The statistics vary, but it looks like 70% of our country is overweight and around 35-40% are obese...just look around. And we have a childhood obesity problem also...and it's getting worse not better.
Along with our nations weight control problem is a low back pain epidemic. Does everyone that has low back pain (LBP) have a weight problem? NO...but the percentage of overweight (especially obese) people with back pain is much higher than the general population.
As a chiropractor, weight control is something we need to address...as uncomfortable as it is sometimes. Maintaining proper body weight is just as important as maintaining proper spinal alignment when it comes to back pain. In fact, excess bodyweight can cause the spine to lose its normal alignment and can cause early spinal degeneration which can lead to all sorts of spinal problems as time goes on. Obesity is also directly connected to all the top killer diseases such as heart attacks, strokes, and cancer.
What's the best plan of action for an obese patient with back pain? After-all, it's often times hard to exercise with the back pain.
Well...in my opinion, obesity is primarily a disease of will power (life style choices). So first and foremost, a decision needs to be made to change the picture. Then you want to come up with a game plan that makes sense and that you will be able to stick with.
I don't like any diets that count calories or restrict portions...there is just no way to stick with these programs long term. This is why I like The McDougall Program (plant based and starch centered) so much. You can eat as much as you want so you can satisfy the hunger drive (you will never be able to fight this for very long). But you are eating healthy foods...primarily starches such as brown rice and potatoes that are very filling and have hardly any calories (because you don't load them up with butter, sour cream and garbage). Visit www.drmcdougall.com to learn more.
I also recommend chiropractic care to manage the back pain symptoms so that you can start an exercise program and keep the probable soreness under control. A good chiropractor can also work with your medical doctor to help manage your entire weight loss program. In San Francisco we recommend One Medical Group.
The reality is that you need to get it together between the ears and make the decision that "enough is enough" and that you are ready to take action. You just want to make sure you are not getting yourself into one of these fad diets that allow you to have your cake and eat it too. It will not last and could cause more harm than good.
The McDougall Program is the real deal and you can stay with it throughout your life.
The right combination of chiropractic, exercise, diet, and medical care can help you to get the job done and the New Year is a great time start. In fact...start right now. If you need more info give Dr. McDougall a call at (800) 941-7111 (toll-free).