I am dealing with horrible back pain and have been working with doctors with little success. The problem has gotten worse because now I have put on a lot of extra weight. I know the weight is making the pain worse, but I am also in too much pain to workout. I feel like I am stuck in a situation I can't win. So what can I do?
That is a difficult situation to be in and I understand how hard it is. Remember anything I tell you here does not supersede the recommendations of your doctors. That being said there are a few things you can do.
#1 Change your eating. What you eat will generally make a significant difference on your weight as well as your overall health. With what you are going through right now your body needs as much good nutrition as possible. Plus when you watch your food intake, even if you can not exercise at all you should be able to drop the excess weight.
#2 Walk, walk, and walk. Oh and did I mention walk? Walking will help you burn calories but will not be strenuous on the body. Despite what many of us want to think, it is not about doing either a hardcore workout or nothing at all. You do what you can with what you are dealing with. Not only will walking burn calories but it will also help to manage stress and give you some peace of mind that you are doing something towards the issue.
#3 Give swimming a test run. Swimming can be a great exercise for many people with specific structural issues going on. The buoyancy makes it easier to workout without all the pressure on joints or the spine. You want to make sure with your doctor that this is okay, depending on your back condition this could a be good or not for you.
#4 Weight training is still an option. Weight training does not need to be a harsh all over body workout. The great thing with weight training is that you can single out specific muscle group. In fact so many gyms now have a large variety of machines that keep the majority of your body stable so that you are only working a specific muscle groups during an exercise. This way you can avoid the problem area.
I do not know the specifics of your condition, so you will have to see which of these will work for you. I would strongly suggest working with a physical therapist or a really good trainer on this and if you can not afford to hire a trainer or physical therapist regularly then see one once a month and have them show you a routine and correct form. I know it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel right now, but it is going to get better. Once you get better you will really have something to compare to and you will cherish your health more than most. Keep going! LIVE FULL OUT!