Many people in the United States will experience back pain at some point in their lifetime, whether it’s a temporary or chronic issue. However, a great percentage of individuals with this debilitating complication are overweight or obese.
Fortunately, research has demonstrated that weight loss can have a considerable effect towards relieving symptoms of back pain. Weight loss programs can be very helpful for patients with weight problems and back pain. While there are a variety of programs available, not every program is the same and it may be difficult to find the best one for each individual. Some are commercialized and others are managed by a physician. Some weight loss programs recommend the use of supplements while others prescribe medications. Others may or may not be covered by insurance companies.
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What to Look for in a Weight Loss Program
Considering all the differences in weight loss programs, it’s ultimately essential for Americans to first do some research in order to find the most appropriate program for them before signing up and spending any amount of money. Several weight loss programs may even provide practices that your healthcare professional may have advised you to avoid participating in if they would have been consulted first.
A recent study evaluated 191 different weight loss programs in the Maryland, Washington, DC and Virginia region of the country. From the wide array of programs, their websites provided little to no relevant information regarding they type of weight loss program. Important details, such as the type of diet, the amount of exercise and physical activity, types of behavioral therapies, and the use of medications, were all missing online, factors which were heavily considered for the study. Most websites had not been designed to offer details of each program, but rather offer contact information for clients.
Several of the weight loss programs also incorporated weight loss supplements and medications, an important piece of information which they also failed to mention on their websites. Individuals must be cautious of taking products which have not been approved by the FDA. There are U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved medications and supplements available to help treat excess weight and obesity, however, these must be prescribed by a licensed and qualified healthcare professional.
Three essential factors to an effective weight loss program, as recommended by the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology and the Obesity Society, which should be featured include:
- a moderately reduced caloric meal plan;
- a regimen for increased physical activity;
- and a behavioral therapy strategy.
Seeking Professional Advice
Because many weight loss programs are commercialized products or services, these can most commonly offer practices which may not meet professional standards. According to Dr. J Michael Gonzalez Campoy, MD, PhD, FACE, a specialist in obesity medicine, people seeking a weight loss program to participate in should primarily seek advice and guidance from a healthcare professional who specialized in treating weight issues and obesity.
“With the epidemic of overweight and obesity in this country, two-thirds of Americans will seek help managing their weight. The point is well taken that there is too much commercialism, or selling products with a promise of unrealistic achievements. It is best for each patient to address weight management with their personal healthcare professional first,” stated Dr. Gonzalez Campoy.
When it comes to finding the best weight loss program for your own needs, speaking to a licensed and qualified expert can be the most suitable alternative, as this option can often be safer and more effective than other weight loss programs. Patients can find obesity medicine doctors through the website of The American Board of Obesity Medicine, abbreviated as ABOM.
When Back Pain is an Issue for Weight Loss
Although many people with excess weight and obesity seek weight loss program alternatives to lose weight, it can often be difficult for them to engage in the practices due to back pain. Studies have shown that back pain is most prevalent on individuals with weight issues and that can play a huge role on their inability to engage in a proper weight loss program. However, inactivity can also ultimately lead to muscle weakness and stiffness, particularly affecting core strength, which is necessary for supporting the spine and its surrounding structures.
Aquatic therapy, or physical activity in a pool, is a low-impact form of exercise that can be a good choice for people with back pain, helping them reduce weight and strengthen the muscles. Additionally, people with obesity and excess are more likely to experience muscle weakness and stiffness along their lower back, making it difficult for them to walk on a treatmill or step mill. Although overweight or obesity complications can contribute to back pain, consulting a healthcare professional is a good approach to learning the best possible way for them to stay active and avoid further injury.
If symptoms of back pain worsen and/or they are accompanied by tingling sensations, numbness and/or weakness, it may be advised to obtain a proper diagnosis to determine the source of the symptoms and adjust or stop physical activity and exercise immediately. Furthermore, regular physical activity and exercise can help prevent aggravating back pain during intense or prolonged workouts. Over time, regular exercise and physical activity will help increase the individual’s strength, flexibility and endurance, improving their overall health and wellness.
By Dr. Alex Jimenez
Additional Topics: Weight Loss Eases Back Pain
Back pain and symptoms of sciatica can affect a majority of the population throughout their lifetime. Research studies have demonstrated that people who are overweight or obese experience more back complications than people with a healthy weight. A proper nutrition along with regular physical fitness can help with weight loss as well as help maintain a healthy weight to eliminate symptoms of back pain and sciatica. Chiropractic care is also another natural form of treatment which treats back pain and sciatica utilizing manual spinal adjustments and manipulations.
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