You add stress to your lower back for every pound of body weight you gain. The extra weight causes chronic spine conditions to aggravate existing problems and can result in debilitating low back pain.
Losing weight is vital for restoring a healthy back, but before you begin a weight loss program, it’s essential to protect your back by getting care from spine experts. They help you regain an active life with individualized care that eases the pain.
Here, they explain the connection between body weight and back pain and discuss how they can help you lose weight without aggravating your back pain.
Body Weight Directly Affects Your Back
Your spine has several jobs and one of them is supporting your body, no matter how much it weighs. Putting on extra weight has a significant impact on your spine and causes back pain by:
Increasing Back Pressure – For every pound of weight you gain, your lower back bears four additional pounds of pressure every time you take a step. And if you run, that one-pound places eight extra pounds on your back.
The extra pressure places incredible stress on your spine and its supporting muscles and leads to degeneration in spinal tissues. As a result, you end up with problems like herniated discs and/or spinal osteoarthritis, conditions that cause severe back pain and pinched nerves.
Altering Spinal Alignment – When excess weight builds up in your stomach, it affects spinal alignment. Your spine changes its position (posture) to compensate for carrying extra belly weight, which places significant stress on your lower back. Poor posture leads to muscle strain and spasms and accelerates degeneration in the spinal joints.
Extra Weight Increases Inflammation – Your body fat produces and releases several hormones and biochemicals, including substances that trigger body-wide inflammation. As you gain weight and cells store additional fat, levels of these inflammatory biochemicals increase. The inflammation alone can cause back pain. It also contributes to degenerative conditions in your spine.
Easing Your Back Pain
Losing weight significantly relieves your back pain. To successfully drop the pounds and keep them off for the long run, you need to consistently limit your calories, follow a nutrient-rich diet, and get regular exercise.
In addition to helping, you lose weight, exercise improves low back pain by improving flexibility and strengthening the spine’s supporting muscles. However, you shouldn’t jump into an exercise program before getting an evaluation, for two vital reasons.
First, your pain may arise from a back condition that will worsen with certain activities. And second, getting exercise isn’t easy and may be impossible when you have back pain. We can help with both issues.
During your evaluation, we identify problems in your spine, recommend a treatment plan, and help guide your exercise program.
As pain management specialists, we’re experts in minimally invasive interventional therapies that ease your pain, giving you the ability to participate in exercise therapy.
A few examples of interventional treatments include:
- Epidural steroid injections
- Peripheral nerve blocks
- Spinal cord stimulation
- Selective root blocks
- Medial branch blocks
These therapies are effective because they target specific nerves. An epidural steroid injection eases your pain by reducing nerve inflammation. The other procedures block pain signals traveling through nerves. Your pain diminishes when your brain doesn’t get the message.
Precision Pain Care and Rehabilitation has two convenient locations in Richmond Hill – Queens and New Hyde Park – Long Island. Call the Queens office at (718) 215-1888, or (516) 419-4480 for the Long Island office, to arrange an appointment with our Interventional Pain Management Specialist, Dr. Jeffrey Chacko.