Whether we like it or not, excess weight and back pain often go together. If you are suffering with back pain and haven’t addressed excess weight then no matter what you do, your chances of getting rid of the pain will be minimal.
Excess weight, especially if it around the abdomen will strain your back muscles and ligaments which in turn causes pain. Weight gain in your abdomen forces your pelvis to slant forward due to the tremendous strain that this weight causes. Once the pelvis is pulled to the front then your lower back has to follow deepening the curve of the lumbar region of your spine.
The graceful arch in a normal lower back becomes more rounded, which ultimately increases the pressure on the nerves, and over time can lead to bulging discs and herniation on the lumbar vertebrae.
A normal back arches up from your pelvis and back, surrounding your vital organs, before curving inward again to your neck and extending up to your head, right between your shoulders. It’s balanced and structured to provide many years of pain-free support.
They simply aren’t in the position they were designed to be and therefore muscles start losing their ability to function as nature intended, doing jobs that they weren’t intended to do and at this point even if the weight is lost the affected muscles will need a whole muscular re-education.
Let’s take a baseball glove as an example, if I bent all the fingers back on the glove, I would still be able to insert my hand, I will still be able to catch a ball with it but it’s not working as it was designed and therefore it certainly isn’t as efficient as it should have been……. My catching will suck!!!!!
Your spine is no different, it will function but as a result of the excess weight, nerves exiting your spinal column will become constricted or a disc will bulge or herniate, and you will experience back pain. It won’t happen all at once, but if you are overweight, it will happen eventually. It’s just a matter of time.
One of the first solutions to curing your back pain is weight loss.
Correct posture ensures that the chest is out, the chin is slightly up, your abdomen is drawn in with a gentle curve in the lower back. This curvature in the lower back is designed to keep your hips straight. If you’re carrying excess weight it stands to reason that every part of your body becomes heavier and it is your spine that bears the burden of that weight.
Over time if left unchecked you upper spine will lose the ability to straighten out correctly and you will start to develop an unnatural curvature. This will force your head out over your chest instead of it being upright between the shoulder blades and your neck will continually be in a bent forward position. This will ultimately stress the cervical and thoracic region of your spine causing neck and shoulder issues and possibly TMJ dysfunction.
Unfortunately because this process happens incrementally, you may not even notice until your spinal doctor shows you your X-rays.
Exercising Whilst Overweight
It is a sad reality I am afraid that back pain can prevent us from exercising, 1) because we are often scared to irritate the problem and 2), if general day to day movements are painful how could we possibly manage a workout?
The lack of exercise and continual pain lead us to sedentary lifestyles and bad eating habits and so the excess weight is just a bi-product of the issue, but the “bi-product” soon becomes part of the cause. It really is a vicious circle.
We all have a baseline metabolism that creates a template from which we must work. You are born with a genetic code that directs your body to operate at a comfortable pace, called a set point and this is why some people just don’t gain weight as fast as others.
However, you do have control of about 10 to 15 percent of your metabolism through natural means. Therefore, if you are naturally burning 3,000 calories a day, a 10 percent increase of 300 calories a day adds up to 109,500 additional calories burned in a year. With no other factors present, this increase can translate to more than 30 pounds of lost weight in a year.
Regular exercise is a great way to increase your metabolic rate so you have to try and find something that you can do.
My suggestion is to start with a flexibility program. Now flexibility alone will not kick start your metabolism but you need to start somewhere as building trust between exercise and you is key. Jumping on a treadmill or lifting heavy weights when you have not exercised for some time is a path to disaster and failure which will lead you straight back to the couch.
So start slow, find a controlled flexibility program and you will soon notice that the increased range of motion will reduce many of your symptoms, this initial success will then hopefully give you the confidence to maybe move onto other types of exercise that will give you long term relief.
If you are looking for a pure flexibility program designed specifically for back pain sufferers then please click on the safe and secure link below. My flexibility program is in DVD or digital format and is designed for you to do in the comfort of your own home.
Here’s the link to more information, I sincerely hope it helps you on your road to a back pain free and healthier life!