Are Waist Trimmers Good for Spinal Arthritis and Weight Loss?

You have probably seen advertisements for waist trimmer belts, also known as waist slimmers. They supposedly alleviate back pain while at the same time they trim your waist. A friend of mine, who is a little overweight, suffers from chronic back pain and I was thinking of buying one for him. Because I never buy anything without researching it, I spent quite some time checking them out to see if they are actually worth the money. Here is what I found.

First of all, if you suffer from low back pain, you are not alone. If you ask 10 people, 8 of them will tell you they have had at least one bout of back pain in their lifetime. While a number of factors can contribute to lower back pain—such as stress, poor physical condition, bad posture, and poor sleeping position—obesity/weight gain and arthritis are the most common.

Gaining weight puts a burden on the weight-bearing joints and increases pain, which is why it is important that you know how to lose weight if you are overweight and how to maintain ideal weight.

Osteoarthritis and Lower Back Pain

While osteoarthritis mainly affects the knees, it can attack any joint of the body, such as the spine. It is not uncommon for arthritis patients to suffer from lower back pain.

Lumbar arthritis, which involves the lower back and pelvic area, causes stiffness in the joints and makes it hard for these people to move their spine through a full range of motion. They experience difficulty bending or walking, they have the feeling of “bones rubbing on bones”, and may even find it painful to just stand straight.

Treatment of lower back pain is conventionally attempted through prescription of anti-inflammatory drugs and steroids. The problem with these medications is their serious side effects that include heart attack, stroke, increased blood pressure and a host of serious bowel adverse reactions.

In contrast, herbal lower back remedies, such as Glucosamine/chondroitin, 500 – 1,500 mg daily, although not a quick fix, can support and improve lower back health. Glucosamine, chondroitin are considered relatively safe, and “many people feel they have had some pain relief since taking MSM”.

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Waist Trimmers: A Support for Back Pain…

If you are looking to relieve back pain, a waist belt can help. Made usually of neoprene, an elastic material, waist belts compress and support your lower back and abdominal muscles. When wearing a waist belt you will feel that it fits well over your hips and around your abs and it is easy to adjust. It stays comfortably in place and reminds you to use good posture when sitting or standing.

The belt traps the heat released by your body and elevates the temperature of your waist. This increases blood flow and can make your back feel so much better. Users report that tightness and discomfort will go away as soon as you wear the belt. Your back muscles will become more flexible and supportive. You will find it easier to lift things, work around the house and do your daily chores. The belt will also provide significant back support when you workout in the gym. In this sense, a waist trimmer is useful for back pain.

… But a Waste for Weight Loss

Waist trimmers purportedly enhance your weight loss efforts. Is this true? Does the extra heat around your belly melt the fat away? Well, neoprene, like every rubber-like material, causes you to sweat and lose water, especially when you workout. But when you sweat and lose water you are not necessarily burning fat.

To burn excess fat tissue your body needs to get into a situation where energy is expended. Ephidrosis (excessive sweating) is not a considerable energy expending body function and cannot be relied upon to meet one’s fat burning goals. While losing water may result in you losing 1 inch of your waist, this is a temporary effect that lasts only ntil you replenish your body liquids by drinking water.

If you buy a waist trimmer expecting to lose fat around your waist you will soon realize the very name of it is misleading as it doesn’t do anything at all when it comes to making your waist thinner.

So, do waist trimmers work for weight loss? Not really. If you want to lose weight, nothing will work better than a healthy diet and regular exercise. Studies show that following a healthy and holistic lifestyle, like the one promoted by clinically studied weight loss programs (i.e Weight Watchers, Atkins, South Beach Diet, Medifast), is the best way to lose weight and maintain weight loss.

However, following an active lifestyle requires motion and exercise. If you are an osteoarthritis patient who suffers from lower back pain, this is where a waist belt will work like a charm. You will find that the belt’s firm grasp around your abdomen and midsection retains body heat and provides a good support for your back.

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