New Jersey chiropractic experts agree that maintaining a healthy weight is the key to a healthier spine. According to the American Obesity Association, obese and overweight patients (especially those who gained a lot of extra weight in their midsection) are at a greater risk of experiencing back pain, joint pain and muscle strain compared to those who keep their weights at a healthier level. They are also at a higher risk for sciatica and low back pain resulting from a herniated disc or a pinched nerve.
Managing your weight through proper nutrition, diet and exercise plays a vital role in keeping your spine healthy and helps prevent back problems in the future. Here are some useful tips that can help you accomplish this goal:
- Choose the right foods. Eat a balanced diet to make sure you consume adequate amounts of vitamins and nutrients needed for optimum health. Eat smaller portions and reduce the amount of calories in your diet to lose excess pounds or maintain a healthy weight range.
- Drink plenty of water. Water helps transport nutrients throughout the major organs of the body, removes wastes, protects your joints and nourishes the spinal discs. Keeping your body hydrated throughout the day can also help you lose weight and maintain optimal weight.
- Get enough exercise. More than helping you lose weight, a regular exercise routine can also be good for your spine. A New Jersey chiropractic professional can make suggestions as to what exercises specifically target the back.
- Avoid smoking and drinking. Smoking leads to back pain since it damages the vascular structures of the discs and joints in the back. Studies also prove that nicotine inhibits bone growth so if you had spine fusion surgery, you should quit smoking to allow your bones to heal properly. On the other hand, alcohol acts as a depressant and can worsen feelings of depression and chronic pain. It can also contribute to weight gain and obesity.