Extra Weight Adds Stress To The Spine
According to the American Obesity Association, at least one third of obese Americans reported having moderate to severe back pain. Studies have shown that being overweight results in the spine being tilted or stressed unevenly. The spine attempts to compensate for the extra weight being pressed on it, so the overall shape of it changes. This can lead to several different health conditions involving the back.
Take The Next Step Toward Finding Lower Back Pain Relief Today
If your lower back pain is not going away within two weeks of rest, contact a physical therapist to find a treatment plan that works for you. Arrow Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation in New Jersey wants to help you keep your resolutions of weight loss and find some relief from your chronic lower back pain. If you are in the Woodbridge, Edison or Union area of New Jersey, and you are experiencing lower back pain, contact our physical therapy office near you today to schedule an appointment or fill out the appointment request form on our website. We are here to help you find a personalized plan to lose weight and reduce your lower back pain symptoms. Contact us today!
Can Losing Weight Really Help With Back Pain
August 12, 2020 by Melissa Bell
So many of us suffer from back pain at some stage of our life. The back muscles take a lot of the weight of the human body, and we are constantly using those muscles.
It has been proven though that losing weight can really help with bad backs, as the less excess weight your body carries then the less work and strain it will be putting on your back.
So, lets have a look at some quick simple ideas to help with weight loss to help with your back pain.
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Can Sciatica Be Cured By Weight Loss
We need to be clear that weight loss is not a cure for sciatica. Weight loss will almost surely help relieve sciatica pain, but it is not a cure. There are other issues at work that weight loss exacerbates. These issues, combined with excess weight, are more likely to cause sciatica.
So, in order to experience long-term relief from sciatica, weight loss is only one step in the right direction. Its a very big step, but its still only one. Fortunately, the best and most effective ways to lose weight can also help relieve sciatica pain, such as eating healthy and exercising.
Short-term relief from sciatica is also worth mentioning here, as pain relief is essential to getting you back on your feet. As such, there are several other things you can do to relieve sciatic nerve pain in the short-term, including massage therapy, home remedies, yoga, and chiropractic care.
Physical Therapist In Austin Tx
If you are suffering from lower back pain, our highly skilled physical therapists at Endeavor Physical Therapy can help. Our specialized knowledge and training enable us to recognize the factors influencing your lower back pain and design an exercise and pain management program that will gradually change how your body looks and feels.
To schedule a consultation with one of our physical therapists, call 284-7192 or use our online request form. Endeavor Physical Therapy has convenient locations serving Austin, Round Rock, Manor, Pflugerville, Cedar Park, Bee Cave, and Hutto.
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Strength Flexibility And Back Pain
It’s well-known that strengthening and stretching trunk muscles and muscles around the hips provides support for upright body posture and for the spine itself. Regular practice of yoga, Pilates or other mind-body workouts can help you do just that. These types of programs help develop balanced strength in the muscles that control the pelvis and trunk. This, in turn, can protect your back by facilitating an even wear and tear on your joints and by taking the load off your spine. See above for a few ideas.
Abdominal Fat Causes Back And Spinal Nerve Pain
- There is a lot of confusion in the medical community regarding the role of obesity and back pain.
- Some researchers say that obesity plays a strong role in increasing back pain, others say obesity has none or little impact.
- More evidence is being published that abdominal obesity does cause mechanical stress on the spine and that abdominal fat is an inflammation making factory attacking spinal nerves.
We know that people do not like to hear that the joint and back pain problems they face are made worse by abdominal obesity. We do see patients who tell us that they have been lectured for years to get rid of that big belly. Clearly lecturing is not motivation. In this article, we will give you the science of how obesity works to give you back pain. We hope that you will see how your back pain is made worse in a different light beyond any gimmicky type article which suggests 8 easy to lose weight and reduce back pain. If they were that easy you would have lost the weight by now.
The evidence is mounting that when you wake up in the morning with that back pain, with that numbness extending into your feet, that your belly is A if not THE culprit of your problems.
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The Link Between Weight And Back Pain
You know that a healthy weight provides a host of health benefits, but you may not know that losing weight can help resolve or prevent back pain.
Back pain affects more than half of all Americans at some point in their lives. It is a leading cause of disability. The Institute of Medicine has estimated that chronic back pain costs our country approximately $600 billion a year in medical treatments and lost productivity.
If you suffer from back pain, you know how frustrating and limiting it can be. What you may not know is that there is a link between back pain and your weight. Excess weight and obesity are linked to high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Unhealthy weight stresses almost every organ in the body, so it is no surprise that it also increases the risk for back pain, joint pain, and muscle strain. The lower back is particularly vulnerable to weight-related pressure. According to the American Obesity Association, back pain affects nearly one-third of people classified as obese.
Maintaining a healthy weight or losing weight can help ease or prevent back issues, and reduces stress on other joints as well. Dropping just a few pounds can make a big difference to your back. For every four pounds you lose, you remove 16 pounds of pressure from your spine. In one study, the risk of developing osteoarthritis dropped 50 percent with each 11-pound weight loss.
Excess Weight And Pressure On The Spine
Patients who are classified as severely overweight often experience added pressure on the spine that may result in degenerative changes in the spinal column. Excess weight may also increase the risk of conditions like degenerative disc disease, herniated discs and severe back strain. By losing weight, this added pressure subsides, sometimes easing a patients pain to the point where surgery is no longer necessary. Obesity may also aggravate the following spine-related conditions that sometimes require surgery:
- Diffuse Idiopathic Hyperostosis
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The Toll Of Weight On The Spine
Understanding where you are in terms of weight loss is an important first step in diagnosis. The Body Mass Index is a measure commonly used by medical practitioners to better assess obesity. BMI takes into account a persons weight in kilograms and height in meters to calculate a number. The higher a persons BMI falls on a pre-determined range of values, the higher the likelihood for obesity. It is also important for doctors to gauge where excess fat is carried on the patients body. If a patient carries excess weight around the midsection, he or she is at a higher risk for obesity-related health problems, like low back pain.
Back pain occurring from obesity is a serious condition because it can lead to a number of health-related risks. Overweight patients may experience sciatica or low back pain from a herniated disk, pinched nerves, piriformis syndrome, arthritis of the spine and osteoarthritis. In addition, back surgery may not be as effective in patients who are obese, and comes with a higher risk for complications and infections after surgery. However, in many cases surgery is not necessary once an individual has begun a healthy regiment of diet and exercise.
Weight Loss Can Help Relieve Low Back Pain And A Weight Loss Program Can Be A Useful Way To Go But Not Every Program Is The Same And It May Be Hard To Figure Out Which One Is Recommended
Many Americans are overweight or obese and find low back pain is a debilitating issue. Research has shown that losing weight can have a significant impact on curbing low back pain.1 Weight loss programs can be very helpful for patients who are overweight or obese and who also want to relieve their low back pain.
Its important to do some research to find the right weight loss program before signing up and spending any money.However, there are a multitude of weight loss programs to choose from, and they all have their differences. Some are commercialized, others managed by a physician. Some programs endorse supplements others prescribe medication. Some are covered by insurance companies many are not.
With all these factors to consider, its important to do some research to find the right weight loss program before signing up and spending any money. Some weight loss programs may not follow the best practices recommended by doctors, and it could be hard to tell by just looking at their websites.
Hard-pressed for DetailsA recent study looked at 191 different weight loss programs in the MarylandWashington, DCVirginia region. The overwhelming majority of programs did not offer enough relevant information on their websites.
Find the Right Weight Loss ProgramA comprehensive lifestyle program should feature:
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Arthritis In Your Back
When you carry extra weight, it may also contribute to another degenerative problem, namely arthritis in the facet joints in your lower back. While your low back pain is attributed to arthritis, your weight may have exacerbated existing arthritis or caused arthritis to develop prematurely.
The bottom line is that, whether direct or indirect, your weight can influence whether or not you develop low back pain.
Research Questioning Obesity As A Cause
However, others insist that the relationship is not so cut-and-dry. In 2017, a collaborative research effort coordinated by Cornell University aimed to evaluate which types of back or spine problems were related to obesity.
Using data from the 2014 Medical Expenditure Panel Study , the researchers specifically looked at four common disorders:
- Lower back pain
- Internal disc disruption
- Neck problems unrelated to spondylosis or IDD
What the researchers found was that obesity was a strong predictor of lower back pain and IDD but not the other two conditions.
What this suggests is that, while a connection clearly exists, there are likely other factors beyond body mechanics that contribute. If not, they would have likely seen the same increase in the rates of spondylosis as they did IDD.
It is possible, say the researchers, that increases in adipose tissue may trigger metabolic changes that play as much a part of back troubles as the weight itself.
It is equally possible that weight is not so much the cause of a back problem as it is a complicating factor. A 2015 study published in the Medical Archives Obesity came to this conclusion after reviewing the medical history of 101 men employed in similar job types.
What they determined was that obesity did not exert a direct influence on back pain but rather hastened or worsened underlying disorders .
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Strengthening Exercises For Your Spine
It may seem counterintuitive, but weight lifting and strengthening exercises can actually help reduce back pain. However, the point isn’t to bulk up your muscles like a body builderit’s to develop strength, especially back strength.
The muscles in your back help keep your spine moving as it should. If you have a weak back or weak abdominal muscles, you could be more prone to back strain. Strong, healthy back muscles are also important because they’re associated with your posture. And in some cases, chronic back pain is a result of poor posture.
But focusing on strengthening only one part of the body, such as your back, isn’t enough. It’s crucial to strengthen other parts of your body, too, including your core and leg muscles. Overall body strength can lead to less back pain and can help you perform daily activities, such as lifting, better.
Overall body strength can lead to less back pain and can help you perform daily activities.
There are many other reasons why weight lifting and strengthening exercises are beneficial, but the most important reasons are that they:
help stabilize your spine, allowing your spine to move as it should and also making it easier to maintain proper posture
increase muscle tone
teach you good body mechanics
help build bonea significant benefit for people who have osteoporosis or are at risk for developing it
For the best results, you’ll need to incorporate a mixture of weight lifting and strengthening exercises to maintain a healthy back.
How Will Losing Weight Affect My Back
If you are a man or woman who is overweight or obese you most likely recognize the health benefits you would receive with weight loss. Shedding some pounds could reduce your back problems, lower your risk for certain cancers, and ultimately add years onto your life. However. its important to understand what is really happening to your body as you begin to lose weight, especially if you are suffering from a weight caused back condition. As you begin to trim off the excess fat on your body, your muscles dont have to work as hard. Essentially, day to day tasks become easier for your body to handle, which results in less pain experienced. The less you strain your joints, muscles, and bones, the healthier you become. Although the task of losing weight is difficult, it is possible. Let the numerous health benefits you will begin to receive be your motivation.
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The Link Between Obesity And Back Pain
Extra body weight directly increases your risk of developing back pain. Being overweight or obese also makes your back pain worse after a spine condition develops.
As pain management specialists, we at iMed Regeneration Center devote every day to helping people with chronic back pain get the relief they need to improve their health and wellness.
We routinely talk with back pain patients about the impact of body weight. Then we give them the support they need to achieve sustainable weight loss.
Chiropractic Care For Weight Loss And Sciatica
The full-body approach outlined in simple terms above is how chiropractors treat sciatica. Chiropractic care can also help relieve sciatica pain quickly with massage, spinal adjustments, and physical therapy modalities. This is why chiropractic care is ideal for those who have a hard time making these nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle changes on their own. One of the major services often overlooked that chiropractors offer is nutritional and lifestyle tips.
In fact, numerous studies show that chiropractic care promotes weight loss, in addition to helping patients reduce pain, improve posture, and increase well being. And they do this in a safe, non-invasive, drug-free manner.
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What Are The Best Exercises For Overweight People With Lower Back Pain Who Want To Lose Weight
The best exercises for those who are overweight are low-impact aerobic exercises, including
- Rowing: Many of my readers write in to tell me how much buying a rowing machine has changed their lives both for their weight, and their pain!
- Walking/Jogging on an Elliptical Machine: All of the exercise none of the joint pain! Elliptical machines are ideal for those who are overweight because they virtually eliminate the impact of walking or running, protecting your joints while giving you a workout thats as intense as you want it to be.
- Swimming/Water Therapy: Anything done in water adds a bit of weight resistance while also protecting your joints, muscles, ligaments and spine from the impact of movement with heavy weight. Whether its walking in the pool, doing arm circles or any other number of low-impact exercises, getting into the pool can help you shed pounds and strengthen your back all at once reducing your pain!
*Girardin JL, Williams NJ, Sarpong D, Pandey A, et al. Associations between inadequate sleep and obesity in the US adult population: analysis of the national health interview survey . BMC Public Health. 2014 14 290.
How Does Being Overweight Affect Your Lower Back And Spine
In general, people who are overweight are at a much greater risk to suffer from back and spine pain, or any muscle or joint issues. In fact, there is a pretty direct link between obesity and spine issues. Essentially, the excess weight that is carried by an obese person puts additional strain and pressure on the spine. Thus, increasing potential injury to the spine and back. There are a variety of different conditions that may occur in the back region because of obesity that will be discussed in detail below.
People who suffer from obesity have an increased risk for problems specifically in the lumbar region . Because there is excess weight in the midsection, the pelvis is pulled forward, straining the lower back and creating lots of pain and medical issues.
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