Weight Gain and Your Back
There are many causes of back pain. Unfortunately, if the body is carrying extra weight, the ramifications of the pain and the recovery time required are increased. Extra pounds can also be the source of sciatica and low back pain because weight-gain lowers the body’s center of gravity and places additional strain on the lower back.
The American Chiropractic Association’s recent report on weight loss summarizes the comments of nutritionists and doctors on the contributing factors to weight gain; and offers suggested dietary changes. As the report states, the modern US food system has made excessive calorie consumption simply too easy, affordable, and tasty. Obesity has reached epidemic levels and the ramifications across society and the healthcare system are far-reaching.
Besides easy access to high-calorie foods, other causes of increased weight gain include:
- sleep deprivation, from poor sleeping habits or insomnia
- psychological issues like stress, depression, and anxiety
- physical issues like back and neck pain, herniated discs, and hip or knee injuries
- lack of exercise (often the result of suffering from one or more of the previous issues)
Experts recommend some basic changes to diet to combat weight gain:
- pay attention to your body to know if you really are hungry
- pay attention to portion size to know how much you really need to satisfy that hunger
- develop a support network to help you change your unhealthy eating patterns, for example: friends and family, a nutritionist, or a psychologist
- increase your consumption of water and fiber-rich foods (e.g. fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes)
- avoid highly processed foods, particularly simple carbohydrate products with white flour and sugar
Many doctors are encouraging better eating and weight loss for healthier, pain-free bodies. "We've seen many patients come into our chiropractic clinic who suffer from back problems that are exasperated by excess body weight," states Dr. Busch of Busch Chiropractic in Fort Wayne. "We started our sister company, New Life Body Sculpting, to help these patients, and others, lose weight to reduce their risk of back and joint pain and improve their quality of life."
Dr. Busch encourages all of his patients to maintain a healthy weight for a healthy back.
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