Any health professional will tell you that maintaining a consistent weight is necessary for your general health. In particular, the function of your spine is greatly impacted weight gain. Excess weight can cause pain in both your neck and back and even lead to injury.
The role of your spine, in conjunction with your ligaments and muscles, is to give you the ability to stand upright, walk, and to move as you wish. Your nerves and spinal cord allow you to feel sensations and are protected by vertebrae designed to bear a certain amount of weight. The more excess weight you carry, the more strain you put on your disks and joints. Obesity can pull the spine in unnatural positions as it tries to accommodate the extra weight.
Your spinal structure can become damaged if there is consistent strain over a period of time. Extra weight also puts pressure on the spinal nerves which can lead to severe pain. It is highly possible your spinal disks could completely degenerate over time. Patients that carry their extra weight in their stomach may experience lordosis, a condition caused by the pelvis tilting forward with an arching in the back. This prolonged positioning can also contribute to the wearing away of the outer fibers in your disks.
We encourage you to keep your back strong and maintain a healthy weight. Not only are you more likely to avoid pain and possible surgery, but your overall health will improve as well.
In addition to losing weight, the following tips can also help keep your back healthy:
- Always stretch before exercise or other strenuous physical activity.
- Don’t slouch when standing or sitting.
- Make sure your work surface is at a comfortable height for you.
- Sit in a chair with good lumbar support and proper position and height for the task.
- Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes.
- Sleep on your side to reduce any curve in your spine. Always sleep on a firm surface.