Weight, Back Pain, and Depression
For some time now, there has been a well documented link between weight, back pain, and depression, though we are still discovering the connection between the three in terms of genetics, and which condition affects the other. Are we depressed because we feel so much chronic pain? Or do the feelings of depression that we have send more signals to the nerve endings in our back muscles and spine, making them more sensitive and more likely to send pain signals to the brain more often? And how does obesity affect our emotional state? Studies do show that depressed people are more likely to overeat, and reduce their overall level of physical activity. Also, obesity is more likely to cause the muscles of the back to become overworked by having to hold up the extra weight and to stretch the ligaments of the back. So being fat causes us to feel bad, feeling bad causes us to eat more and exercise less, and exercising less makes us fatter and more likely to have back pain? Such a vicious cycle, and hoe do I turn it all around?
The good news is that there are many things you can do to make all things better for yourself, and that when you make improvements in one area of your life, you may also be making improvements in the other areas of your life as well. Take foods for example. Many natural foods in fruits and vegetables are body low in calories and carbohydrates (helping you to lose weight) and have anti-inflammatory properties to benefit back joints and discs. Some foods that have natural anti inflammatory properties include berries, tomatoes, spinach, kale, mackerel, trout, walnuts, and canola oil. Many of these foods are also high in anti-oxidants and Vitamin C, which may help us to fight infections and to keep our energy levels high. Many foods have also been associated with our positive emotional effects, brightening our mood and reducing anxiety levels. Fresh foods rich in folic acid (foliate) and vitamin B12 have been shown to present disorders of the central nervous system, dementias, and mood disorders. And when you feel better, your central nervous system may be more likely to send pleasure and comfort signals to the same regions of the brain that receive inputs from pain signals. The pleasure signals can actually compete with the pain signals in these brain centers, reducing our overall comfort levels. Examples of fresh foods rich in folic acid and vitamin B12 include spinach, egg whites, black beans, and poultry and dairy products.
Above, we have shown several examples of how positive changes in our mood, structures of the spine, and weight problems can resonate through the other systems, producing overall positive changes in our health. Below, we will provide you several behavioral changes, programs, and treatments that you can use to make changes in each of these three areas of your health profile.
Weight: Generally, diets high in fruits and vegetables, and diets low in processed foods and processed carbohydrates will be healthy, and to help you to lode weight.
back pain: Walking and back pain exercises such as the Angry Cat Stretch will be helpful in treating degenerative disc problems.
Depression: Psychotherapists have been helpful at treating the emotional problems of millions of people.