A torn disc can occur for many reasons, but once it does, reducing pressure on the affected spinal disc is of the utmost importance. In addition to simple rest and avoiding strenuous activities, losing weight can help alleviate symptoms because it reduces the weight borne by the spine, giving the torn disc a chance to heal. Even just a few pounds can make a big difference, especially if the torn disc is located in the lumbar portion of the spine, which bears the most body weight.
A few weight loss tips
Always check with your physician before starting any new weight loss regimen. The most successful weight loss programs include the following recommendations:
- Exercise regularly – Depending on the severity of your symptoms, exercise can be a healthy part of your daily routine. If activities such as bicycling are too strenuous, consider walking. Start slowly and work your way up to longer distances, times and intensities.
- Eat a healthy diet – Making even small changes to your diet such as substituting low-fat dressing instead of full-fat, or choosing lean cuts of meat over fatty ones, can make a big difference in the long run. Other easy substitutes include having an apple or other fruit rather than chips with lunch and drinking water instead of a soda. Cut slightly more than 100 calories per day from your diet, and you can lose a pound each month. Not only will this help you lose weight, but eating a nutritious diet gives your body the tools it needs to heal itself.
- Stretch – Keeping your muscles limber can reduce pressure on the spine, and it can also help you avoid injury so you can maintain a consistent exercise routine.
For more information on living with or recovering from a torn disc, or information on treatments such as the minimally invasive spine procedures performed by our surgeons, contact Laser Spine Institute. We’ll review your MRI or CT scan and let you know if you’re a candidate for one of our minimally invasive torn disc procedures.