Backache? Stop Eating the Cake!

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Beauty may be spine deep more than it is skin deep. How can weight loss help back pain? Many chiropractic patients that appear with low-back pain have biomechanical problems due to excess weight that is affecting their spine. The American Obesity Association estimates that as many as 65% or 125 million adult Americans are classified as overweight. Most people understand that excess weight contributes to developing diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure; but did you realize that obesity could significantly contribute to symptoms associated with osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease and spinal canal stenosis?

The body is designed to balance stress that the spine is under by distributing forces encountered throughout the day. When excess weight is carried, the spine is forced to assimilate the burden, which may lead to major vertebral structural compromise, damage to the discs as well as soft tissue adhesions.

Patients would do well to lose excess weight and reduce the load on their spine, as this is an important part of the healing process. One quick way to reduce weight is by reducing the amount of high Glycemic index (GI) foods in your diet.

  • High GI foods quickly digest and are turn into glucose in the blood causing a rise in insulin.
  • Glucose that is not used as immediate fuel or stored in the liver and muscle gets turned into body fat.

Glycemic index provides a simple and scientific way to distinguish good and bad sugars. The body needs sugar to function but the trick is to know which sugars provide the most fuel without unreasonable demands of our bodies.

Factors That Make a Carbohydrate a Low Glycemic Food:

  • Presence of fiber (oatmeal/beans)
  • Size of the starch (finely milled flours are higher GI than coarse flours)
  • How long a starch is cooked (al dente lowers GI than soft cook pasta)
  • Fat that slows the absorption of blood sugar down
  • Carbohydrates surrounded by a tough coat (beans/seeds)

5 Ways to Blunt Blood Sugar:

  • Add beans – a low to medium GI food brings down the rating of the entire meal
  • Sprinkle on some cinnamon – a 1/4 tsp per day can improve the insulin uptake of glucose
  • Add vinaigrette to a salad or protein
  • Use good fat – one to two tsp of olive/fish oil or nuts/seeds
  • Add a low-fat protein to slow down the digestion and absorption of sugars

Finding a great spine coach is a great way to get started to reducing your weight and your low back pain.

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