A chiropractor can help with weight loss, but to truly keep the weight off, you need to make lasting changes to your lifestyle through proper diet and exercise. Losing weight is not an easy task. It can be incredibly stressful and tough, especially if you have work and family obligations taking up most of your time. A chiropractor can help you shed pounds by providing nutritional guidance and reducing any joint or muscle pain that is preventing you from exercising.
There are many weight-loss products in the market that claim they can help people lose all of their excess weight in mere days. Whether it is a health supplement, exercise tool, fad diet, or whatever new solution they are marketing, realize that nothing short of liposuction can make you lose weight instantly. It took a long time to gain the excess weight that you currently have, so expect to take some time to lose it.
How Can a Chiropractor Help with Weight Loss?
Here are some of the ways chiropractic can help you achieve your desired weight.
Alleviate Pain that Prevents Exercise
A common impediment to exercising among obese or overweight individuals is pain, particularly in their joints. Being overweight puts excessive pressure on an individual’s musculoskeletal system.
The stress from the added weight causes wear and tear, resulting in chronic pain and reduced range of motion. When an overweight individual struggles to exercise because it hurts them to do so, losing weight can seem like an insurmountable task.
One of the focuses of chiropractic is on restoring proper function in the joints so that patients can move freely again. A chiropractor can recommend stretching and mobility exercises to increase your range of motion and alleviate pain. The primary purpose of these exercises is not to burn calories, but to help your body move without pain.
Provide Nutritional Guidance
What you eat determines how healthy you and has a major impact on your weight. An unhealthy diet will not only cause your weight to balloon up, but it can lead to chronic disease. Thus, it is necessary for health professionals to promote good nutrition through healthy eating, and chiropractors do this as well.
Most chiropractors provide general nutritional advice as a regular part of their treatment. Depending on your condition, a chiropractor may recommend a personalized diet plan for you, which may include the use of nutrition supplements. The most common nutrition-related issues that chiropractors encounter involve the muscles and joints and the cause is usually due to inflammation.
In order to provide you with nutritional guidance, chiropractors will first have to do an assessment. They will start by questioning their patients about their health status, then examine their physical appearance. If the chiropractor suspects that the patient requires specialized care, they may refer patients to qualified dieticians if they deem it necessary.
Fix Neurological Pathways
In chiropractic, it is believed that the misalignments in the spine, known as vertebral subluxations, are responsible for many of the issues that affect the human body. Supposedly, these misalignments disrupt the central nervous system which then disrupt the nerve signals sent throughout the body by the brain.
As a result of this, they claim that the disruption of these signals is altering your hunger levels, emotions, and eating cues. They also claim that even your entire metabolic system, which impacts your body’s ability to burn fat, can be negatively affected by these vertebral subluxations.
Through the use of chiropractic adjustments to your spine, chiropractors believe that they can realign the spinal column by eliminating vertebral subluxation, and restore proper communication between the brain and the rest of your body. Thus, your metabolism will return to normal, as will your appetite, and you will start to lose weight as a result.
Unfortunately, vertebral subluxations and its symptoms have not been proven to be true and are thus considered pseudoscientific by the medical community. Any benefits one may have received from a chiropractic adjustment to the spine are considered to be the result of the placebo effect.
What to Expect When You Visit the Chiropractor
The first thing a chiropractor will do is ask about your health history and information about your current problem. Next, they will conduct a physical examination where they will analyze your posture and ask you to perform basic movements to determine how well your spine and joints are functioning.
Keep in mind that chiropractic care is very hands-on, so do not be alarmed if the chiropractor uses his or her hands to guide you. It is difficult to diagnose joint problems if a chiropractor is not allowed to move them to determine range of motion. The goal is to figure out what is causing the pain and how to best deal with it.
An adjustment will likely be done on your first appointment, and additional treatments may involve using an ultrasound, applying hot or cold packs, or electric muscle stimulation.
For obese patients who are focusing on weight loss, they may recommend certain exercises for patients to perform in between appointments. These exercises are meant to increase your flexibility and help you move with less pain. They will also discuss diet and nutrition plans to promote good health and weight loss.
In subsequent visits, the chiropractor will ask about the progress you have achieved with your prescribed exercises and provide answers to any questions you may have about the process. They may also perform further adjustments and discuss plans for the next appointment.
Why Weight Loss Is So Important
Adding a couple of pounds each month seems like it is no cause for concern. However, over a long period of time the extra weight adds up. At some point you may end up overweight without even realizing it. Individuals who are obese or overweight may suffer from self-esteem issues and may find it increasingly difficult to perform everyday activities such as walking up the stairs or bending down to pick something up. They are also susceptible to the following health conditions:
- Heart disease
- Difficulty breathing and snoring
- Organ failure
- Type-2 diabetes
If you are suffering from any of the above, then your weight most likely has something to do with it. One should strive to maintain a healthy weight if they wish to live a healthy and long life. But how much weight is too much? First, you need to determine your current weight, height, and waistline to help you determine your body mass index (BMI).
The body mass index is a number that is calculated from your height and weight. Within a certain range, you will be classified as “normal”, “overweight”, or “obese.” The exact range are as follows:
- Normal weight: Between 19-25
- Overweight: Between 25-30
- Obese: 30 or above
Measuring your waistline is another way to determine how much excess fast you have around your belly. The greater the length, the greater the chance of developing the health issues mentioned above. Men with a waistline greater than 40 inches and women with a waistline greater than 35 inches are considered overweight.
By focusing on your diet and addressing the pain that is preventing you from exercising, a chiropractor may be able to assist you on your weight loss journey. Weight loss should be done gradually, and a healthy rate of weight loss is 1-2% of your weight weekly.