(Reston, VA, Wednesday, January 15, 2020) — The Virginia Spine Institute reports an increase in patients after the holidays due to cold weather, snow shoveling, diet, lack of exercise, and high stress levels, which puts pressure on discs and contributes to other spinal problems.

Studies show that unhealthy diets contribute to increased back pain levels. The studies found that fat cells release hormones that increase inflammation and pain; however, plant-based diets decrease musculoskeletal pain; and improving lifestyle through diet, exercise, and sleep improve back pain.

While poor diet is a major cause of back pain in and of itself, obesity independently contributes to inflammation. If someone eats healthy but is overweight, then he or she will have more inflammation than someone with less fat. Fat cells, by themselves, cause inflammation. Further, stress, lack of exercise, and sleep also cause inflammation.

Lifestyle modifications can help heal pain caused by inflammation. Weight loss, exercise, increase in sleep, diet modification, and stress management all help. The next line in healing are medications like anti-inflammatories, including ibuprofen and Naprosyn. Steroid Injections or regenerative medicine, which uses the body’s own tissues– like stem cells and blood to promote healing– may also help combat inflammation. Finally, surgery may be necessary to correct damaged structures that cause pain.

For more than 25 years, Virginia Spine Institute has dramatically improved the lives of over 85,000 people. As a nationally recognized medical practice, Virginia Spine Institute is a proven leader in spinal health care demonstrating the latest advances in: non-operative procedures, operative care, pain management, and physical therapy.

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