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How Obesity is Linked to Back Pain

ObesityBeing overweight or obese is now a serious disorder affecting both adults and children. According to a recent report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), more than one in three Americans and 38 per cent of the children in the U.S. are obese. A person who is obese or overweight has more than the healthy level of fat. Being overweight puts you at risk of many medical conditions including coronary heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer and back pain.

Obesity Invites Low Back Pain

There is evidence that obesity seriously impacts the musculoskeletal system, increasing the risk of low back pain as well as osteoarthritis, spondylolisthesis, degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis. With excess weight, the spine is forced to assimilate the burden, which compromises its structure and causes damage such as injury and sciatica. One region of the spine that is most vulnerable to the effects of obesity is the low back – the lumbar spine.

  • Obesity can result in unhealthy posture which in turn, will lead to back and neck pain. Physical fitness is essential to proper spine support.
  • Being excessively overweight may worsen an existing low back problem, causing it to reoccur or persist.
  • Obese people tend to lack exercise and have an improper diet. This can affect bone strength or density, affecting the structural architecture of the vertebral body and increasing the risk for spinal fractures which can be painful and disabling.
  • Excessive body weight places excessive pressure and stress on the joints of the spine both during movement and at rest, causing back pain.

Healthcare Centers – Effective Treatment for Both Conditions

Multispecialty healthcare centers offer effective weight loss programs as well as back pain treatment. At an established center, a team of specialists will evaluate patients thoroughly and develop personalized treatment plans to address their condition. Advanced diagnostic modalities such as spine MRI will be used to evaluate the extent of the damage to the spine.

Overweight patients who enroll in the weight loss programs offered by such centers will be provided with all the guidance they need to lose weight. Exercise, physical therapy and chiropractic care are generally important components of the treatment plan in a professional healthcare center. Surgical intervention will be recommended only in critical cases and as a last resort.

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