There is a direct relationship between how much people weigh and the back pain they suffer from. This does not mean that thin people won’t get back pain and that all overweight people will. Everyone can get back pain, but if you are overweight your chances of having back pain are higher. “The extra weight adds stress and strain to the lower spine including the spinal facet joints,” says Dr. Mark Barnes CEO of Telespine. Being overweight can lead to ongoing inflammation in the body. That inflammation can cause additional medical problems such as heart problems, diabetes, and pain including low back pain. Chronic inflammation has also been shown to even affect our body’s abilities to fight off infections, or respond to stress injuries. What was once thought to be a simple issue of inflamed joints has been shown to be a much greater health concern. The good news is that as much as there is a relationship between being overweight and experiencing low back pain, there is also a relationship between weight loss and low back pain relief — as soon as you lose weight the added stress on your spine will be reduced and the chronic inflammation typically goes down (especially if you make healthy food choices) The outcome; the pain will go away.
If you are overweight you are not alone. Almost 70% of the United States is overweight — and if you decide to do something about it, you aren’t alone in that choice, either. Losing weight is not easy, but if you are in pain and overweight, losing weight will decrease your pain significantly and will be worth the effort. Many people are finding that weight loss is becoming their strongest tool towards fighting physical pain — you will likely find many friends and allies in this journey. Your primary care doctor is an excellent first step towards discussing these health concerns and they may even recommend a specialist such as an internist or physical therapist.
You can start today by adding more fruits and vegetables which fight inflammation to your diet as well as even a simple exercise routine. When it comes to diet, there are many fruits and vegetables that help fight inflammation. Blueberries, for example, have the highest amount of antioxidant power compared to any other fruit. Add just ½ a cup of blueberries to your diet every day and those powerful little fruits will reduce your inflammation and fight free radical damage. Eating either fresh or frozen blueberries provides the same benefit — you can try scattering them over breakfast cereal or yogurt in the mornings, add them to salads for lunch, or topping your evening grilled entrées with a blueberry salsa.
You can also avoid foods which trigger inflammation and slowly cut them from your diet, in gradual amounts. Some of the highest inflammation causing foods are refined carbohydrates, red meat, and margarine, so begin by cutting these out first.
In addition to eating better, adding an exercise routine is also essential. If you find that working out can be painful, look to low-impact exercises like walking, bicycling, or swimming to start with. Eventually, your routine should include cardiovascular exercises such as walking, core exercises and stretches specific for your lower back to get rid of your back pain and keep it away.
Not only will adding exercises help to shed some pounds, but making your core stronger will take a load off of your back and decrease pain. Many individuals with lower back pain find that programs like Telespine, which combines clinically proven exercises and stretches are the most helpful in reducing their back pain immediately.
Make 2016 the start of your healthiest life yet!