The Link Between Back Pain and Obesity

Obesity has been linked to numerous health problems, from heart disease and high blood pressure to diabetes and some forms of cancers. But there’s another condition that can be caused by obesity that often gets overlooked, and that’s pain. More specifically, back pain. Today, we take a closer look at the link between obesity and back pain.

Back Pain Problems

The spine is a crucial part of your body that helps adequately distribute your weight throughout your body and while you move. The spine is great at shouldering normal weight, but when you force it to carry excess weight, problems can develop.

Obesity contributes to several back conditions, including:

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

The problem with obesity and back problems is that they feed off one another. One of the best ways to maintain a healthy weight is to eat a balanced diet and to get regular exercise. That said, back pain can make a person shy away from exercise or athletic activity, and lack of exercise can lead to decreased flexibility and weakened muscles in the pelvis, back and thighs. This weakening can put more pressure on the spine, leading to an increase in the curve of the spine, which in turn causes the pelvis to tilt further forward, exacerbating the problem.

Additionally, as your posture weakens, other areas of your spine may become painful. Excess weight can compromise the density of your bones, making you at a heightened risk for fracture. Over time, if the density of your bones continues to shrink, you may develop osteoporosis, a condition categorized by the loss of between 25 and 30 percent of your desirable bone density.

Considering that more than 1 in 3 adults and 1 in 6 children are obese, it’s no surprise that we’re also seeing a rise in the number of people who are being treated for back pain. If you are dealing with problematic back pain, your first treatment techniques should involve changing your diet and adding regular exercise. Not only will those techniques help strengthen crucial spinal structures, but you’ll also take some of the pressure off your back if you start to shed some pounds. If those intervention options don’t alleviate your pain, speak to a spine specialist about your surgical and non-surgical options for pain relief. Contact us here if you have any questions.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Symptoms and Treatment Options For Spine Tumors

Spine tumors are rare, and even though they may not be cancerous, they still need to be treated by an expert neurosurgeon as quickly as possible. Here’s how to recognize possible symptoms so you can schedule an evaluation right away.

Artificial Disc Replacement vs. Spinal Fusion

Today’s spine treatments use advanced techniques to relieve chronic back pain and improve quality of life. But sometimes the types of surgery can be confusing. Here’s a quick comparison of two of the most common types of spinal surgery.

8 Helpful Things To Do Before Spine Surgery

Spine surgery can be the perfect solution to your back pain woes, but the success of your operation doesn’t entirely depend on the skill of the treating surgeon. You may also be surprised to learn that it’s not just what you do during your post-op...