Low back pain is a problem for millions of people around the world. Approximately, 80% of the North American population will experience low back pain for a number of reasons. Many will seek chiropractic to find relief.
Obesity is often the reason for low back pain. According to the American Obesity Association, 64.5% of adult Americans (about 127 million) are considered overweight or obese. Recent evidence suggests that obesity seriously impacts the musculo¬skeletal system, increasing the risk of low back pain as well as osteoarthritis, spondylolisthesis, degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis. An experienced chiropractor can help alleviate the pain but for long-term relief, you may need to pursue weight loss.
Effects of Obesity and Back Pain
They’re several obvious reasons why an obese person would experience more of this type of pain.
Unfortunately, many people suffer from certain genetic or hormonal diseases that cause weight gain. However, more often obesity is primarily related to poor nutrition and lack of exercise. In North America, our meals are often high in saturated fat and low in essential fatty acids. This leaves us prone to inflammatory states like arthritis. The large amounts of caffeine we consume also robs the skeleton of its bone¬ building calcium. And if we take into account our sedentary lifestyle, the body lacks the necessary weight¬ bearing effects to maintain a fortified skeletal structure. The result is an increased incidence of osteoporosis and bone fractures.
As a person packs on more weight, movement becomes difficult. Therefore, many obese people remain inactive. But this leads to big problems. Lack of movement in the joints can accelerate degenerative changes, which are seen in cases of osteoarthritis. If an obese person does remain active, the extra body weight puts additional stress and strain on the muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints.
Postural changes are also common in obese people, usually caused by carrying extra weight in their abdomen. As the size of the mid-section increases, the person’s center of gravity shifts forward and the lower back curve is exaggerated to accommodate for these changes. This adds more compressive loads on the joints of the lower back, increasing the risk of subluxation and pain.
How-To Treat Weight Problems
When faced with any health issue, the first thing you should do is consult with healthcare professionals. Your medical doctor can order blood tests to rule out hormonal imbalances or genetic metabolic disorders. Your chiropractor is knowledgeable in nutrition and exercise and is an excellent source for help in these areas.
Secondly, take control of the two most powerful factors controlling your body weight: diet and exercise. Portion control is one of the easiest ways to reduce excess body fat. Eat slowly and stop consuming when you’re no longer hungry. Eating because your body needs the fuel is different than eating because you enjoy the food.
A personal trainer can help with your weight loss. The trainer can design a starting program that you can do on your own, then update the program every six weeks or so to decrease costs. This gives you the best chance for continued progress, and keeps you more interested as your exercise routine varies.
Doctor Sawyer Chiropractic in Santa Cruz, California can help spinal adjustments due to obesity. Please speak with a medical practitioner before receiving treatment. Contact us in Santa Cruz, California today!