Add Spine Health to the Many Reasons Weight Loss Is a Good Idea

Being overweight or obese poses many risks to your existing and long-term health, although you may not realize the extent of potential complications.

Experienced pain management specialist, Jose De La Torre, MD, and the team at New Tampa Interventional Pain & Sports Medicine treat a variety of chronic pain conditions, including those that affect the spine. Many of these conditions are complicated by the added pressure of obesity and are better managed by weight loss.

How your weight affects your general health

A healthy body weight is represented in your body mass index (BMI), a measurement of your height and weight. If the resulting number is between 18.5 and 24.9, you are considered within the normal, or healthy, weight range. If your BMI is higher than that range, you are considered to be either overweight or obese.

Falling in the overweight or obese category increases your risk for a variety of chronic diseases including:

These conditions require consistent medical monitoring and may require you to take medications to control it. 

Even with treatment, chronic diseases can have a negative impact on your existing and long-term health, as well as your quality of life. Many with chronic underlying disease also develop persistent pain that further complicates their health.

Your weight and your spine

Although you may be aware of the effects of obesity on your cardiovascular health, its impact on the health of your spine is also notable.

Your spine is the primary structure that supports your body’s weight. When you’re overweight or obese, your spine has to work harder to keep you upright and functional.

Over time, this excess pressure can lead to damage that compromises the stability and structure of your spine. You may be more susceptible to spinal inflammation, compression fractures, and chronic, painful conditions like:

Obesity also increases your risk for degenerative joint diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, that break down the small joints in your spine.

The multiple benefits of weight loss

Losing just a small fraction of excess weight can go a long way to protecting yourself from chronic disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that losing just 5-10% of your body weight offers immediate benefits to your health, such as:

Weight loss can also make it easier for you to stay physically active, which is key for preserving your spine health.

Simple steps for healthy weight loss

There’s no magic solution to weight loss. All it really takes is some discipline and a commitment to changing your life.

The medical experts at the CDC recommend that you lose weight gradually to prevent additional health complications. Aim to lose about one to two pounds to week through healthy eating habits and at least 30 minutes of exercise a day.

By making gradual changes to your diet and lifestyle, you’ll be more likely to reach your weight loss goals and maintain long-term results.

If persistent spine pain is making weight loss more difficult, schedule a consultation with the pain management experts at New Tampa Interventional Pain & Sports Medicine online or by phone today.

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