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iVillage.com: Everyday Habits That Make Pain Worse

Toting Around Extra Pounds

Carrying excess weight strains the body, especially the back and weight-bearing joints (like the hips and knees). Besides affecting your posture, those unwanted pounds put greater pressure on the spine and accelerate some of the degeneration that normally occurs in the discs, Dr. Gross explains.

Solution: Talk to your doctor or a nutritionist about creating a diet and exercise regimen. In a recent study in Ottawa, Canada, researchers had obese adults with low-back pain follow a yearlong weight-loss program that included calorie restriction and 60 to 90 minutes of physical activity per day; by week 53, the participants showed significant improvements in their pain and functionality as well as substantial weight loss.

(Credit: Ian Hooton/Photo Library/Getty Images)
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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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