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Anti inflammatory foods for sciatica pain

Anti inflammatory foods for sciatica pain

Sciatica pain can be debilitating and can impact upon every part of your life. Exercise can help to relieve sciatica pain by strengthening the back. However, exercise alone is not enough to eliminate sciatica pain. Usually, a change in diet, as advised by your GP or dietitian, can help you to be pain free.

Anti inflammatory foods

One way in which to tackle sciatica pain is to reduce inflammation in the joints and in the back. Although anti inflammatory medication can help, eating foods that are rich in anti inflammatory properties can really help to improve your flexibility and movements. The good news is that there is a wide variety of anti inflammatory foods out there for you to choose from, including fruit, veg and oils, ensuring that your diet is as healthy and tasty as possible.

What foods have anti inflammatory properties?

Here is a basic list of every day foods that you can eat to help reduce inflammation in the body, helping to relieve that persistent sciatica pain.

Spices – The good news is that if you love spicy food, then you’ll be helping to reduce inflammation in the body. This is because a variety of spices contain antioxidants that often help to reduce inflammation. Good spices to take include rosemary, ginger, turmeric and cloves.

Fruits – It is highly advised that you eat a diet rich in fruit because of the high levels of anti oxidants that fight inflammation.

Tomatoes – Love or hate them, tomatoes contain a rich source of anti oxidants that are called phytofluene, phytoene and zera-carotene. This combination helps to reduce inflammation.

Leafy Greens – These are packed with phytonutrients, carotenoids and antioxidants that help with the fight against inflammation.

Olive Oil – Use olive oil and extra virgin olive oil to dress your salads and to cook with, as they are rich in polyphenols that help fight inflammation.

What foods should be avoided?

Although we don’t want to ban foods from your diet, there are several foods that are best avoided, or eaten in moderation, as they can cause flare ups. These include any type of fast food. This is because these foods are very high in saturated fats that can increase inflammation. Foods that are also high in refined sugars and carbohydrates can also increase inflammation throughout the body, which will not help sciatica pain.

Changing your eating habits and adopting an active and healthy lifestyle can all help to reduce sciatica pain.


  1. Tonia McDonald on February 12, 2020 at 10:20 pm

    I am a living witness that all of this helps tremendously. After 7 months of suffering from debilitating sciatic nerve pain, I started researching and discovered that inflammation was causing more pain than I should have been experiencing. I started following what this article said and I’m really close to being able to go back to doing CNA work.
    So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for sharing this knowledge with us. God bless you!

    • SPRC on February 12, 2020 at 11:22 pm

      Dear Tonia,
      That is wonderful news to hear and will be a source of hope and encouragement for others who read about your progress. Thank you for sharing.

      • Lynn wilson on February 18, 2020 at 5:06 pm

        Hi I 60 years old and for the last 11month I’ve been in horrendous pain with sciatica and can not walk which has left me housebound and depending on other people to help me I’ve always been so indepented now I’m depressed crying all the time any helpful tips please

        • SPRC on February 18, 2020 at 8:06 pm

          Lynn we can really empathise with you. Anything that limits such an independent person is a challenge. If you’re depressed then please seek help for this. The low mood can make your pain feel worse so lifting the mood can be part of the solution to breaking the cycle of pain and low mood. Your independent nature can win through and any little progress or victory you have is to be built on. Read our blogs and see if you can find any tips to try to help. Keep trying as perseverance works. Our very best wishes to you.

    • Pamela B on September 30, 2020 at 12:42 am

      Thank you for the inspiring and encouraging words. I’ve been struggling with sciatica and arthritis together for almost 2 years. I already had osteo arthritis, but when I started noticing sciatic nerve pain, I thought I would lose my mind due to how intensely painful it can be. I’ve been on the Keto Diet and it has helped a lot, but I must admit that I’ve back slid a bit on the diet and started giving into some sweet cravings. Since I have given into those cravings, my sciatica has been pretty bad and more pain during the day, even with physical therapy and other exercise. I have decided to re-commit to myself and stop this madness and stop all sugar, chocolate, and other foods, such as fast foods, pizza, etc. I will continue to do research about appropriate, better healthy foods and beverages to consume. Again, thank you for the good information.

      • SPRC on September 30, 2020 at 9:24 pm

        Dear Pamela,
        Good to hear you making changes that help you. It’s not easy sometimes. As Oscar Wilde said “I can resist anything but temptation”:-)
        Be kind to yourself and small changes over time will win out. Best wishes.

  2. Jayesh Sadanand More on January 25, 2020 at 4:17 pm

    I have sciatica and my age is 22….I m suffer from lot of pain..from back to lower pain from last 6 month …I have take medicine but…if I close to eat madicien…..then I didn’t any work ….pls suggest me some tips…

    • SPRC on January 27, 2020 at 10:51 am

      Dear Jayesh,
      Sorry to hear you have sciatica at such a young age. Read the blogs on our website to see if you can find any tips that may help. Gentle physical activity and time will help. With youth on your side we hope you make a full recovery soon.

  3. s.Larkiins on October 1, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    Seeing that refined sugars are not helpful for the treatment of sciatica does the same apply to honey? Your comments would be very welcome.
    S. Larkins

    • SPRC on October 1, 2018 at 9:16 pm

      Honey is lower in fructose and contains other trace minerals that are good for you. It’s processed and absorbed more slowly by the body than refined sugar. This means longer-lasting energy and less of a spike compared to refined sugar, which is easier on your body and digestive system. As with most things moderation is the key. Too much honey would still not be a good idea.
      Best regards.

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