Weight gain is something several of us struggle with, but did you know weight gain may very well contribute to back pain in some individuals? Yes, this can be the case in certain individuals. The reasoning behind this issue is the fact our skeletal frame can only support so much body weight before aches and pains begin to develop. This can lead to injuries, joint pain, and back pain if the weight gain or obesity is not addressed in a timely fashion. Throughout this post, we’ll be discussing how weight gain and back pain can be correlated and what we can do to help you overcome both problems.
Does Obesity Cause Back Pain?
Obesity causes many issues in many people. Diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, certain types of cancers, sleep disorders, heart disease, etc… The bottom line is: obesity is not good, especially when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle full of wellness and longevity. Obesity typically causes back pain through the sheer act of having your body carry excess weight it’s not made for. If you’re a larger person by nature (taller or wider set), you may be able to avoid aches and pains within your back, neck, and spine if you happen to put on some extra pounds. However, if you’re already a smaller framed individual and you happen to put on extra weight, or become obese, you may end up feeling the effects of your weight gain that much more. If you think of the human body and frame the same way you think of any other structure; there can only be so much weight applied to a “structure” before things start to happen. Applying this same principle to our bodies is a good way of understanding how weight gain can affect the back, neck, and spine. It all comes down to increased tension and stress on the joints, muscles, and nerves.
How Does Losing Weight Potentially Help Back Pain?
Losing weight may potentially help your back pain through the exact opposite effect of gaining weight. As your weight is reduced back to a healthy amount based on your gender, height, age, etc…; you’ll most likely begin to notice many improvements in your overall lifestyle, including your back pain possibly improving. Excess weight, or obesity, can really begin to take a toll on the human body if it’s not addressed efficiently and effectively over time.
Effective Ways to Lose Weight
Below are some ways to lose weight and begin a journey towards a healthier lifestyle where your back pain may be improved upon.
Exercise, especially lighter forms of exercise (swimming is a great example), can be very beneficial for losing weight and building up strength and stamina once again. Starting off slow and steady can help you reach higher goals when it comes to a healthy exercise routine. Even just taking walks around the block with family or friends everyday is a great starting point to stand up and start moving.
Eliminating Added Sugars
When you consume large amounts of added sugars on a daily basis, you’re going to most likely see weight gain. Natural sugars such as those from whole fruits are much more tolerated by our bodies due to the larger amounts of fiber to help us maintain better blood-sugar levels as we eat said fruits. Now, when you consume a sugary soda beverage, you’re consuming liquified sugar; sometimes in excess of 40g of sugar per serving. This is a lot of sugar to consume every single day. This type of sugar can make you much more prone to gaining weight over time. Eliminating added sugars from your diet may help you lose weight just from modifying your diet to a healthier baseline.
Cutting Out Alcohol & Cigarettes
Alcohol and cigarettes can cause us to lose stamina, have an increased risk of cancer, and may promote an unhealthy lifestyle altogether. When you consume larger quantities of alcohol on a daily basis, you run the risk of gaining weight through improper food choices or even developing a “beer belly”. Smokers who smoke on a daily basis may find their lungs are unable to keep up with an exercise routine due to decreased capacity and stamina. This may prevent you from successfully achieving your workout goals over time and could lead to a sedentary lifestyle where you just can’t keep up with cardio-based exercises. On top of all this, alcohol and cigarettes can lead to cancers forming throughout the body. Make the right decisions today and start leading a healthier lifestyle. Your body will thank you for it later.
Eating Healthy, Whole Foods
When you choose to eat healthy, whole, real foods on a daily basis; you’re providing your body with the right nourishment it needs to be its best. We’re made to consume fresh foods from the earth. Prior to the 1900s, very little food was pre packaged and processed. The closer we can be to the original food consumption of yesteryears, the better in most cases.
Drinking Water in Place of Sugary Beverages
If you have to choose between water and a sugar-ladened beverage, you’ll want to choose water. Our bodies are made up of anywhere from 55-70% water. It only makes sense as to why if you’re chronically dehydrated from drinking sugary beverages, you’d start to experience the effects of dehydration. Additionally, sugary beverages just don’t fulfill the quotas we need to live a healthy lifestyle. Water is king when it comes to a healthy beverage. Around 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated, so please try not to fall into that statistic by maintaining a healthy hydration level.
Benefits of Losing Weight On the Back, Neck, & Spine
The benefits of losing weight for the back, neck, and spine are typically great. As pressure eases up on these vulnerable areas, you’ll often see increased mobility, flexibility, and lesser amounts of pain and discomfort.
Reduced Pressure On Joints
When you lose weight and become closer towards your healthy body weight, you may see reduced pressure on joints throughout your body. This can help with aches, pains, and discomfort. Our joints help us move throughout the day, so anything you can do to make their job easier will most likely result in a better system of movement for your body.
Reduced Inflammation from a Better Diet
When you consume a healthier, whole food diet; your body will typically have less inflammation. Anti-inflammatory foods help your body’s inflammation levels. Sugary, processed, artificial foods do the opposite. When you have a reduction in your body’s inflammation, you’re most likely going to experience a reduction in aches and pains.
Better Stamina When Exercising
When you’re losing weight over time thanks to a better diet and lifestyle, you’re more likely to see an improvement in your stamina while exercising. This is simply due to not having to lug around all of that excess weight and helping your body operate at a much higher performance level thanks to cutting out poor lifestyle habits (added sugars, smoking, drinking, obesity, etc…). All in all, the better you can perform when exercising, the better off you’ll be when it comes to reaching your wellness goals.
Contact Us at Neurosurgery & Spine Consultants for an Evaluation, Today!
If you’re searching for ways to help your back, neck, and spine pain; you’ll want to reach out to us here at Neurosurgery & Spine Consultants. We’re the experts in physical therapy, nutritional-based recommendations, and surgical procedures to help you overcome your pain and discomfort. We always treat surgical procedures as a last resort option and want all of our patients to experience health and wellness. If you’re interested in an initial consultation with our board-certified doctors, please feel free to fill out the form below and we’ll be sure to respond to your message as soon as possible. We look forward to hearing from you soon and we’re eager to begin helping you on your way to a healthier, pain-free lifestyle!
DISCLAIMER: No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.