of your spine can restrict your range of motion and contribute to degenerative changes


– Adjustments reduce the adhesions in the fact joints resulting in pain relief and an improved range of motion

Next Steps:

While many chiropractic techniques create a “cracking” or “crunching” type sound- not all do. Low-speed techniques also improve the motion of the facet joints, sometimes without any sound at all. Dr Shaun at Waverley Chiropractic Centre is proficient in a number of different techniques and will choose one that suits your needs.

And here’s a tip to share with your friends- stubborn headaches are frequently caused by irritated facet joints. If you know someone who suffers from headaches and works on a computer most of the day- their facet joints may be to blame. Share this blog with them and let them know a chiropractic adjustment may be just what they need!

Science Source:

Effects of side-posture positioning and side-posture adjusting on the lumbar zygapophysial joints as evaluated by magnetic resonance imaging: a before and after study with randomization. JMPT 2000. Neurophysiological effects of spinal manipulation. The Spine Journal 2002.

Tape: All Hype or Scientifically Sound?

Here at Waverley Chiropractic I’m often asked about how useful that colourful kt tape is? It’s difficult to find a single sporting event where you won’t see an athlete wearing colorful tape somewhere on their body. You may have wondered what it is, and more importantly what it’s used for. The tape is called kinesio tape and was initially developed by a Chiropractor about 40 years ago. It works by stimulating proprioception, which is the medical term for knowing where your body is in space.

Why it Matters:

Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and it’s loaded with small sensory nerve fibers that are responsible for proprioception. Placing tape in specific areas of your body across the skin provides sensory input that gives your brain more information as you move. This additional information has been shown to help improve balance, reduce pain, and support proper movement patterns.

  • Tape worn on the skin provides your brain with more information about your movement patterns and can help reduce injuries and improve rehabilitation.
  • Taping has been shown to improve balance for up to 72 hours after the tape has been removed.
  • Researchers have found taping can be more effective than postural exercises alone to reduce neck pain.

Next Steps:

You can think of the tape less like a brace and more like a nervous system reminder that you wear on your skin. Not only does it look cool, but it has the potential to support better movement, reduce pain, and limit injuries. Now the next time you see an athlete wearing tape, you will know it’s more than just a fashion statement!

Science Source:

Extended use of Kinesiology Tape and Balance in Participants with Chronic Ankle Instability. Journal of Athletic Training 2016

Efficacy of kinesio taping versus postural correction exercises on pain intensity and axioscapular muscles activation in mechanical neck dysfunction: a randomized blinded clinical trial. The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2017

A Spinal Disc Bulge or Herniation: What’s the Difference?

As a chiropractor here in Mount Waverley I’m often asked what’s the difference between a disc bulge and herniation. The bones, discs, ligaments, and muscles of your spine are designed to help you maintain proper spinal alignment, posture, and movement. Between each set of bones or vertebrae is a small rubbery disc. These discs act as small shock absorbers for your spinal bones and nerves. They have a tough, rubber-like outer layer called the annulus fibrosis and a soft jelly-like center that is called the nucleus pulposus. As you age or encounter injuries, the curve of your spine may fall out of alignment. This can place uneven stress on your spinal column and discs, increasing the chance of having a disc break down and herniate.

Why it Matters:

A disc herniation occurs when the outer portion of the disc ruptures (or tears) and the soft inner portion squeezes out. This type of injury can cause pain at the site of herniation, or sometimes the herniated disc can pinch a nearby nerve, causing pain that can radiate down into your arms and legs.  Similarly, a disc bulge occurs when the outer wall of the disc is weakened, but the inner portion has not yet broken through.

  • A disc herniation occurs when the inside of a spinal disc breaks through its outside wall.
  • Disc herniations often contribute to nerve compression, which can send pain, weakness, or numbness into your arms or legs.
  • By maintaining proper spinal alignment, you can reduce added wear and tear on your discs and potentially decrease the likelihood of a disc herniation.

Next Steps:

Now that you know what a disc herniation is, be sure to stay tuned. Next week, we’ll reveal the best ways you can find natural relief. Can you guess what type of care resulted in over 90% of people with a disc herniation finding improvement within the first few months? We’ll be back next week with the answer!

Science Source(s):

Columbia University. The Spine Hospital 2018

Herniated Disk: What is it? Harvard Medical School. Harvard Health Publishing 2018