How Obesity Contributes to Lower Back Problems

There have been numerous reports about how people who are obese are at a higher risk of developing a variety of serious health conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and even cancer. Obesity can also negatively impact a person’s life in many other, non-life-threatening ways, such as how it can contribute to lower back problems.

As the structure that helps support the body and influence movement, the back has a normal spine curve that is most effective when it is in a neutral position. When a person is obese any added weight in their midsection can shift the pelvis forward and cause the spine to curve excessively inward, placing abnormal pressure on back muscles that are now forced to bear that weight.

Based purely on statistics, there is a very strong association between excess weight and lower back pain. A recent article in the American Journal of Epidemiology assessed that lower back pain was directly related to an increased body mass index (BMI). According to the research, people within a normal weight range were at a low risk of lower back pain, overweight individuals were at a moderate risk, while those who were obese were at the highest risk. The study also concluded that obese people were more likely to have back pain issues more frequently and require medical care to treat their lower back pain.

Obesity is a growing problem in American, affecting nearly 40 %, or approximately 93 million adults in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To address this issue, experts recommend eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. If however, you have tried all diet and exercise programs and are still obese, there are surgical options available to you.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.