Category: Spine Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: July 26, 2018
Your spine is tasked with channeling stress from your body and from movements, so it stands to reason that if you’re carrying excess weight, your spine is going to undertake more stress than someone who weighs less. With that said, excess stress isn’t the only reason why obesity can negatively affect your ability to manage your back pain. Below, we take a closer look at the relationship between obesity and spine pain.
We touched on this in the introduction, but excess weight will overstress your spine and lead to faster degeneration of structures like spinal discs. Our spinal discs naturally degenerate over time, but being heavy expedites the process. It also leaves you more prone to problems like bulging or herniated discs. The good news is that these conditions can be slowed or prevented by simply shedding a few pounds!
If you are overweight, medications may not be as effective at controlling pain, or you may need to take a higher dosage in order to achieve the intended effect, which can put you at a greater risk for abuse or dependence. If you’re overweight, you’re also more likely to be dealing with related health conditions, and if you’re taking medications to manage those, it can become more complex to develop a care plan to make sure you aren’t combining medications that shouldn’t be taken together.
In the event that you need surgery for your spine issue, you’ll want to do everything in your power to get down to a healthy weight. Medical data shows that obesity is one of the leading risk factors for complications, which in turn leads to poorer surgery results, a greater likelihood of a longer hospital stay, and in turn, a higher bill. We don’t expect you to drop 30 pounds in the month before surgery, but losing some weight and establishing good dietary habits will help you during surgery and while you’re partaking in rehabilitation.
Your battle with your weight can also have a complimentary effect on your energy levels and attitude. If you are overweight and fatigued easily, it can be very difficult to muster up the motivation to work out and lose weight, which only leads to excess weight gain. On the flip side, if you can push yourself to exercise and eat right, odds are you’ll begin to notice the pounds drop off, which can increase your energy levels and make you want to work out more. The first few days are the toughest, but if you can begin to see weight loss, odds are you’ll notice an uptick in energy levels and attitude, all which can help motivate you to exercise and keep your spine healthy.
Weight loss is one of the simplest ways to care for your spine. Weight loss in itself is not easy, but it doesn’t require a trip to the doctor or a diagnostic exam in order to make some healthy decisions and commit to a healthier version of yourself. If you’re dealing with minor to moderate spine pain, focus on exercising, eating right and losing weight, and odds are you’ll begin to notice a decrease in your back pain. For more information, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi’s office today.