Can Being Overweight Cause Low Back Pain?
The Link Between Obesity and Back Pain
There are many causes of back pain including herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, sciatica, arthritis, poor posture, and more. And unfortunately, if the body is carrying extra weight, the ramifications of back pain and the recovery time required can increase.
Being overweight may also be the source of back pain because weight gain lowers the body’s center of gravity and places additional strain on the lower back.
The American Chiropractic Association’s recent report on weight loss summarizes the comments of many nutritionists and doctors on the contributing factors to weight gain and offers suggested dietary changes. As the report states, the modern US food system has made excessive calorie consumption simply too easy, affordable, and tasty causing obesity to reach epidemic levels and the consequence across society and the healthcare system are far-reaching.
Besides easy access to high-calorie foods, other causes of increased weight gain may include:
- sleep deprivation, from poor sleeping habits or insomnia
- psychological issues like stress, depression and anxiety
- physical issues like back and neck pain, herniated discs, and hip or knee injuries
- a sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise (often the result of suffering from one or more of the previous issues)
- medications such as painkillers or anxiety/depression medications.
In order to lose weight and combat weight gain, experts recommend some basic changes to diet:
- pay attention to your body to know if you really are hungry
- pay attention to portion size to know how much you really need to satisfy that hunger
- develop a support network to help you change your unhealthy eating patterns, for example: friends and family, a nutritionist, or a psychologist
- increase your consumption of water and fiber-rich foods (e.g. fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes)
- avoid highly processed foods, particularly simple carbohydrate products with white flour and sugar
Safe, Effective Weight Loss Plan
Fort Wayne chiropractor, Dr. Richard Busch of the Busch Chiropractic Pain Center who has helped patients resolve low back pain conditions says "We had many patients come into our office suffering with low back pain. Along with the DRS Protocol treatment which utilizes spinal decompression therapy, we advised overweight patients to start a healthy weight loss plan to reduce the adverse effects of extra weight on their back. Unfortunately, many patients had a hard time losing weight on their own or simply didn't know how to lose weight."
"One of the reasons we started the New Life Body Sculpting weight loss clinic in Fort Wayne was to help patients learn how to lose weight, inches, and belly fat to reduce the load on their back." says Jeremy Owens, director of New Life Body Sculpting. "Our ChiroThin weight loss program gives patients the knowledge and tools they need to lose weight without having to resort to liposuction, bariatric surgery, or other invasive procedures. Our diet plans combined with the state-of-art ZERONA laser treatment have helped our clients lose weight fast while reducing belly fat and inches. Our weight loss plan also detoxifies the body, increases metabolism, and suppresses hunger and cravings.”
The relationship between obesity and low back pain is undeniable. Losing weight can help to reduce back pain and prevent further back pain conditions. Dr. Busch encourages all of his patients to maintain a healthy weight and Body Mass Index (BMI) and to adopt other healthy lifestyle changes.
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