Are you carrying an extra “backpack”?

Are you carrying an extra “backpack”?

Are you carrying an extra “backpack”?

2

Weight loss is a difficult thing to discuss.  As a physician,  I am always worried that somehow, the patient will be offended by this discussion.  If I talk to some of my Primary Care colleagues,  some have stopped bringing this topic up, as some patients have gotten upset enough to “fire” them,  or even worse,  report them to the State Regulatory Body for insensitivity.  As a physician,  I am not judging you.  I need to bring this up for discussion, as it is part of my education and counseling protocols.  You cannot help yourself improve without understanding the causes of some of the pain.

America, and many parts of the world is experiencing an epidemic of obesity. And  Yes,  obesity is associated with increased back pain!

Many of my patients come to the office looking for advice.  Most would like to avoid surgery.  Most will not be a candidate for surgery. So what can you do to help yourself?

Instead of having a discussion on weight loss,  I like to discuss things in the following manner.

Have you ever carried a 20 pound backpack all day?  Have you carried it despite having knee pain, hip pain or BACK PAIN?  Didn’t it feel much better when you took that backpack off?  Well,  your extra 20 pounds of weight is like carrying the 20 pound backpack.  (As an aside,  there is good information that heavy backpacks can lead to pain for children).

I know you have heard all the reasons to lose weight.  It will help with diabetes.  It helps control blood pressure.  It decreases demand on your heart.  But, while those things are good to control,  usually, you do not have pain directly from diabetes or high blood pressure.  And, by the time you have heart related pain,  it may be too late.

But back pain is a good way for your body to remind you to keep the weight down.  Will losing weight get rid of all the pain?  Probably not.  But,  it will definitely help.  Besides,  you have all the benefits described above, plus, you look better, feel more confident, and therefore may also feel less depressed.  And,  just so you understand,  depression is associated with increased pain.

Losing weight has all sorts of benefits.  If you are more than 10 pounds overweight,  please discuss the situation with your primary care physician.  They can help you lose weight appropriately.  It is a lifestyle choice.  I have heard all the “pundits” saying it is a now an access to good food, and a societal issue.  While there may be some truth to this,  in the end, it comes down to personal motivation and choice.  Please help yourself, and keep the weight down.  Your Spine will appreciate it.

 

Citations

  • Kolstad F, Breivik H. The obesity epidemic makes life difficult for patients with herniated lumbar discs - and for back-surgeons: Increased risk of complications. Scand J Pain. 2016 Jan;10:103. PubMed PMID: 28361756

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Author and Contributor to www.Spine-Health.com – July, 2015

www.Spine-Health.com/author/john-h-shim-md-facs

Chief of Surgery, Mease Countryside and Mease Dunedin Hospitals, Safety Harbor and Dunedin, Florida. 2014-2016.

Orthopaedic Section Chief Mease Countryside Hospital; Safety Harbor, Florida Mease Dunedin Hospital; Dunedin, Florida.2008-2013

Board Member Morton Plant Mease Research Council

Co-Director of Mease Neuro-Ortho Spine Center Mease Dunedin Hospital; Dunedin, Florida.

One of “6 Spine Physicians Ranked #1 on Google” – December 2016

Top Ten Most Liked Spine Surgeons on the Internet – July 2016

2016 Spine Surgeons to Know list – January 2016

2014 Spine Specialists to know list – September 2014

One of Ten Leaders of Certified Spine Programs – December 2011

 

The Best Orthopedics in Tampa

The information provided on this website does not provide or should be considered medical advice. It is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment of any condition. The information provided is for informational purposes only. You should not rely solely on the information provided on this website in making a decision to pursue a specific treatment or advice. You should consult directly with a professional healthcare provider.

As a condition of using the information on this website, ShimSpine and its physicians are not responsible for any advice, diagnosis, treatment or outcome you may obtain.

ShimSpine.com is completely self-funded. No outside funds are accepted or used. This website does not utilize paid advertising as a source of revenue.
Outpatient Spine Surgery Considerations. www.Spine-Health.com. January 2016.

What is Spinal Stenosis? www.Spine-Health.com. October 2015.

Surgeon insights on the Changing Landscape of Orthopedic Care. OrthopedicToday. June 2014

Chapter 33: Interspinous Spacers. Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

Chapter 35: Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Lumbar Fusion Technique.Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

March 2010 Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting New Orleans, Louisiana February 2010

February 2010 A Review of Dynamic Stabilization in the Lumbar Spine Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

November 2009 Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Community Based Lecture; Tampa, Florida

September 2009 Instructor/Proctor Minimally Invasive Lumbar Cadaver Lab; Tampa, Florida

February 2009 New Spinal Technology: Cervical Disc Replacement and Interspinous Spacers. Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

February 2008 The Degenerative Spine: The Role of Dynamic Lumbar Stablization and Interspinous Spacers Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

October 2008 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

September 2007 Emerging Technology in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

October 2006 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

May 2005 The Role of Kyphoplasty in the Treatment of Vertebral Compression Fractures Mease Neurosciences Symposium; Clearwater, Florida
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