Q: I am having a lot of joint pain in recent years and I wonder if it has anything to do with my gradual weight gain over the past year. Can you offer an opinion and any solution?
A: Carrying extra weight certainly takes a toll on your body. It can lead to diabetes, strain your heart and severely affect your musculoskeletal structure. Obesity, generally defined as being 20 percent over your ideal weight, is associated with nearly all chronic health problems and is identified as contributing to arthritis while putting considerable strain on your spine, which already has a tough enough job to perform keeping your body erect and functioning properly. Spinal problems result because excess weight can change a person’s center of gravity. As the center shifts, it can cause the head’s position to change and the lower back to sway and push the abdominal area forward. When the spine is pressured to move in unnatural ways, the fallout can be wide reaching.
Nerves that go to all parts of the body emanate from the spinal cord through the spine’s vertebrae. Vertebrae nudged just slightly out of line by the force of excess weight, altered center of gravity and mechanical changes can then obstruct nerves and cause pain in just about any part of the body. This can occur with the spine, of course, but other weight bearing joints like knees and hips, are greatly affected too.
First, you need to start eating fewer calories than you burn through activity. This can be easily learned by studying on the internet as the caloric information will be accurate and not gimmicky internet weight loss-sales related. A weight loss specialist can also help. Next, you must move more. But wait until you are moving more biomechanically correct through rehabbing your body some. You don’t want to start exercising on a frame that is moving wrong — that leads to more pain. This is where a PT and a chiropractor along with good exercise instruction come in.
Chiropractic treatment can not only address the result of obesity by realigning the vertebrae but chiropractors, who are also trained in the areas of nutrition and exercise, can help with the weight problem itself.
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