There are many health risks associated with obesity, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. One risk that is often not discussed in relation to obesity, but is very prevalent, is the additional stress that is put on one’s spine and joints. This additional stress can often cause regular back pain and fatigue.
Just as there are many different factors that contribute to a person becoming obese, there are also many different strategies, that together, can help a person lose weight, improve overall health, and alleviate symptoms associated with being overweight. While it is often overlooked, visiting a chiropractor can (in many cases) be a very productive strategy, along with other lifestyle changes can result in improved health.
To be clear, most chiropractors do not have any expertise in obesity or weight loss. They do, however, have extensive medical knowledge that is comparable to that of a trained Medical Doctor. So for an individual who is obese and seeking to adopt a healthier lifestyle to shed some pounds, chiropractic can definitely be beneficial.
Below are a few of the ways that chiropractic can help obese individuals alleviate pain and improve overall health.
Alleviate back pain
Most chiropractors don’t specialize in working with patients who are overweight or obese, but the reality of our country today is that most adults are overweight with over a third considered obese. This means that most chiropractors have experience working with obese patients even if it isn’t something they’ve specialized in. There are a number of factors that can contribute to back pain and every case is different, that doesn’t mean that obese patients cannot get some pain relief from a visit to a standard chiropractor for occasional spinal adjustments.
Increase range of motion and mobility
Many patients will visit a chiropractic specialist in order to increase range of motion in the knees, hips and other joints. With these sorts of adjustments, a patient is likely to increase their overall mobility and flexibility over time, which makes exercise easier and more fun. Helping obese patients increase their mobility won’t in and of itself cause weight loss, but the facilitation of exercise can definitely lead to a more active lifestyle and a loss of weight.
Design a treatment plan
Some chiropractors do in fact have experience using chiropractic as part of a treatment plan for obese patients. These doctors and wellness centers will not only provide spinal and joint adjustments to treat pain, but will also include guidance on nutrition and exercise. Some wellness center chiropractors will also incorporate therapeutic massage, yoga, or stretching routines to relieve pain, increase range of motion, and help patients relax.
Make spinal readjustments during weight loss
Oftentimes, people who go through significant weight loss will suffer back pain during the process that they did not experience before. As your body changes, your spine may need to be adjusted or realigned based on changes in your bodies weight distribution and posture. A chiropractor can be helpful during weight loss in making minor adjustments to your spine and joints so that you can continue on with weight loss in comfort.
If you are obese and think that a visit to a chiropractor might be a valuable component of your plan to 1) alleviate back pain, 2) adopt a healthier lifestyle, and 3) potentially lose weight, talk to your primary care physician for a reference to a trusted chiropractor with a track record of excellence.