Lumbar Pain Triggered by Abdominal Obesity
Forty-nine-year-old female patient, who got diagnosed with herniated disc fifteen years
ago, visited this writer for difficulty walking caused by lumbar pain after gaining fifteen
pounds in weight. The symptom was relieved after effectively relaxing the tense
muscles, adjusting the twisted pelvis, and enforcing constant exercise and lumbar
stretching for weight reduction.
Obesity and lack of exercise, bad posture are the main reasons that trigger lumbar pain. The following are three reasons obesity triggers lumbar pain:
First is the change of body type. The hip protrudes backward as the body gains weight and the belly sticks out. Pregnant women especially complain of lumbar pain as they rapidly gain weight because they remain in a position that needs to support the swelling belly by bending the hip backwards. When there is a change of body, the center of gravity shifts forward and it makes the hip curve unnaturally, which puts strain on the spine.
Second reason is excess fat. Obesity is the reason for lumbar pain because the tissues surrounding the spine compresses the spine and increases the pressure over the discs as the area of fat extends. Third is muscle degradation. The direct cause of herniated lumbar disc is the weakening of muscles that holds the spine as the body gains fat and muscles decline. As a result, because discs and joints cannot withstand the weight, crumble, and weakens due to obesity, the symptom of usual lumbar pain worsens. In addition, strains on knees and ankle joints can trigger arthritis and variety of adult diseases, so precaution is necessary.
If the lumbar pain has worsened due to weight gain, then usual habits can be suspected. Observe whether you have sat for a long time after meal, slouched on the sofa to rest after work, lacked exercise, had bad eating habits, or had binge drinking. Usual healthy maintenance of the weight and right posture can ease lumbar pain, so, although troublesome, maintaining the right posture and practicing stretching can prevent this pain. Excessive workout to lose weight can actually be harmful. Treatment for herniated disc along with sufficient exercise can show effective results. Fast walking or even walking in water can help strengthen hip and thigh muscles.
Three types of lumbar pain preventative exercise:
1. Cat Stretching: Bend the knees to 90 degrees, and after bending over, form a 90 degree between the shoulders and elbows, and separate shoulder width. Lift your head and hip as you breath in, and extend the spine as you lower the chest and abdomen to the floor. Remain in the position for ten seconds. Opposite as the first stretch but still in the same position, breath out, lower the head, and stretch the back by forming into an arch. Hold for ten seconds. Repeating these two movements for five times can
relax the hip muscles effectively.
2. Piriformis Stretching: There might be length difference of the legs due to imbalance of the pelvis. Bend one leg and rest it over a bed, stretch out the other leg, and maintain the pelvis position horizontally. As you breathe out, extend both arms to the front, bend the upper body forward, and hold for ten seconds. Repeat ten times.
3. Psoas Stretching: This stretch is effective for pelvic and hip pain. Sit on the edge of a bed, lay down supine, pull the right leg over the chest and hold with both hands to prevent coming loose. Stretch out the other leg down to the floor and hold for ten seconds. Repeat ten times.
Photo Credit(s): Daum- Health Column
Sports Injury Clinic- YouTube