Tuesday, July 16, 2024
HomeCauseCan Overweight Cause Back Pain

Can Overweight Cause Back Pain

Go After The Small Victories

Can Being Overweight Cause Back Pain?

In my office, the people who tend to have the best results and really change their lives are those that get a bunch of small wins. They get a small victory in one part of their life and health, and they become motivated to get more wins.

It might mean that their first win is breaking the cycle of pain. For so many people, they dont have the will or energy to exercise because everything that they do hurts.

Then when they start feeling better, they start going out for a daily walk. Then their daily walk leads them to start sleeping better. Then they start having a better morning routine and start eating a healthier breakfast. Then their healthy breakfast makes them feel so good that they want to eat healthier for lunch or dinner.

Suddenly, they look back and theyve lost 15 lbs without ever trying to lose 15 lbs.

As health providers, we have to do a better job in finding out where a patients biggest struggle exists, then start leading them on the path towards little victories, which may help them win in the game of life.

Could You Have A Herniated Disc

In general, someone with a herniated disc may experience symptoms such as muscle spasm, weakness, numbness or tingling.

The location of one’s symptoms can depend on the location of the herniation. The two most common locations for disc herniation are the cervical spine and lumbar spine . Discs that are higher up can affect the arms discs lower down the spine would be more likely to affect the lower back and legs, resulting in severe low back pain and pain running down the legs.

See your healthcare provider if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms. If your herniated disc causes sciatica and 6 months of conservative treatment does not help, it may be the extra weight you’re carrying that is hindering your healing.

Is There A Connection Between Leg Cramps And Age

Leg cramps tend to be more prevalent in older adults because they are more likely to be obese. This is because blood vessels can become more susceptible to injury once they start to degenerate. Also, the muscles that control the leg cramps are often weaker as people get older which can cause them to cramp more easily.

Don’t Miss: Does Motrin Help With Back Pain

Obesity Back Pain And The Workplace

Big Belly? Dont lift anything heavy

It should be obvious that if you carry a big belly and you have low back pain you are at higher risk for disability. But what if you are the owner of a landscaping company, a building contractor, anything that requires you to be on the worksite? Many of the people that fit this description that we see at our center are stuck in a repetitive cycle of self-managed treatments.

  • They wear a back brace which makes it hard for them to breathe because their belly is being pushed into their chest.
  • They take pills, a lot of pills some days to get them through.
  • Their knees and hips usually hurt.
  • There is a constant danger that if they lift something, do something manually, even turn the wrong way they will crumple up in pain.

In the work-place injury-related journal Work, doctors suggest that severely obese individuals are likely at an increased risk of lifting-related low back pain compared with normal-weight individuals.

Plan Ahead To Lose Weight

Disease Graphics, Videos &  Images on Sciatica

Changing habits is never easy, but good planning helps create the inertia needed to shift diet choices.

Each week, perhaps on a Saturday or Sunday, plan ahead what youll eat for the following week. Find a few healthy recipes, whether on a food blog or from a cookbook, and buy all the necessary ingredients so you have them on hand.

Knowing what to eat takes the guesswork and thinking out of meal planning. The question of What should I eat? never seems to go away, partially because once its solved for one meal, its already time to figure out the next.

Most people have go-to meals, ones they make without even thinking. The idea is to create a new set of healthy, nutritious go-to meals through planning. Without planning ahead, lunchtime will come around, youll wonder what to eat, and end up eating an unhealthy go-to meal. Then you wont meet your weight-loss goals, get mad at yourself, and develop the misconception that youre not capable of losing weight.

Its just not true! You can lose weight. It just requires good planning. Another part of planning ahead is deciding how youll handle those times youre busy and dont have time or the desire to cook.

Maybe you know youll be busy on Tuesday night, so on Monday, you make a big batch of soup, or pre-cut vegetables for a salad or quick stir-fry. Cooking in batches is a wonderful way to reduce the amount of time and energy spent cooking.

Also Check: Advil Or Ibuprofen For Back Pain

Belly Fat Can Affect Your Posture

When the natural curves of your spine are normal, you have a stable, well supported core. Excessive weight, including a large abdomen, pulls these curves out of alignment a contributing factor in back pain.

Several studies have linked excessive abdominal fat with lordosis, an excessive inward curve of the spine specifically toward the lower back. A study published in Obesity Surgery found that severely obese people had both pain and significant changes in posture, especially in the spine, knees and feet.

Lower Back Pain When Walking Or Standing

It is not uncommon for people of all ages to experience lower back pain while standing or walking. This kind of pain can be extremely frustrating as it limits you from being able to perform simple tasks that are heavily apart of everyday life. Most often someone who is having back pain while he or she is walking or standing has an issue with degenerative discs. Like we stated early, suffering from degenerative disc issues becomes increasingly more likely with the more excess weight youre carrying on your body. The excess weight stresses out your body’s muscles, joints, etc ultimately causing them to deteriorate faster.

Also Check: Mayo Clinic Lower Back Pain Exercises

Obesity Back Pain Scenarios

Obesity can be measured by a relatively complicated scale called body mass index . It is easier to consider obesity to be the condition described as 20% greater weight than normal for a persons height, body structure and age. Obesity is becoming an epidemic in many regions of the world, especially in America.

Many back pain conditions are aggravated by bearing any weight on the affected area of the back. An overweight individual places much more stress on the painful area, since it has to support all that extra mass. The actual physical weight can be the cause of the increased pain.


More mass = More force on the spine.

Obese people often have a majority of their excess body fat around the abdomen. This extra frontal weight places additional stress on the lower back. The weight is not distributed evenly and can cause back muscle pain and strain very similar to that experienced by a pregnant woman. The result of this forward weight is often an increase in the lordotic curve of the lumbar spine.

Obese people usually do not exercise as often, or as rigorous, as thinner individuals. This lack of exercise contributes to poor muscle tone and reduced strength in the back muscles. Muscles that are out of shape do not have the same resistance to pain and stress as strong, healthy muscles.

Bad Habits That Cause Back Pain

Can Belly Fat Cause Lower Back Pain: Q& A

Back pain is often caused by everyday bad habits that stress and strain your muscles and joints. Here’s how to fend off the aches before they begin.


Back pain will affect about 80 percent of us at some point in our lives, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke . It often results from repeated behaviors that stress your body.

If you’re battling back pain now or if you want to take steps to prevent an achy back make an effort to avoid these seven bad habits:

  • Not exercising.“The failure to perform any exercise, particularly abdominal strengthening exercises, may lead to poor posture and increased low back pain,” says Nancy E. Epstein, MD, chief of neurosurgical spine and education at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, New York. Good exercises for back pain prevention include Pilates or other core strengthening activities that can increase stability in the back muscles. A 2015 Cochrane review found some scientific evidence that Pilates can help with low back pain, though it’s not clear if Pilates is better than the other forms of recommended exercises. Cardiovascular exercises such as swimming, walking, and bicycling are also recommended, along with movements that improve flexibility.
  • When you’re in the throes of back pain or simply want to ward it off, avoiding these habits will help protect and strengthen your back and your entire body.

    Don’t Miss: Advil Good For Back Pain

    Is There A Correlation Between Weight And Foot Pain

    Yes, if you are overweight, there is a strong possibility that your feet will hurt. If you are not overweight, the chance of experiencing foot pain is relatively low. There are several causes of foot pain, and weight is only one of the causes. Whatever the cause may be, being overweight reduces function and can lead to chronic pain.

    Tummy Fat Misaligns Your Spine

    Carrying weight around your tummy throws your spine out of alignment because your spine changes its position to compensate for the extra weight. Too much belly fat pulls your lower spine forward, which stresses your lower back.

    As a result, the muscles supporting your lower back become strained and often have spasms, creating another cause of back pain beyond problems like herniated discs.

    Also Check: Is Aleve Good For Back Pain

    What Causes Bursitis In The Feet And Ankles

    Bursitis occurs when painful swelling and inflammation occur in the tendons or ligaments that attach muscles to bone. The tendons and ligaments serve as attachment points for muscles and allow them to move during weight-bearing activities. When the bursa is inflamed, painful swelling and inflammation occur in the tendon or ligament.

    What Are We Seeing In The Next Image

    Can Being Overweight Cause Back Pain

    It is all about the curvature of the spine.

    A.Normal spine:

    • We see a normal disc in between two normal vertebrae ready to handle stress and loads. The ligaments of the spine, the posterior ligamentous complex, simply the ligaments that hold the vertebrae in place and the back of the spine.

    B. Hyperlordosis:

    • If you have hyperlordosis, the obvious sign is that your butt is sticking out in the back and your stomach is sticking out in the front. This is caused by the shape of the spine. This is not a correct postural balance stance. To keep you from falling over, your body makes adjustments. The rib cage will not alter itself to help provide stability but in doing so will cause pressure on the spine in the midback and lumbar region. You can have problems with muscle spasms throughout your spine. You will have lower back pain problems. You may have trouble breathing as your stomach and abdomen, now forced forwards will take up space where the lungs would need to expand. It also makes getting a well-fitting back brace a problem.

    C. Kyphosis: The hunchback

    • You probably do not need a medical description of what Kyphosis is. It is the hunchback situation. You are bent forward. This condition comes can come with significant back pain or no back pain at all.

    You May Like: Ibuprofen For Back Pain Dosage

    Exercises For Leg Pain

    Reducing your weight will help in reducing or even alleviating pain in your legs. You can reduce your weight by exercising. Exercising properly for overweight people will help in increasing the flexibility in your joints. It also helps with blood flow in your leg muscles which can reduce pain in your legs when walking or exercising properly.

    Research Supporting Obesity As A Cause

    From a statistical point of view, there appears to be a strong and almost incontestable association between weight and lower back pain.

    A 2010 review published in the American Journal of Epidemiology assessed data from 95 high-quality studies and concluded that the risk of lower back pain was directly related to increases in body mass index .

    The figures were largely unsurprising. According to the research, people of normal weight were at lowest risk, overweight people had a moderate risk, while those who were obese had the highest risk overall. The study also found that overweight and obese people were more likely to seek medical care to treat their pain.

    A 2017 study from the University of Tokyo Hospital in Japan came to a similar conclusion. In reviewing the medical history of 1,152 men from 1986 to 2009, the researchers found that a person’s BMI, combined the body fat percentage, directly corresponded to both the risk and rate of back problems.

    You May Like: Will Naproxen Help Back Pain

    Weight Loss For Back Pain Relief

    Patients who are overweight or obese and suffer from back pain may not be aware that their excess weight is actually contributing to their back pain.

    While it has not been thoroughly studied exactly how excess weight can cause or contribute to back pain, it is known that people who are overweight often are at greater risk for back pain, joint pain and muscle strain than those who are not obese.1

    In addition to back pain, symptoms exhibited by persons who are obese or severely overweight may include fatigue, as well as difficulty breathing and shortness of breath during short periods of exercise.2

    If the fatigue and shortness of breath causes one to avoid activity and exercise, then this can indirectly lead to back pain as lack of exercise contributes to many common forms of back pain.

    Read more about Exercise and Back Pain

    This article examines the heightened risk and severity for certain back problems that obese or overweight patients may experience as a result of their weight. The article also provides practical tips and guidelines for how patients can use exercise, diet and weight loss to reduce their back pain.

    Big Belly Causes Stress And Mechanical Load In A Bad Back Weight Loss Is Very Good In Many Cases

    Back pain and obesity | How to reduce back pain

    The further your belly sticks out the more back pain

    • In the Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation, doctors at the University Hospital Zürich in Switzerland found that outer abdominal fat, fat that is furthest from the spine caused significant pressure to accelerate facet joint osteoarthritis.

    L5-S1 problems? A lot of it may be due to weight stress

    • Doctors writing in the Journal of Biomechanics found that increased body weight substantially increased the load on the L5-S1 segment of the lower spine, especially in flexed postures.

    The loss of correct spinal curvature pain, herniated discs, numb and burning sensation into your feet

    • The spine is shaped with natural curves that act as springs to lessen the impact of the weight of the upper torso on the lower spine. The natural curvature of the spine acts like a tightly coiled spring or shock absorber. If you straighten the spring out, it does not shock absorb. If it does not shock absorb you get pain, herniated discs, numb and burning sensation into your feet.

    Read Also: Aleve Or Ibuprofen For Back Pain

    Belly Fat Causes Digestive Issues

    Digestive issues causing swollen bellies could lead to possible chemical or dietary imbalances, which in turn cause back pain.

    A faulty digestive system will cause waste build-up, which is a direct cause of chemically-induced back pain.

    According to the book The Truth About Back Pain, if belly fat and a big stomach are caused due to a poor diet, it indicates high cortisol levels in the body.

    This results in increased cravings for calorie-rich food which, in turn, aggravates the condition and triggers an inflammatory reaction. This ends up leading to both a huge stomach and back pain.

    Get rid of belly fat and relieve yourself of back pain today. Here are some at-home exercises to get you started.

    Get FREE Health Consultation Today!

    Belly Fat Can Damage Your Bones

    Your bones constantly renew themselves, but body fat can interfere with the process potentially leading to osteoporosis over time. Visceral fat, which is fat deep inside the abdomen , could have a significant role.

    Belly fat aka visceral fat is usually considered the most detrimental to your health, but don’t forget subcutaneous fat either.

    Several studies associate visceral fat with lower bone mineral density, as well as increased risk of some types of fractures. However, its worth noting that not all scientists agree that visceral fat is the problem. Some say the damage occurs with high body mass and excess weight, not just high levels of visceral fat.

    Also Check: Mayo Clinic Low Back Pain Exercises

    The Back Pain And Its Connection With Weight Loss

    Extra body weight places excessive strain on the muscles, ligaments, and spinal cord. The body compensates for the excess weight by changing the alignment in the core area and putting undue pressure on the spine, ligaments, and muscles supporting it medical research continues to support the connection between back pain and obesity.

    Belly Fat Causes A Shift In The Centre Of Gravity

    Can being overweight cause back pain?

    When one has a huge stomach and back pain, its because of a shift in ones centre of gravity.

    When one has a proper posture, one stands upright with their chest out, chin up, the stomach tucked in, and the lower back curves to keep the hips straight.

    However, when one is carrying extra weight or is overweight, every body part is heavier and its the spine that bears the burden.

    Get FREE Health Consultation Today!

    When one is overweight, especially the in the stomach area, the situation tends to shift ones entire centre of gravity forward, thus straining the back muscles.

    In fact, staying within 5 kg of your ideal weight will help you avoid lower back pain due to being overweight.

    You May Like: Exercise For Lower Back Pain Mayo Clinic


    Most Popular