Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Weight and back pain: Knowing the connection

It is already common knowledge that being overweight or obese can cause high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, and various cardiovascular ailments. What people do not know much about is that excess weight is also linked to back pain. According to the American Obesity Association, around a third of people who are classified as obese have experienced some form of pain in the back, particularly the lower part. 

Image source: aaronchiro.com

Some of the connection between having extra weight and back pain are the following: 

Muscle and ligament strain 

Every kilogram above what is considered healthy weight contributes to the straining of muscles and ligaments located at the back. Not only does this cause musculoskeletal and joint-related pain, but it also causes the spine to become tilted and stressed unevenly, leading to the loss of support in the spine and an unnatural curvature of the spinal column. 

Herniated disc Because there is too much pressure on the back due to excess weight, the discs and other spinal structures become damaged, resulting in a herniated disc. Similarly, pinched nerves and piriformis syndrome is also a possibility when the excess weight is pushed into the spaces between bones at the lower back. 

Osteoarthritis Based on studies, individuals who have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of more than 25 are more prone to suffering from osteoarthritis, or the wear and tear of joints. This can cause pain and stiffness, which limits the patient’s ability to function properly. 

Image source: health.com

Joseph Yazdi, M.D., specializes in treating chronic spine pain with expertise in minimally invasive surgical techniques, motion preservation through total disc replacement, and placement of dorsal column stimulator for chronic pain management. Click here for more articles about this medical field.

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