This past week I had a patient cancel a future appointment with me because I told her one of the things that contributed to her low back pain was the fact that she was overweight (by about 80-100 pounds). Apparently she didn’t like being told this, and told our office she didn’t feel comfortable coming back to see us because of my comments. While I don’t always like seeing patients leave the office, sometimes the truth hurts. If I hadn’t talked about her weight with her, who would have? Apparently her “other” doctors were not addressing it, they just gave her high blood pressure medicine, diabetes medicine, and let her on her way.
It’s a shame when people don’t want to take responsibility for their own health, when they blame others and blame genetics. It is a fact that being overweight is a leading cause of back pain, and being just 10 pounds overweight can cause the pain. Extra abdominal fat & weight on the low back & pelvis pulls the body forward and puts strain on the low back muscles. This throws off your posture, leading to even further problems. Sciatica, pinched nerves, degenerated discs all can be a result from inactivity and excess weight. Managing weight through proper nutrition and exercise not only reduces low back pain, but can also prevent future problems.
Many patients with back problems believe that they should avoid all exercise in an effort to protect their back from further injury or back pain. However, in reality, inactivity and lack of exercise can actually contribute to future pain and worsen existing problems. Patients are often unaware that movement through gentle exercise stimulates healing and a flow of nutrients within the spine. When the patient does not engage in enough physical activity, the spinal discs are deprived of the nutrients they need to stay healthy and functional. Chiropractic adjustments can help.
My job as a Chiropractor is to educate patients on this, and encourage them to exercise and eat well (and yes, get adjusted). I can’t control what they do; I can only control what I do; yet people need to know the truth. If I don’t say anything, who will?Mind you, it took a few months for me to really come out and talk to her about her weight, aside from encouraging her to exercise. However, you can’t complain over & over again about low back pain and not do anything on your end. While adjustments help relieve discomfort, if you are not keeping the weight off or exercising, the adjustments will just be needed again and again.
Being healthy isn’t hard but it does require discipline. Being healthy really feels great. Get adjusted, sleep well, exercise, eat properly, and be positive, and you’ll be amazed at the changes that take place. Then you will know what feeling great is really all about.