Do you have a bad back? Are you overweight? Approximately 60% of Americans are categorized as overweight due to having a body mass index of over 25%. Excess weight is one major factor in causing chronic back pain. As many dieters know, losing weight takes time and energy.
It can be daunting and painful to begin an exercise program when your body is already in pain. So how does an overweight person experience back pain relief? The spine supports the entire body and when that body is carrying an extra 20, 50, or 100 pounds, it adds pressure to the spine resulting in chronic back pain.
Imagine how light the spine would feel with an extra 20 pounds of fat removed. This article’s focus is on losing weight to obtain back pain relief.
Like dieters, chronic pain sufferers know how long it can take to get their condition under control. Chronic pain can be lifelong. Obesity doesn’t have to be. There are many reasons to lose weight such as looking good, reducing cholesterol and blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, feeling better emotionally and physically, and becoming more active. So start shedding unwanted pounds and unwanted back pain.
Back pain related to obesity occurs because of the undue stress excess fat places on the supportive spine. Just as high heeled shoes can cause knee osteoarthritis due to the weight of the body being placing too much pressure on the knees and toes, obesity causes strain to all the joints and wears them down before their time. The best way to achieve back pain relief is to rid yourself of those pounds.
Back Pain Relief: Rid Yourself of Pain for Good
Musculoskeletal pain is reported by 1/3 of obese Americans. These same people state they suffer from fatigue and are often out of breath. These issues contribute to the inactivity that increases their weight and overall pain. It is important to get up and become active. Even taking five minute walks one or more times per day can benefit overall health. It is at least a start to an exercise program.
Decreasing caloric intake is also key in losing weight. There are more extreme measures that can be discussed with your doctor such as weight loss medications and surgical procedures that can help take off the weight quickly. Less risky options include eating six small meals a day, increasing physical exercise, getting thyroid levels checked to rule out any illness that could be causing weight gain or preventing weight loss and drinking lots of water. Back pain relief can be achieved if you stick with healthy lifestyle changes.
Another Home Treatment Which May Offer A Little Relief
Taking two aspirin and calling the doctor in the morning may be one of the most joked about statements attributed to physicians, but that advice may actually be good advice when it comes to back pain treatment. While many believe that heat and ice will help them get rid of back pain, there has been no real scientific justification for its use, however it has also shown to not cause any additional problems.
For pain and stiffness, recommended home back pain treatment usually involves taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen and getting plenty of bed rest, at least until the pain starts to go away. However, too much bed rest may cause the muscles to become more stiff and cause movement to be slower than necessary. A person’s individual pain threshold will also play a role in how soon they can get out of bed and return to normal activities.
Additionally, most experts agree that the longer a person rests in bed, the longer their recovery period will be. Determining what triggered the back pain will help prevent it from occurring. Once it does start, however, home back pain treatment may simply come from over the counter pain relievers and bed rest. For some, placing a pillow between the knees when lying down may help align their spine, relieving some of the pressure on lower back muscles.
Before Treating, Be Sure Pain Is Muscular
There are several possibilities for having back pain and before any back pain treatment is begun, the source of the pain should be established. In most cases, back pain is a symptom of another type of disorder and if there is some other medical problem, the pain may be felt in the back, called referred pain. Ailments such as appendicitis, kidney infections and bladder infections can cause the pain to be referred to the back.
When suffering acute back pain, typically complaining of the symptoms for less than one month, the doctor may prescribe pain medications or muscle relaxers provided there are no other obvious symptoms of another disorder. When a person suffers from chronic back pain, the doctor may order other tests to rule out internal problems before beginning back pain treatment that may mask the underlying condition.
Discomfort caused by an injury may take long term back pain treatment methods, but most of the time the treatment will not begin until the initial discomfort has ended. A pulled back muscle for example, may delay any back pain treatment for up to three months or more until the muscle is properly healed.