Obesity and How It’s a Contributing Factor to Back Pain

The human body is complex, and it has many different mechanisms for regulating and maintaining homeostasis. When the body is functioning as designed, its systems work together to maintain an optimal weight for that individual. Obesity doesn’t happen overnight; it often takes years of unhealthy eating habits coupled with a lack of physical activity to create the high caloric intake and low metabolic rate that leads to obesity.

For some people, overeating may result from unresolved emotional problems such as stress. The brain can trigger cravings, for example, sugary foods or any other sugar substitute, carbohydrates, or sometimes salt, because the brain perceives these basic needs are missing from one’s diet.

What is obesity?

Obesity is a condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may harm health, leading to reduced life expectancy or increased health problems. People are generally considered obese when their body mass index (BMI) is greater than or equal to 30. A BMI is a calculation used to estimate a person’s body fat based on height and weight. A normal BMI range for an adult is 18.5 to 24.9; some women may have a slightly higher or lower BMI, but it remains within the normal range for most women.

What are the causes of obesity

Factors contributing to obesity are genetic, environmental, and lifestyle choices. The three leading causes include:

  • Eating a lot of high-fat foods and sugars, which can lead to weight gain.
  • Not getting enough exercise.
  • Hormonal imbalances.

How obesity can hurt your back

For those who are obese, the excess weight pushing on your joints and causing them to misalign will also cause you pain in your lower back and sometimes the neck. The malalignment of the spine often creates a lot of tension between the vertebrae and can even lead to bulging or ruptured discs. The pressure from the extra weight on the joints of your back can cause osteoarthritis to set in much quicker than expected, which can be crippling. Also, in the case of spinal injuries, the extra weight can cause a much more severe injury.

How back pain caused by obesity can affect the discs

The spine comprises four vertebrae, also known as discs, sandwiched between each other. These discs work to absorb some of the shock and forces placed on them during your daily activities. The discs in your back help cushion you and act as a natural shock absorber to help protect your bones from fracturing. Obesity, therefore, can put a lot of strain on these discs, and as a result, it can lead them to rupture or bulge. The presence of excess fat can also cause the discs to become less flexible, which leads to more stress and damage due to the excess weight.

Risk Factors Associated With Obesity

The risk factors associated with obesity can be complex and wide-ranging. For example, the causes of obesity are many, and it is impossible to name all possible contributors to the onset of obesity. However, some risk factors tend to be shared among people who develop obesity. Some known risk factors include:

  • Genetics. In the case of obesity history in the family, it is more likely to occur in the next generation.
  • Overweight women tend to have children with a higher risk for becoming overweight or obese themselves, especially if the woman was obese as a child.
  • Having specific hormonal imbalances. For example, having high estrogen levels or progesterone can lead to weight gain because high levels of these hormones may stimulate appetite and make people feel hungry even when they are not hungry.
  • Age. Children are at higher risks of being overweight than older people.
  • Gender. More females compared to males tend to be obese.
  • Stress
  • Lifestyle choices such as being inactive and eating junk foods.

Prevention of obesity and back pain

The first line of obesity treatment is prevention. You should try your best to stay away from foods that are high in fat or sugar, like:

  • Candy or desserts
  • Soda or sugary drinks that are full of calories
  • Fried foods such as chips or French fries and other deep-fried snacks
  • Sugary cereals, bread, pastries, etc. To treat this issue, consult a physician and make an appointment with one of their recommended chiropractic clinics like Lipobank today so that they can help you manage your pain issues quickly.

Medical procedures that can treat Obesity and back pain

Medical procedures that can treat Obesity and back pain include:

  • Rehabilitation of the spine. A Chiropractor can guide you in creating a rehabilitation program that will help treat your back pain, which will also help you lose weight and keep it off.
  • Surgery can improve the condition of your spine and assist with weight loss maintenance as well. A surgeon can remove excess fat surrounding your bones, which can relieve pressure on your joints and give you more room to breathe. But this procedure is not for everyone, so contact a proper doctor first to see if it’s the right choice for you.

More medical procedures are also available for treating obesity. The medical procedures include:

  • Bariatric surgery is one of the most common surgical techniques used to treat obesity. It helps reshape the digestive tract and limits its size to a certain extent, thus limiting the amount of food one can consume.
  • Liposuction is an invasive surgery that involves removing excess fat from parts of the body such as the abdomen, thighs, neck, and arms.
  • Dieting and exercising. Dieting helps lose weight by reducing calorie intake while exercising helps burn calories quickly. These two methods can help reduce weight by following a healthy diet plan and regular exercise routine appropriate for you.

Although the back is mainly affected by obesity, the neck is also greatly affected. The procedures mentioned are great for neck and back pain treatment. This is because as obesity is treated, all the problems get treated!


The most important thing you can do to prevent the onset of obesity and the subsequent back pain that goes along with it is to try your best to eat well and exercise regularly. There are plenty of resources available to help you find the information you need to succeed in your weight loss goal

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