Could spinal health be the key to weight loss? While the emphasis is often on the waistline when we think about weight loss, it turns out the spine is where many of us should be looking. There’s a strong link between spinal health and weight loss. That means that getting your spine in proper alignment may help you to get your weight in proper alignment. Take a look at what everyone should know about the link between spinal health and weight.
What Does Proper Spinal Health Mean?
A healthy spine means a spine that’s in proper alignment. In order to function correctly, a spine cannot have any blockages, misalignments, or subluxations that cut off blood flow, cause inflammation, or create tension. When our spine is pushed out of alignment, we can suffer from many different symptoms that actually impact the entire musculoskeletal system.
Common signs that your spinal health is suffering include:
- Back pain.
- Neck pain.
- Shoulder pain.
- Numbness or tingling in the back, arms, or hands.
- Mood issues.
- Illness/reduced immune function.
- Stiff neck.
- Reduced mobility.
- Reduced flexibility.
- Poor circulation.
- Excessive tiredness.
If you suspect that your spinal health is suffering, it’s important to be evaluated for obvious causes of poor spinal health that include spinal misalignments, spinal blockages, compressed discs, herniated discs, and sciatica. It’s very possible that a simple spinal adjustment is all that’s necessary to restore balance that will cause your symptoms to resolve. Next, let’s talk about what poor spinal health can mean for your weight.
Losing Weight by Improving Your Spinal Health: Can It Really Be True?
The role that the spine plays in our overall health is really incredible. As an extension of the central nervous system, the spine is like an information superhighway of the body. The spine is actually a route for sending important signals between the body and brain. One of those important signals is the hunger cue.
Yes, your spinal health can actually dictate your eating habits. A blockage or misalignment in the spine may cause some of the important signals passing from the brain to the rest of the body to become compromised. You can think of it like crossed wires on a damaged telephone line. When messages get mixed up while traveling through the spinal column, there’s the potential for the wrong hunger cues to be sent. For some people, this could result in constant hunger that lingers even when they’ve eaten enough.
Are you finding it hard to lose weight because of a snacking habit driven by a constant hunger? It’s worth investigating if a problem with your spine could be compromising your natural hunger cues. The benefit of fixing this problem doesn’t just involve reaching a healthier weight. If you’ve been living with spinal misalignment, there’s a good chance that you’ve been suffering from inflammation that has left you feeling tired, foggy, and sick.
A Healthy Spine Prevents Body “Panic”
Did you know that spinal misalignment can actually trap your body in a stress response? It’s never pretty when this happens. Any type of injury or inflammation in the body can trigger elevated cortisol levels because our body tries to protect us by going into “high alert” gear. In studies, a link between abdominal obesity and elevated cortisol levels has been clearly identified.
Cortisol is a stress hormone that is released when we’re in danger. The pain from a spinal issue can easily trigger your body to release excess cortisol. The problem with something like a spinal misalignment is that it doesn’t go away on its own. That means that your cortisol levels are going to stay elevated until you’re able to reverse the misalignment using an adjustment.
Cortisol can be detrimental to weight loss when it lingers beyond an “emergency situation.” When cortisol is high, our body gets the signal to eat high-fat, high-calorie foods to sustain itself. While that may have worked for our ancestors when they were in peril, it’s actually counterproductive for us here in the modern world today because being driven by hunger cues that cause us to crave sugary, fatty, and salty foods increase inflammation in the body. This can actually worsen our pain.
Cortisol releases caused by poor spinal health don’t just make it difficult to lose weight due to an increased drive to snack. Prolonged cortisol release within the body will eventually block our body’s natural production of testosterone. This is never a good thing because testosterone is necessary for building up lean muscle mass. A reduction in testosterone combined with an increased appetite as part of the body’s stress response means that we’re taking in more food while burning fewer calories. It adds up to higher levels of fat-based weight gain instead of muscle gain.
Not Enough People Are Talking About the Link Between Spinal Health and Weight Loss: Have the Conversation With a Centennial Chiropractor
It’s unfortunate that the connection between spinal health and weight isn’t discussed more. The truth is that many people suffer from weight gain and low energy for years due to undiagnosed spinal blockages, compressions, and misalignments. If you’re finding it hard to keep weight off, it might be time to consider that your spinal health is to blame.
Here at Barnes Chiropractic, we always encourage discussions about the whole-body connection that links weight loss with more than just “what you’re eating.” We can help you get the whole picture of the underlying responses that may be occurring in your body if you’re struggling to lose weight. The good news is that reversing a spinal misalignment is something that a chiropractor can do using manual and instrument-guided adjustments over the course of a few treatments. If you’d like to learn more about spinal health, call (720) 985-0056 or book an appointment online today!