Studies have shown that over one-third of obese Americans suffer from musculoskeletal joint and back pain. While there are many possible reasons for this, experts agree that there is a direct correlation between excess weight and how a person is affected by pain. For many who carry extra weight, back pain relief may be more difficult to achieve.
Excess Weight and Pain Relief
There are many red flags connecting excess weight to issues with pain and pain management.
- Excess weight, particularly in the midsection of the body, shifts a body’s center of gravity forward and leads to poor posture, creating strain on the back muscles.
- Overweight patients are also at a greater risk of suffering from conditions such as sciatica, herniated discs and pinched nerves.
- Damage to the spine, particularly to the discs and vertebrae, can result from carrying extra weight.
- The strain on the joints from excess weight can lead to a greater risk of osteoarthritis.
Lack of exercise and a sedentary lifestyle leads to weight gain, which can make pre-existing pain much worse. Studies show that overweight individuals have a greater risk of complications from back surgery.
Weight Loss for Back Pain Relief
A healthy weight loss regimen is a good place to start when seeking upper or lower back pain relief in overweight individuals. A doctor-supervised weight loss program that includes a well-balanced diet is advisable for patients wanting to achieve weight loss. In overweight patients, losing 10% of their weight can make a difference in relieving pressure from the joints, spine and lower back.
Many people suffering from chronic back pain are under the impression they will be less likely to hurt their back if they limit the amount of activity or exercise they participate in. However, regular activity helps with lower and upper back pain relief as well as other types of chronic pain. Physical activity activates the exchange of nutrients between spinal discs, keeping the spine healthy.
Low-impact activities such as walking or water aerobics are highly effective ways to get started on an exercise regimen. They help to burn calories, aid in weight loss and remain gentle on the joints, spine and lower back. For more information about back pain relief treatment options, visit the Minimally Invasive Spine Relief website.