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Obesity and Back Pain: How Extra Weight Impacts the Spine

Obesity and Back Pain - Norwich, ConnecticutThe spine is wonderfully made to effectively carry and support your body while at rest and play. However, excess body weight can force your back to take on extra strenuous burden which can dramatically impact your overall health and quality of life. Obesity can create a wide array of concerns. Not only can too much weight lead to the development of heart disease, diabetes or high blood pressure, it can also leave you vulnerable to a myriad of health challenges related to your back. Believe it or not, obesity and back pain are quite synonymous.

Here are a few ways that obesity and back pain can be linked:

Lower Back Pain

Excess weight in the belly area can cause your pelvis to pull forward. This is a condition known as lordosis. As the curve in your back gradually becomes more pronounced due to lordosis, your back muscles tighten under the pressure contributing to chronic strain and pain.

Degenerative Disc Disease

The longer you carry excess weight, the higher your risk of a spinal disease. There is an increased risk for degenerative disc disease of 30 to 79 percent the longer you are overweight.


An unhealthy diet coupled with a sedentary lifestyle can impact the density and strength of the spinal vertebrae. When your bone structure is diminished, it becomes at risk for fracture.

Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Obesity is a risk factor for the development of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis because excess body weight puts unnatural pressure on joints. This pressure can aggravate arthritis already present in the spine or even trigger the development of osteoarthritis. 

Greater Risk of Injury

The additional strain that excess weight places on your back and joints is just one challenging side effect associated with obesity. Excess weight can place you at a greater risk for injury. Being overweight can make you 15 percent more likely to suffer an injury while being obese can place you at a 48 percent more risk of injury.

There IS hope!

The good news is that losing weight, and then maintaining a healthy body weight can relieve or even resolve back pain as well as the health challenges associated with obesity and the spine. Even slimming down a minimal amount can do wonders for the spine. For every 4 pounds of weight you lose, you remove 16 pounds of additional pressure placed on your spine. Researchers found in one study that there is a 50 percent decrease in the likelihood of the development of osteoarthritis for every 11 pounds of weight you lose.

Remember that every step you take, no matter how small, is one step closer to your optimal state of wellness and good health. Safe weight loss is slow and gradual. Don’t let obesity and back pain control your life any longer. We want to help all of our patients live as happily and healthily as possible, which is why we offer the Ideal Weight Loss solution! This effective weight loss program has been evolving with the newest information and research for over 20 years and can help you live the healthier, more fulfilling lifestyle you always dreamed of!

To learn more about the Ideal Weight Loss program, call (860) 961-3482 or click here!

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