Chronic back pain is exhausting. The nature of back pain can affect all parts of your life, minimizing your physical activity and impacting your ability to work. Although the cause of back pain is different for everyone, sometimes the first step to any successful treatment is losing weight.
For people who suffer from chronic back pain, the connection between weight and pain may be unexpected. Most people are aware that carrying too much weight can be bad for the heart or increase one’s risk of diabetes. However, your weight can also affect your spine.
Your spine is intended to hold you upright. The bones are connected with softer tissue, which moves and bends as needed. When there is more weight on the body, more pressure is allocated to the spine. The spine essentially tries to compensate for the extra weight, which leads to deviation or tilting. If ignored for too long, this can produce a variety of painful symptoms.
This is most often seen in the lower back. For people who carry extra weight in the stomach, the lower spine can begin to curve abnormally. Eventually, this can change the position of the pelvis. When this happens, more pressure is put upon the lower back. Moreover, being overweight can exacerbate other conditions associated with the spine. For example, people who suffer from arthritis often have more complications with back and joint pain when they are overweight.
Given this complexity, it is no wonder that many doctors recommend losing weight as an effective treatment for back pain. Although weight loss may not completely cure back pain, it is often a vital first step to fixing the problem. By losing weight, pressure on the spine is minimized. While further treatment may still be necessary, the weight loss will allow those treatments to produce a noticeable effect on your pain levels.
When you are in pain, exercise can be excruciating. Luckily, gentle exercises can pay off when practiced consistently. While any exercise regimen should be planned out with your doctor or physical therapist, there are a lot of options that are commonly recommended by professionals.
Yoga exercises are based on targeted stretches. Yoga can be used to loosen and strengthen key parts of the body. For many people with chronic back pain, yoga stretches are a great way to manage the condition. However, a well rounded yoga routine can also encourage weight loss. The trick is to find the right combination of stretches to promote wellness, proper posture and weight loss. Yoga stretches can be easily adjusted to your ability level.
Swimming is a great option for people with joint pain. A lot of other exercises create high impacts against the ground or other equipment. That’s why biking, running, and even jogging can be painful for someone with back pain. However, swimming is a low impact exercise that features a strong cardiovascular exercise. If you are able to address your weight quickly, swimming is a great way to do that.
When overweight and in pain, many people feel like they cannot start an exercise regime. If yoga and swimming seem overwhelming, then you can start with something simple. Walking is relatively low impact, and it requires no special equipment or training. Just 10 minutes of purposeful walking every day can make a real difference on your health.
These exercises are a great place to start if you want to address your back pain with weight control. However, if you have already tried these exercises and still suffer, do not delay further treatment. Please contact Spine Institute Northwest today at 888-712-0318.