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8 days to a healthy spine: Day 3 -- Lose weight

Have you put on a lot of weight? Ty losing some for a healthy spine.

Written by Poorva Chavan |Updated : February 1, 2016 10:57 AM IST

October 16 is World Spine Day

Our unhealthy lifestyle takes a huge toll on our health. Lack of exercise, high-fat food and other habits like smoking or drinking too much alcohol increase our risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity. But seldom do we realise that obesity and being overweight affects the health of the spine too.

According to Dr Suraj Bafna (P.T), Senior Spine Specialist, Qi Spine Clinic, obesity or being overweight increases pressure on the bones. Also, if you have abdominal fat, you tend to lean backwards, slowly altering the curvature of your spine. This also increases your risk of back pain and slipped disc.

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A study has also linked obesity with disc degeneration and changes in the plates of the vertebrae. Increasing weight is associated with a decreased spinal mobility, which interferes with disc nutrition (the spine requires nutrients like vitamin C, magnesium, boron, bromelain, among others to maintain disc health. A deficiency can lead to disc degeneration). High triglyceride levels and LDL cholesterol are characteristic of obesity and also increase the risk of atherosclerosis, that leads to malnutrition of the disc, which may predispose to disc degeneration. [1]

To prevent damage to the spine, it is best to exercise regularly and lose that excess weight. If your lifestyle is sedentary, you should begin with becoming active and indulge in light exercises. You can also follow a healthy diet and cut down on trans-fat and artificial sweeteners containing food like junk food and sugar-sweetened beverages.

You may like to read:

  1. 6 expert tips to prevent obesity
  2. Your lifestyle can put you at a risk of these 7 spinal problems
  3. Easy yoga asana for a strong and flexible spine

Disclaimer text does not guarantee any weight loss through this method as the results may vary from person to person. We recommend you consult your nutritionist and physician before following any of the tips suggested here.

Image source: Shutterstock

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  1. Shiri R, Karppinen J, Leino-Arjas P, Solovieva S, Viikari-Juntura E. The association between obesity and low back pain: a meta-analysis. Am J Epidemiol.2010 Jan 15;171(2):135-54. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwp356. Epub 2009 Dec 11. PubMed PMID: 20007994.

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