The Link Between Obesity and Back Pain

Extra body weight directly increases your risk of developing back pain. Being overweight or obese also makes your back pain worse after a spine condition develops.

As pain management specialists, we at iMed Regeneration Center devote every day to helping people with chronic back pain get the relief they need to improve their health and wellness.

We routinely talk with back pain patients about the impact of body weight. Then we give them the support they need to achieve sustainable weight loss.

Body weight affects back pain

Adults aren’t the only ones whose weight affects their lower back. Children face the same risk. When children are overweight in their early years, they’re more likely to develop back pain during their teen years.

Being overweight or obese affects your back two ways:

Weight increases pressure

Being overweight by just one pound adds 4 pounds of pressure to your lower back when you walk. If you run, that extra pound adds 8 pounds of pressure to your back.

This ongoing stress accelerates degenerative disease in your discs and spinal joints. As a result, you end up with back pain from herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, and spinal stenosis. 

Tummy fat misaligns your spine

Carrying weight around your tummy throws your spine out of alignment because your spine changes its position to compensate for the extra weight. Too much belly fat pulls your lower spine forward, which stresses your lower back.

As a result, the muscles supporting your lower back become strained and often have spasms, creating another cause of back pain beyond problems like herniated discs.

Body fat leads to damaging inflammation

Your body fat produces hormones and other biochemicals that normally have important jobs to fill. For example, they tell your brain when you’re hungry or full.

But the balance tips from good to bad when you gain weight. As fat cells store additional fat, they also send more biochemicals into circulation and that leads to inflammation. Ongoing inflammation can erode your vertebrae.

Lose weight to relieve back pain

One of the challenges of losing weight when you have back pain is that the pain makes it difficult, if not impossible, to exercise. That’s why we begin by creating a plan to ease the pain while helping you with a nutritional evaluation and tips for following a healthy, calorie-controlled diet.

We offer many chiropractic methods for easing back pain. Depending on the cause of your pain, you may benefit from spinal adjustments, spinal decompression, and gentle exercises that help reduce inflammation.

As your pain improves and you’re able to engage in more rigorous exercises, we create a physical rehabilitation plan. Your regimen is customized to include the therapeutic exercises you need to rebuild strength and restore mobility in your lower back.

If you struggle with back pain, take the first step toward a pain-free life. Call us at iMed Regeneration Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, or schedule an appointment online today.

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