Neck and back pain is something that afflicts most us at one time or another, especially as we advance in age. As we get older, joints between bones and intervertebral discs become less flexible and suffer from wear and tear, resulting in conditions such as arthritis and herniated discs which usually result in chronic joint, back and neck pain. Lifestyle and habits are also causes of chronic neck and back pain such as poor posture when sitting, for example, hunching over a desk or computer and spending a lot of time seated or without changing posture. A sedentary lifestyle also results in weight gain and obesity due to poor eating habits and lack of enough exercise.
Research has shown that anyone who is overweight or obese is at an increased risk of many health complications and in particular, straining muscles and suffering from neck, joint and back pain. This is due to the excess weight the skeleton has to support. Excess weight can result in a vicious cycle in which one is unable to exercise adequately due to shortness of breath and fatigue even after exercising for a little while with the lack of exercise results in many forms of back pain.
One of the techniques used in back pain relief without resorting to medication or surgery is weight loss. An effective weight loss program should include exercising and dieting while taking into account the individual’s condition and preferences. However, it is possible to aggravate back pain when using weight loss as a back pain relief remedy especially when it comes to exercising. It is advisable to consult a health professional before undertaking exercise in order to deal with back pain. Exercise and movement increases blood flow to the spine and surrounding muscles while increasing flexibility and suppleness while inactivity results in bones, joints and muscles being weak, stiff and deconditioned, all of which increases chances of injury and back pain.
Exercise meant for back pain relief and weight loss should include low impact aerobic exercises and back strengthening exercises. The exercise program gradual, well-planned and controlled while progressively getting more intense to reduce risks of injury or making the back pain worse. Stretching joints and soft tissues located in the back results in back pain relief and prevents chances of injuring one’s back or suffering from back pain later on.
Water therapy or any exercise in water such as swimming or water polo is highly recommended, since water increases buoyancy and thus the weight your skeleton has to support. Water also impends movement by providing more resistance than air leading to conditioning and strengthening of joints, bones and muscles used in supporting your frame and the whole body in general. It is important to engage in aerobic exercise so as to burn calories. Some great examples of aerobic exercises for back pain relief include walking, cycling, and swimming. Avoid high impact exercises or sports such as running and tennis until you can engage in them without discomfort or pain during and after exercising.
Proper nutrition and dieting is important both to lose weight for back pain relief and to retain the gain made as one continues with their weight loss program. Ensuring one is properly hydrated is also important for overall wellbeing and in ensuring intervertebral discs are in good condition since their composition includes a lot of water.
Weight loss and exercise should be a part of everyone’s exercise not only as a back pain relief measure but for better overall health, a longer and more productive life and optimal performance at home, school or in the workplace.