Obesity and Neck Pain: Are They Linked?

Obesity and Neck Pain: Are They Linked?

Obesity isn't the top cause of neck pain, but there's no doubt that carrying extra weight affects the delicate vertebrae in your neck and can lead to serious pain and chronic neck problems.

At iMed Regeneration Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Jason Keller, DC, and medical director Patty Beecroft, MD, frequently help people with weight-related neck pain. As chiropractic specialists, we support every aspect of your health, from easing the pain to supporting a healthy weight loss plan.

If you have questions about your neck pain, call our office. In the meantime, here's what you should know about obesity and neck pain.

Obesity can lead to neck pain by:

Placing excessive pressure on your spine

Your spine is designed to balance and align your body so you can move while causing minimal stress on your musculoskeletal system. The natural curves in your spine, good posture, and strong abdominal and back muscles work together to maintain a strong, properly aligned spine.

When you gain weight in your abdomen, back, or neck, the extra pounds place additional pressure on your spine. Your spine changes its position to compensate for carrying the weight. This shift causes muscle strain and abnormal spinal curvature, and throws your spine out of alignment.

Your lower back bears the brunt of the excess weight because it supports your upper body. But when your weight throws your lower back out of alignment, the impact travels up your spine, affects your neck, and causes neck pain.

Causing poor posture

Gaining weight in your abdomen and neck changes your posture. This creates a special problem for your neck because it supports the weight of your head.

On average, the human head weighs almost 12 pounds. When poor posture makes you bend your neck down, that weight is magnified, and your head places five times more pressure on your neck than normal. As a result, you develop a painful neck strain and muscle knots.

Worsening rheumatoid arthritis

Did you know that the neck is the third most common site for rheumatoid arthritis? Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease that develops when your immune system attacks the synovial tissues lining your joints. 

The tissues become inflamed, and without treatment, the ongoing inflammation damages the vertebrae in your neck, causing pain and instability.

Obesity contributes to and worsens rheumatoid arthritis. When you're overweight, the fat cells release biochemicals that cause bodywide inflammation. The extra inflammation makes rheumatoid arthritis progress at a faster rate. 

Obesity also makes the medications used for treating rheumatoid arthritis less effective.

Relieving obesity-related neck pain

As a chiropractic practice, we focus on the whole person. That means we specialize in nutritional counseling and helping you develop a diet and exercise plan that supports healthy weight loss.

Chiropractic care also eases your pain by realigning your spine and correcting your posture. We use special exercises along with education to improve your posture. 

We also have extensive experience using gentle chiropractic techniques for your neck, such as cervical mobilization, drop techniques, and therapeutic massage.

If you need relief from neck pain, call us today or book an appointment online.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Is Back Pain a Normal Part of Aging?

There's no way around the fact that aging affects your body, making you more vulnerable to back problems. But back pain should never be your new normal. You can take steps to prevent painful problems and recover should back pain arise.

How to Exercise for Less Knee Pain

Exercise is a powerful tool for reducing knee pain, preventing knee injuries, and slowing down arthritis. But you need the right type of exercise to avoid making things worse. Read on to learn our top tips for knee exercise.

Arthritis: When to Consider Physical Rehabilitation

You may put off physical rehabilitation for arthritis until you can't tolerate the pain or until joint stiffness limits your activity. But don't wait that long. Starting rehab at an early stage can slow arthritis and help you stay active longer.

6 Signs of Whiplash After an Accident

Whiplash injuries are best known for causing neck pain, but that's only one of six common symptoms. When you have any of these signs, they’re a red flag alerting you to seek help and get the treatment you need to prevent long-lasting problems.

Common Signs of Knee Bursitis

Knee bursitis can suddenly appear or the signs may develop so slowly you're barely aware of the initial twinge of pain. In both cases, early treatment prevents unnecessary discomfort and loss of mobility.

What’s Involved in Physical Rehabilitation?

Whether you suffer an injury, have a condition like arthritis, or just had surgery, physical rehabilitation is the key to your recovery. Physical rehab restores strength, mobility, and the functional skills you need to enjoy your life.