Losing weight is not always a healthy process
When it comes to losing weight, there is an overwhelming amount of diets, plans, regimes, schemes, pills, and tips to choose from. The proliferation of social media has allowed anyone with the slightest idea of nutrition science, diet or healthcare to broadcast their opinions on weight loss to millions of people and sell books while they are at it. The sad thing about this murky swamp of weight loss ideas is that it is taking advantage of people who face a serious health problem: obesity will soon overtake smoking as the number one cause of preventable death in the United States. At Hayes Family Chiropractic, we want to take it back to basics, beginning with the reasons why you want to lose the weight, and following up with a plan grounded in science that will help you lose weight in a healthy manner.
Core mechanics are integral to spinal health
What does your core mean to you? To many people, the core is just a shapeless mass of muscle in the middle of their body. When you tell someone to engage their core, the most common reaction is to flex the muscles of the stomach. But this sells your core short! It is a complex system of muscle groups and learning how to use them properly, and in tandem, is an important insight into how you can use your own body to prevent or manage pain. The core consists of:
- Transversus abdominis
- Pelvic Floor Muscles
Your core corresponds to the lumbar region in your back, which is the spinal segment that takes the most burden, both from body weight and compressive forces. Any reinforcement you can offer it through your core stabilizing muscles is a much needed boon for spinal health!
Radiculopathy is nerve compression
Radiculopathy is an irritating condition in which a nerve exiting the spine is put under pressure. The resulting symptoms include:
- Feelings of tingling and numbness
- Weakness around the nerve
- Weakness in the extremities
Because spinal nerves literally innervate the rest of your body, compression here is likely to cause dysfunction and pain. It is liable to occur in any segment of the spine, but most cases are found in the cervical and lumbar segments of the spine.
When it comes to chronic back pain, many people will do anything to break free
Unfortunately, this desperation often leads people astray into the arms of internet health bloggers, advice columnists and magazine ads; and, even more unfortunately, into the office of doctors who will sell any form of medicine as long as it drives business. The last thing you want, as someone already in the throes of pain, is to throw money and waste time and energy chasing a therapy that doesn’t end up working. It is important to always remember that there is no panacea for pain, least of all a single treatment; most people find the greatest success in overcoming pain by combining multiple forms of treatment. At Hayes Family Chiropractic, our approach to treating pain begins with collecting information.
From a chiropractor’s perspective, white collar work is a terrifying prospect
While the demands of physical labor are taxing on the spine to varying degrees, the demands of non-physical labor are arguably equally damaging, but less quantifiable. What we can say definitively is that humans were not designed to be sat in chairs for hours on end.
Does your back pain get worse when you bend over?
To begin with, bending over is one of the most common causes of back pain, and for most people it all begins with body mechanics. Look at how a child squats down by its knees to inspect something on the ground or retrieve a dropped item. Bending from the knees is the correct way to do things, but at a certain point, we completely forget how to do just that. Instead, most adults bend from the waist. Because we are so much taller and heavier, it is just seems easier to bend from the waist. But be warned: you are sacrificing your back each time you bend this way.
No new mother needs more back pain
However, the fact remains that back pain is ubiquitous among new mothers adjusting to life with a baby in hand. Some of the main factors that contribute to back pain in new mothers are:
- Stress and lack of sleep- which are both directly implicated in elevated levels of muscle tension
- Poor posture while holding a child
- Poor breastfeeding techniques
At Hayes Family Chiropractic, we want to help new mothers reduce the back pain involved in nursing a newborn and also prevent that pain from occurring in the first place.