If you are overweight, even slightly, one of the best preventative measures for averting pain in your back, neck, legs, and other areas of the body, is a rigorous and well-planned weight loss program. By working closely with a healthcare professional, a thorough assessment can be conducted to help tailor an individualized weight loss plan.
Weight Gain and Back Pain -
The more weight you gain, the greater the stress that is placed on your back muscles and other soft tissue. The human body is designed to remain upright and to achieve this, muscles work together to distribute their workload. As you put on weight, especially in the waist and abdomen, the body becomes out of balance because the pelvis thrusts forward, and back muscles have to work harder to keep you upright. Because they need to work harder, they fatigue more quickly, spasm, and pull the vertebrae out of alignment, opening the door for a number of problems.
Problems Resulting From Weight Gain -
Being overweight, especially being obese, has a direct impact on many back health issues. Among these are:
" Herniated discs - As time passes, extra weight increases the pressure placed on the components of the spine, particularly the discs. Research supports that added weight contributes to the wearing away of the fibers of the outer rim of the inter-vertebral discs that cushion the vertebrae. As the discs become worn down, the chances of suffering from the pain symptomatic of sciatica increase and the probability of healing decreases.
" Osteoarthritis of the spine - Osteoarthritis (OA) of the spine is a type of arthritis in which the cushioning cartilage between the bones deteriorates and the bones rest on each other; with little or no padding, pain and bone damage ensue. While it has been known for some time that being overweight directly contributes to osteoarthritis in the spine, studies show that weight loss relieves and diminishes pain brought on by OA. Overweight and obese children are at an increased risk for early onset of OA.
" Back strain - As stated above, excess body weight puts additional stress on the soft tissue in the back, which in turn affects the spinal column. This contributes to sciatica (a series of symptoms associated with herniated discs), and stenosis, a narrowing of the space in the spelling column. Osteoarthritis is also known to contribute to stenosis.
" Other Degenerative disc diseases - Obesity also contributes to spondylolysis, cervical disc deterioration, and thoracic disc degeneration.
Why Weight Loss Helps -
In addition to reducing the chances of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and innumerable other weight related diseases, losing excess weight helps relieve back pain. Weight loss, coupled this website with a good stretching and exercise program, reduces the strain placed on back muscles and the ligaments and tendons of the spinal column. A healthcare professional can evaluate your need and design a personalized program to help you lose weight and maintain the weight loss (many recommend being no more than ten pounds over standard height to weight ratio guidelines).
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