Back pain causes weight gain; weight gain causes back pain
What are we to do in this situation? Let’s start by focusing on the relationship between the two: how do weight gain and back pain perpetuate each other? Very simply:
- Weight gain creates an additional burden on the spine, straining muscles and causing problems including subluxation, disc herniation and spinal degeneration.
- Back pain creates mental stress, which further tightens muscles in the back, causing more pain and reducing the likelihood for exercise. This directly leads to weight gain.
At Scorca Chiropractic, we see that reducing one factor (weight gain or back pain) is necessarily going to reduce the other. So where do we start?
Pain and stress go hand in hand
One influences the other or, more pointedly, the two perpetuate each other. Subluxation, which refers to slight misalignments of the vertebrae, is a perfect example of this concept. When you are stressed, your muscles tighten and remain contracted, often for the duration of a given stressful period. Tight muscles in the back pull the vertebrae out of alignment and pressurize nerves that exit at each level of the spine. This physical pain then contributes further to anxiety and the stress cycle recycles upon itself.
When the holiday season becomes stressful…
It’s easy to see how it happens; you had no time to spare to begin with. All of a sudden the month of December’s calendar is full of holiday appointments, activies and engagements. Holiday shopping creates a financial strain before you even factor in the physical stress of going out in the busy streets and buying the items. It’s no wonder that diet and exercise fly out the window this time of year. And if you are suffering from back pain on top of all this, you may not be fully feeling the holiday cheer. This holiday season, don’t underestimate the toll that a busy schedule and not enough rest can take.
Forget the holiday ham, let’s focus on the hamstrings
Tight hamstrings are a key contributor to lower back pain. Running through the back of the thigh, from hip to knee, the hamstrings are perfectly placed to cause dysfunction. Tightness in the hamstrings creates a pull that increases stress on the lower back, contributes to muscular imbalance, and can even cause sciatica. Tight hamstrings also:
- Pull the pelvis out of alignment
- Cause stress to the sacroiliac joints
- Contribute to postural problems
In short, tight hamstrings are a recipe for back pain that you can’t afford while you are trying to balance a hectic holiday schedule.
A friendly reminder from your chiropractor this holiday season
The holiday season is about taking stock of what really matters in life. That usually boils down to family, friends, peace, happiness and good health. But we would like to hold up a candle for something we see as equally important: the health of our spines. The spine is our pinnacle of wellness and it only makes sense that we treat it with some gravity, especially considering that the spine is under added threat during a holiday season which often sees us less active than the rest of the year.