Thank you to guest blogger Dr. Brent Wells for sharing.
Your spine is part of the musculoskeletal system which is made up of all your bones, joints, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. When you carry around extra weight on your body, it can put pressure on these areas. It can also lead to severe strain on your spine. Because of this, you might find yourself suffering from various back ailments. Below you’ll discover more information about why it’s important to maintain a healthy weight and some tips as to how you can have a healthy weight for a healthy back.
Why Excessive Weight Can Hurt Your Back
If you are carrying around excessive weight, you’ll find that it can hurt your back for many reasons. A study done by the medical journal Medicine found a strong link between obesity and lower back pain. This is because your body mass index is much larger than it should be which can lead to inflammation and stress around your spine. Excessive weight can also cause more strain on your body. To help adjust your body so it’s more comfortable to walk or sit, you might end up straining your spine because you are moving it around in awkward positions. This could lead to painful muscles and torn ligaments around your spinal cord.
The Benefits of Maintaining a Healthy Weight
A healthy weight comes with plenty of great benefits.
- It Increases Your Energy
Because your body isn’t carrying around extra weight, you’ll find you’re able to move around more freely. This can also increase your energy because your metabolism is working properly. It Prevents Strain on Your Joints Extra weight can put significant strain on your joints. This is because your body is trying to adjust to the extra weight and support it. By keeping a healthy weight, you’ll find that it prevents tension around your joints which can reduce your risk of arthritis and back pain.
- It Keeps Your Immune System Healthy
Excessive amounts of fat in the body can wreak havoc on your immune system. This is because your immune system is unable to work properly due to the heavy amounts of fat in your body. Because of this, you could be at risk for numerous health problems. However, by maintaining a healthy weight, your immune system can work properly which can help you to stay healthy.
Ways to Help You Maintain a Healthy Weight and Back
There are a few ways you can maintain a healthy weight and back. Below are some methods to consider.
- Watch Your Diet
One of the best ways to help you maintain a healthy weight is to watch your diet. If it’s filled with highly processed meals and sugar, that can cause you to gain weight quickly. In addition to this, it can lead to the development of high blood pressure and diabetes. You should check your diet to make sure that it is filled with healthy options, including those that can keep your spine in the best shape possible. Some of these choices include:
- Olive oil
By consuming a diet filled with these items, you’ll not only be able to lose weight, but keep your spine healthy as well.
- Visit a Chiropractor
Believe it or not, chiropractic care not only can help you have a healthy spine, but aid in weight loss as well. This is because your chiropractor can do adjustments that release pressure around the spine which is known as subluxations. By fixing this issue, your body will then feel a bit more energetic and flexible which can encourage you to be more active. In addition to this, chiropractic adjustments can help you to build muscle because it will work to tone various parts of your body. Due to this, it can help you lose weight and build muscle faster. You can visit my Anchorage chiropractic clinic if you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of chiropractic care for weight loss.
- Stay Active
Staying active not only helps you to burn calories, but can keep your spine moving. This can release any tension in and around it. You should try to work out at least 30 minutes a day. This can be anything from a simple walk around the neighborhood to lifting weights at the gym. Water therapy is also a good choice to consider. Because the water reduces the push of gravity on your body, it can help you to exercise more freely, especially if you usually have trouble moving. Water can also soothe your joints which can help to relieve back pain.
- Wear Supportive Shoes
If you are carrying around extra weight, that can put pressure on your feet. Besides this, heavy weight on your feet can lead to swelling, torn ligaments, and chronic pain. If you aren’t wearing supportive shoes, it can make it difficult for you to move around without pain. This is because they aren’t cradling the natural arch in your foot which is connected to your spine. To help ensure you keep your back healthy, look to invest in supportive shoes. The best options will not only have padding in them to provide comfort, but are curved to support the arches in your feet. You could also buy some shoe insoles to help with this.
- Drink Plenty of Water
Water is incredibly important when it comes to not only losing weight, but helping your spine stay healthy. Water increases your metabolism which is vital when it comes to weight loss. Metabolism works to convert the food you consume into energy which encourages you to be more active. If you’re dehydrated, it can slow down your metabolism which can make it harder for you to lose weight. Besides weight loss, water is also crucial for good spinal health. This is because your spine contains small discs in it which allow you to move around. When you’re dehydrated, these discs shrink because there is no fluid moving around them. This can lead to them rubbing against each other and slightly shrinking the length of your spine. Due to this, you’ll find you might have severe back pain. To prevent this, make sure to consume at least eight glasses of water each day.
A healthy weight is vital if you want to keep your spine in the best shape possible. Be sure to keep the tips mentioned above in mind if you’re interested in living a healthy lifestyle that can help to prevent spinal injuries and pain.
About Dr. Brent Wells
Dr. Brent Wells, D.C. founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab in Alaska in 1998 and has been a chiropractor for over 20 years. His practice offers Anchorage physical therapy, chiropractic care, massage therapy, and other various services designed to help give you long-lasting relief from different health problems.
Dr. Wells is also the author of over 700 online health articles that have been featured on sites such as Dr. Axe and Lifehack. He is a proud member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians. And he continues his education to remain active and updated in all studies related to neurology, physical rehab, biomechanics, spine conditions, brain injury trauma, and more.