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Obese People More at Risk of Developing Sciatica

SciaticaA recent study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology reveals that men and women who are overweight or obese are more at risk of sciatica and lumbar radicular pain. According to the research, an overweight person is 12% more likely to be diagnosed with this nerve disorder and an obese person 31% more likely than a person considered being of normal weight.

Obesity has reached epic proportions in the U.S. As per new Gallup data, the country’s obesity rate for 2014 is 27.7 percent. Only 35 percent are in the class of normal weight. Weight complications can lead to several health problems in human body that can range from mild to severe.

The researchers examined if there was any association, between low back pain (lumbar radicular pain) and sciatica and being overweight or obese. It was found that found that people who were overweight were 23% more at risk of lumbar radicular pain, while those who were obese were 40% had chances of developing such pain.

Sciatic pain occurs due to irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve in the lower back or the piriformis muscle in the thigh. The level of pain can range from being mild to very painful. The study found that overweight people were 16% more likely to be hospitalized and obese people were 38% more likely to be hospitalized for the condition. Also, patients who were overweight or obese and suffering from sciatica or lumbar radicular pain were up to 89% more likely to undergo back surgery for a herniated lumbar disc. However, this becomes difficult as those who are obese are not considered good candidates for surgery because of the increased risks they face when it comes to anesthesia, blood clots, and other complications.

Enrolling in a weight loss program is the first step to controlling obesity. Professional healthcare centers offer effective programs designed to help people lose weight. The treatment plan, supervised by qualified specialists, would also include physical therapy sessions and reduced-calorie diet plans. The focus would be on helping patients achieve their weight loss goals along with effective management of back pain and sciatica.

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