If you cannot control your waistline even after putting in a huge amount of effort, you are not alone. Weight gain is frustrating as it not only keeps you from looking your best but also brings you problems like heart disease, diabetes, blood pressure issues, etc. However, how obesity causes back pain is always ignored. Our healthcare provider, Dr. Raza Jafri of Genesis Pain, would like you to learn more about this issue and its solution.
Is Back Pain Common with Obesity?
Anyone containing a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more is considered obese. Your spine is an arrangement of bones called vertebrae, with fluid-filled disks providing a cushion effect between these vertebrae. Muscles and ligaments are responsible for holding your spine in place.
Your spine should carry your weight and deal with movement and pressure. But someone who is obese ends up putting extra pressure on multiple areas of their spine. This over-utilizes the ability of your spine’s strength, resulting in back pain.
Spine Issues You Can Experience Due to Obesity
Putting extra body weight on the spine causes it to twist or bend, ruining your posture. Chronic back pain brings you troubles like:
Degenerative Disc Disease
Usually, as you age, your spinal discs start wearing down, along with their cushioning capacity. This process is called degenerative disc disease. Putting excessive pressure on the spine due to obesity can trigger this process earlier than natural. This means constant discomfort, pain, lack of flexibility, and decreased spinal mobility.
This happens when the jelly-like fluid that fills the center of your spinal discs swells or blows out via a worn-out spot on the disc’s external layer. This causes discomfort to the nerves around, resulting in pain. Obesity by putting extra weight provokes it to swell or break through.
This condition targets weight-bearing joints like the hips, knees, and spine. Obesity increases the amount of fat cells inside the body, which generates hormones that cause swelling and harm to joints.
The Sciatica nerve is the longest nerve in your body that starts in your lower back and ends in your leg. This issue happens when the sciatica nerve gets squeezed under the pressure of excessive body weight. You can feel the sensations like burning and tingling in your legs and lower back. Obese people can develop it if they sit for long hours.
Preventive Measures to Avoid Back Pain Due to Obesity
Does obesity cause back pain? The answer Is loud and clear: yes. However, you can control this back pain with the help of some preventive measures you can take. Such as:
- Losing weight naturally, especially in the waistline, can resolve your back pain issue.
- If you can’t seem to shed any extra pounds, you can try strengthening your spine through exercising regularly. Weightlifting and cardiovascular exercises can enhance the strength of your muscles, while practices like yoga and tai chi increase flexibility.
- Start consuming foods rich in Calcium and Vitamin D, like dairy products and green antioxidant veggies, to prevent your bones from getting brittle and weak (osteoporosis).
- Work on maintaining the right posture and quit smoking.