After coming off of a week of feasting and giving thanks, it seems my thoughts have been drawn to my own health. I’m very grateful for my health and for having the knowledge of how to stay healthy. Specifically, I’ve really come to appreciate having a healthy spine, because a healthy spine is a gateway to overall health.
We know that obesity is on the rise in our country, and there are a variety of health problems related to being overweight. According to the The Obesity Society, one-third of obese patients suffer from musculoskeletal conditions, specifically back pain. While there is no one specific reason why obese patients develop back pain, there are several contributing factors that increase the likelihood for back pain.
has more than 20 years experience with chiropractic care. She explains:
“Being overweight can increase the stress and strain of the muscles and ligaments in the spine, especially in the lower back. The lower back curve (lordosis) can become distorted, causing the pelvis to tilt in an abnormally exaggerated manner. Poor posture, lack of spinal flexibility, and weak core muscles may lead to sprains and strains, nerve impingement, herniated discs, and degenerative arthritis.”
If you think that surgery might be the answer for your back pain, think again. Doctors may delay or warn against having surgery if you are obese or even overweight. They may recommend you be at a healthier weight before attempting spinal surgery. Patients who are obese have a higher chance of experiencing complications and infections after the surgery in comparison to people who are not overweight.
If you are ready to begin physical activity, it’s a good idea to target the core muscles during your exercise routine. As Dr. Hee mentioned, weak core muscles can be a contributing factor in back pain, especially lower back pain. However, stronger core muscles can help support and maintain the integrity of the spine. This means less back pain and more freedom to move, exercise and enjoy life.
Be sure to check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.