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Getting Beach-Beautiful is Good for Your Back

scaleIt’s well-known that carrying overly heavy loads is simply bad for your back. Backpacks, coolers, beach chairs and umbrellas…whatever you haul around puts strain on your muscles as well as the spinal column.

The same is true for the excess body weight more than 30% of Americans carry. Being overweight causes many physical problems, including back pain. Don’t let your weight interfere with your vacation!

In general, a person can be considered obese when they weigh 20% more than their recommended weight, or when their Body Mass Index—a measurement of fat determined by one’s weight in relation to their height—is 30 or above.

A recent study in China concluded that elevated BMI in overweight and obese people increases the risk and severity of degenerative back problems, not unlike carrying heavy objects for an extended period of time. Every extra pound is a burden to the spinal structure that supports it. Obesity contributes to several back conditions, including:

Being significantly overweight can also contribute to slow or difficult recovery from spine surgery.

If you are ready to get started, here are some suggestions for protecting your back:

  • Before undertaking any program for weight loss, get advice from your doctor. Once you begin, have the professionals at Saratoga Spine monitor your back health as well as your progress.
  • Some recommended back exercises can be found on our Exercises page.
  • Mild aches are to be expected; severe pain is not.
  • Know your limitations. Proceed slowly, and consider a gentle exercise routine such as water therapy exercises and walking. (Read our blog post for helpful information about walking)
  • Keep your core muscles strong and toned.
  • Be patient!

Call our office at 518-587-7746 with any questions about weight-related back conditions.

Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery