Does Obesity Contribute to Back Pain?
Most people understand that obesity contributes to high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and even colon cancer. Obesity also contributes to back and neck pain. It increases your risk of developing low back pain and greatly slows your recovery. Obesity is often associated with poor muscle tone. Weakness of the muscles that support the back contribute to low back pain and the weakness can result in an increase in the normal curve in the low back known as a hyperlordosis. The spine is meant to carry the body's weight and distribute work loads that occur due to everyday activities. The spine was never meant to carry excessive weight and this overload of the joints and discs leads to an acceleration of degenerative joint disease and degenerative disc disease. Excessive weight contributes to degenerative spondylosis, disc herniation, facet arthrosis, and osteophyte formation. The "normal " wear and tear process of the spine, due to aging, is accelerated by obesity and weak core muscles. Obesity has been shown to cause systemic or whole body inflammation. Inflammation is thought to contribute to degenerative changes that increase spinal pain. Inflammation is also believed to increase nerve pain that can manifest as symptoms of sciatica, and other forms of peripheral neuropathy.
More than 80 percent of Americans will experience significant low back pain at some point in their lifetime. The total United States cost to low back pain and back related disability is estimated to reach $100 billion annually. Two-thirds of these costs are due to decreased wages and productivity. The second most common cause of disability in United States is due to low back pain. Your doctor of chiropractic will provide a thorough examination to determine the cause or causes of your back or neck pain. Your chiropractor will recommend weight reduction, if you are over-weight and provide you with exercises so you can help in your own recovery.