Chiropractic medicine specializes in the musculoskeletal system. It treats the whole body because if one area of the body is inflamed, swollen, out of place, or damaged, it affects other areas. Chiropractic’s goals are to bring the body back into balance and get it functioning at an optimal level. Achieving overall health and wellness requires an individual’s body to be at its appropriate weight.
Chronic pain and obesity are linked, according to various studies. Individuals dealing with chronic pain are more likely to become obese, and those who are obese have an increased risk of developing a chronic pain condition. Research studies also show that individuals that lose weight have a reduction to complete alleviation of pain.
The goal is to break the cycle. When an individual is dealing with pain symptoms, eating foods high in sugars and starches can be comforting. However, unhealthy food is fueling the pain and causing inflammation. Back pain commonly occurs in individuals that are obese. Chiropractic helps kickstart the weight loss process by relieving pain naturally and safely.
Spinal alignments go beyond relieving pain to help with weight loss. Adjustments improve the body’s ability to burn fat and maintain overall health. A spine that is out of alignment can affect the nerve pathways of the central nervous system and the communication signals affecting nearly every aspect of the body. Problems with the central nervous system can affect how the whole body burns fat and the metabolic system.
Spinal misalignments can affect the body’s hormone regulation. These hormones include those for breaking down foods during digestion. Affected hormones can contribute to weight gain and prevent weight loss. Chiropractic corrects the nerve’s pathways, allowing for proper hormone regulation, which can help with weight loss.
Exercise is pivotal to losing weight, building muscle, and maintaining health. The problem for overweight individuals is that they are in too much pain to exercise. With back pain, just walking a quarter of a mile can become excruciating, and this is where chiropractic care for pain relief comes in. When managing pain through chiropractic, individuals can exercise regularly.
The whole body is a unit where everything affects something else. Chiropractors are becoming or teaming up with certified nutritionists and health coaches. Part of a treatment plan includes nutritional recommendations personalized to individual needs and weight loss goals. They also recommend:
A cheat day or meal every once in a while will not undo weeks and months of regular workouts and eating healthy. Cheat days can help individuals stay motivated for the long term. But this does not mean getting carried away and going on a bender or making cheat days a routine. The goal is to develop healthy eating habits that become the norm while the craving for junk food decreases. Changing body composition and losing weight is a long-term journey, but done correctly and with support turns into a healthy body.
DeMaria, Anthony, et al. “A weight loss program in a chiropractic practice: a retrospective analysis.” Complementary therapies in clinical practice vol. 20,2 (2014): 125-9. doi:10.1016/j.ctcp.2013.11.007
James M Whedon, DC, MS, Andrew W J Toler, MS, Louis A Kazal, MD, Serena Bezdjian, Ph.D., Justin M Goehl, DC, MS, Jay Greenstein, DC, Impact of Chiropractic Care on Use of Prescription Opioids in Patients with Spinal Pain, Pain Medicine, Volume 21, Issue 12, December 2020, Pages 3567–3573, https://doi.org/10.1093/pm/pnaa014
Okifuji, Akiko, and Bradford D Hare. “The association between chronic pain and obesity.” Journal of pain research vol. 8 399-408. 14 Jul. 2015, doi:10.2147/JPR.S55598
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