It’s no coincidence that in the past twenty years as obesity levels have risen, so have back pain complaints. There is something to this – could keeping the bulge at bay have a positive impact on the chronic pain you’re in from your back?
When someone is in a lot of pain, they may try to deal with this by eating more. Emotional eating is a real thing and is a way of escaping the pain – both physically and mentally. However, what it ends up doing is the opposite – making you feel even more anxious and depressed. It’s a vicious cycle that may result in living with chronic pain and carrying around too much weight.
Body fat has negative implications when it comes to the spine and the pressure put on the discs of the backbone. Keeping the weight off and staying slim can help to keep the parts of your spine that are designed to absorb shock and pressure out of harm’s way.
This is because when you way more than is recommended for your body type, this puts unnecessary pressure on the soft tissue located around your vertebrae. In turn, this can exaggerate the curve in your lower back which may throw off the alignment in your spine, causing chronic back pain.
Additionally, belly fat is known to secrete inflammatory chemicals. Over time, these chemicals weaken the discs in your back. If you’re someone who has to sit for long periods of time for work, this pressure and pain will be exacerbated.
Now that we know just how detrimental those extra pounds are on the condition of your back, let’s discuss what you can do to help alleviate the damage and keep your weight down at a healthy number:
- Move regularly: physical activity helps to control your weight, no matter what it is. This could be anything from swimming and biking to running and walking. When you add strength-building exercises into the mix, this helps even more.
- Lifting the Right Way: many back injuries can be attributed to lifting the wrong way. All it takes is one awkward jolt, and you could put your back out completely. When lifting the right way, you bend your knees, holding the object close to your body. Tighten the muscles in your stomach and lift your legs. Don’t lift objects that are too heavy above waist height.
- Sit Smartly: posture is essential when thinking about the condition of your back. Remember to sit up straight and keep your shoulders back and in line with your hips. Your knees should be bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Stand Up: if you sit down for work, it’s recommended that you get up and walk around every twenty minutes or so. This encourages oxygen to flow through your body and promotes the regeneration of healthy fluid in your spine.
When it comes to keeping your back healthy, it’s simple: keep your weight at a healthy level. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to be super skinny, however, the more you weigh, the more pain you’ll be in as a result.