One of the cheapest and simplest ways to alleviate back pain is also the hardest: lose weight.
Please note that things that are simple, that is, easy to understand, are often difficult because of the enormous amount of self-discipline involved. Resisting temptation, whether gluttony or anything else, requires denying momentary pleasure in exchange for a reward that will come later.
I think we all struggle with this. "Just Say No" is easy to understand, it is hard to do.
People who are successful, whether with weight loss or anything else, will say one of the most effective techniques is to visualize the reward. Therefore, if you are overweight and your back hurts, when you are tempted to overeat, visualize how great you're going to feel when you lose weight.
God designed our bodies with perfect precision. Our spines are not made to withstand too much weight. I heard a pastor once say, "When God says 'Don't' he is really saying, 'Don't hurt yourself." The point is, God loves us, and when he commands us to avoid sin it's for our own good.
God did not intend for us to engage in a gluttonous lifestyle. When we step outside of his will and eat more than we should and pack on too much weight, we hurt ourselves in many ways.
For one thing, we hurt our back.
Obesity strains the ligaments and muscles in the back and causes the spine to twist out of shape so that it no longer can support the body properly. For example, excess stomach weight leads to the unnatural pulling-forward of the pelvic area. This, as you can imagine, puts pressure on the lower back and is very painful.
The spinal discs are often damaged from the undue pressure of overcompensating from the undue pressure put upon them from having to support extra pounds. Pinched nerves are often the result of too much weight, and we all know how excruciating that can be.
I recently learned of a man who struggled with a pinched nerve in his back that caused shooting pain down his left leg and into his foot. He noticed that after losing 35 pounds, the pain went away. The pressure on that nerve lifted and he no longer has to take pain medication and is done with all the associated anxiety with chronic pain.
He admits that denying himself all the yummy foods he desires is very disappointing. But he reminds himself that the pleasure of indulging in an abundance of delicious food is not nearly as wonderful as living pain free
Good for him. In his case, he learned that he must stay away from restaurant food in order to maintain a healthy weight. Smart guy.
I don't think I need to go into detail about how to lose weight. Most of us understand the calories in, calories out equation. As I mentioned earlier, it's not complicated. The hard part isn't understanding it, it's implementing it. But one thing weight loss experts will advise is to find the plan that works for you. Often that means customizing a routine that fits your lifestyle.
Lack of exercise is also directly linked to back pain. When we exercise, blood flows to the muscles, joints, discs, and ligaments in the back. Blood carries with it wonderful nutrients. So if you fail to exercise, over time, the back becomes weak, and susceptible to pain. That's extra bad because when our back hurts, we don't want to exercise, and so begins a downward spiral.
So get moving! Again, easier said than done. And while you're at it, strengthen your back, not just with cardiovascular exercise, but also resistance training. Strong back muscles will help prevent back injuries.
Also, don't forget your abs! Strong abdominal muscles also protect the back.
I know it's hard. For many of us, it's a daily challenge. But let's remember how taking care of our bodies will pay off in so many ways. We will be more comfortable, look better, and will save money on food and medical costs.
Plus, the greatest motivation to achieve the proper weight and to exercise is because it is God's will for us to take care of our bodies.