APM Blog

Simple Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Back Pain

02 Nov

Many people hear the same thing every time they visit the doctor: Being overweight can have serious effects on your health. But what your doctors may not be telling you is that, in addition to things like high blood pressures, heart disease and high cholesterol, your weight may be causing or increasing your back pain.

Being overweight can increase your risk of developing low back pain. Your weight can also cause spinal disc pain and joint pain, since your body is putting added strain on your spine and joints. Knee pain, hip pain and leg and ankle pain can all result from weight problems.

Taking weight off the spine and the affected joints is one of the best ways to start decreasing your back pain and joint pain – but it’s never an easy process. Weight loss can be a daunting task – especially for those already experiencing pain. But weight loss is a necessary path toward a better, more pain-free life. These tips can get you moving in the right direction.

Get a Doctor’s Advice

Before making any lifestyle or diet changes, always consult your doctor. Your doctor can help you decide which diets or exercise programs can work best for your particular situation, lifestyle and pain level. Exercise and dieting for pain relief are great ideas – just make sure you do them right!

Eat Right to Reduce Pain

Eating a healthy diet is one of the first steps to losing weight and, subsequently, reducing pain. When planning out your meals for the week, try to reduce your sugar intake. That means that to decrease pain, you should eat fewer items containing high-fructose corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, maltose and sucrose. Unfortunately, these are common additives in everyday foods, such as prepackaged meals, granola bars, juices and crackers. If you’re not already, start checking a product’s ingredient list before purchasing it; you might be surprised how many things labeled as “healthy” are actually filled with sugar.

In addition to helping you lose weight, cutting sugars out of your diet can decrease inflammation in your body. The same can be said for simple carbohydrates, which break down in your body into forms of sugar, causing inflammation and weight gain. Anything made of white flour contains carbs, including pasta, bread and crackers. A good tip for pain relief is to decrease carb intake and increase healthy fats and proteins. This means low-fat or lean meats and poultry, as well as fish, nuts, seeds and beans.

Some healthy foods even have the ability reduce back pain, knee pain and general pain. Cherries are high in antioxidants and anthocyanins, which block inflammation and inhibit pain enzymes. Fish that is high in omega-3 fatty acids can help relieve back pain. And hot peppers like jalapenos and habaneros can help with arthritis and muscle pain, due to their high levels of capsaicin.

Supportive Equipment to Reduce Pain

There are many items to help reduce back pain and assist you in staying active. Many times, supportive equipment can make all the difference.

One of the first things to help you lose weight and exercise with less pain is getting the right shoes for back pain. This means shoes that are lightweight and support your arch and foot. The best shoes help your body maintain proper alignment when walking or jogging. Many good shoe stores have employees trained to help you find the best shoes for your feet.

Beyond shoes, finding a supportive mattress can help you sleep better with pain. Since sleep is one of the ways your body renews itself, it’s crucial to get a good night’s sleep to help with pain. Most adults need 7 to 9 hours on average.

A back brace, knee brace, wrist brace or cervical brace can also provide the support you need to get out there and start an exercise routine. Back braces, for instance, provide back and abdominal support for weak muscles, allowing you to get out there and do the things you normally wouldn’t be able to, like prolonged walking, gardening or participating in sports. Braces help your body build muscle strength while still providing the support you need.

Interventional Pain Procedures

Sometimes, losing weight through exercise and diet isn’t enough to completely rid your body of pain. When that’s the case, it may be time to consider interventional pain procedures, which can be administered by pain management doctors. Interventional pain procedures can help restore function, giving you the ability to make lifestyle changes that may have been previously impossible due to your pain. These minimally invasive procedures can include epidural steroid injections, nerve blocks and radiofrequency ablation. All of these procedures have the ability to significantly reduce pain. Without high levels of pain, people can often return to exercising and physical therapy.

Request an Appointment

Although the concept is simple, losing weight and reducing pain can be a complicated process. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your pain, consider scheduling an appointment with one of Advanced Pain Management’s specially trained providers. They can help you reduce your pain and get back on your feet, helping you return to a healthy, fulfilling life.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 22 November 2017 08:25

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