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Intermittent Fasting & Back Pain

November 6th, 2023 // Dr. Arnan Sisson

We all know about the negative effects that holding some extra weight can have. It could be an increase in diabetes, high blood pressure, or negative effects on mood, but it also has a negative orthopedic effect.

Holding too much weight can place a significant increase in stress on the various joints of the body not just doing high-impact activities but with everyday life. I’ve seen the effect of this in my back pain practice.

So with this in mind, how can we realistically lose a few pounds to prevent or even improve back pain? Theirs a lot of approaches out there, but one that has some great research backing it up is intermittent fasting!

Basically, what this is, is shortening your window of eating into a 7-8 hour period. Harvard recently did a review of the recent research by John F. Trepanowski, PhD, and his group looking into the effects of intermittent fasting at the University of Alabama.  They found that by using intermittent fasting we can drop our insulin levels and have more time in which our fat cells release their stored sugars to be used as energy.

So, the reader may be asking, that sounds great but how do I actually apply that in my everyday life?

A great way to apply this is to simply skip breakfast. This may somewhat go against conventional wisdom, but the research shows that by doing this you can attain this 16-hour fasting period that produces a positive effect on your insulin levels. 

Then once you reach lunch time you can insert a larger meal that’s rich in vegetables, healthy fats, and healthy meats. Then once you wrap up your dinner later in the evening the fast will begin again with lunch the next day.

Drinking lots of water during the morning while you are awake and fasting can be a great strategy as well. If you stay hydrated and are taking in your fluids, you’ll also be less hungry during this period.

I encourage folks to look at this research and apply it for 1-2 weeks and see what happens. It’s been proven to have a great effect on various health markers including weight and in turn, it will decrease the risk of back pain along with a host of other issues.

That’s it for today, everyone. Remember knowledge is power!

P.S. Have some back pain yourself, but not sure what exactly you should do next? Not a problem! Shoot our practice a call at (804) 493-3256 or click here to set up a free 20-minute Discovery Session. During the session, we can brainstorm the general cause of your back pain and discuss different strategies to fix it!