Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Lose Weight to Improve Bone Health

     Recently, I had an animated conversation with one of my patients. She was a funny, middle-aged lady, overweight, or probably obese is the better term. She told me he has been having back pains.

     After examining her and discovered no real bone or nerve problem, I told her the solution: lose weight.

  “Ma’am, sorry don’t ask me how. I am an orthopedic surgeon, not a weight management specialist. I can refer you to a colleague of mine who specializes in that if you want.  I just know you have to lose weight. And you have to start exercising. Try walking at least 30 minutes per day“ I said.

    She looked at me as if I was a creepy alien with pointed head. Obviously, my patient wasn’t really the athletic type.  So walking is already considered a death-defying, dangerous, and extreme sport for her.

    “What do you do everyday, Ma’am? Like, what’s your work?” I asked.

     “I am a manager, doing desk job 8 hours a day.  No exercise at all.” She said. “Do you really I think I can still lose weight?”

     I said “Well, strange things can happen in this world. After all, there have been sightings of UFO’s, monsters, Big Foot, etc..  Of course I am just joking.  But I really suggest you start exercising.  Get out and walk. And then maybe, you can start joining Marathons later.” I said with a smile.

       “Marathons?  I will die if I join Marathons.”

        I rolled my eyes towards the ceiling.

       “Speaking of Marathons, I really can’t understand why people join them.  What will they get out of that?  Only muscle pains all over!” she said.

      “Well, you can get a shirt if you finish the race.” I smiled again.

      “Shirt, what kind of shirt? The expensive, branded ones with a crocodile with gingivitis, or the weird man riding a horse with a stick pointing to the ground?”

     “Haha. You make me laugh. Hay, naku. Just do any physical activity.  Walk, bike, swim. Whatever. When you come back to me, I want to see your waistline down to 32”.  You can do it!”

    “Thanks a lot, Doc.  I really appreciate your advice. I am just joking. I just feel depressed sometimes. But promise, I will lose weight, and you won’t recognize me when I follow up.”  She said.

  “Sounds good to me.  I’d love to see that. Goodluck!”

    As she left my consultation table and approached the door, I witnessed the “ruffles” on her waistline going up and down.  “Geeesh, how can one really get rid of those cellulite deposits,” I muttered to myself.   Perhaps, the answer will be in an esoteric code handed down by aliens in Atlantis.

Take Home Message

  Friends, a lot of the orthopedic problems that patients encounter, are just because of being overweight. Not only back pains. Knee pains, hip pains, ankle pains, etc are mostly due to increased loads on these joints which bear the most weight in our bodies.  We really have to live a healthy and active lifestyle and maintain our ideal body weight.  This will not only prevent joint and bone problems, it can help your heart, lungs, prevent or control diabetes, and improve overall well-being.   You’ll feel better and more confident about yourself, too, as you can look svelte in your jeans :)

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