Often people think that obesity causes many problems internally such as heart disease, breathing problems, or blood pressure issues. But many do not realize that obesity causes your skeletal frame to suffer. Let’s first define what obesity is in terms of weight. We all have a perfect weight that suits our body in terms of health; this can be determined by your lifestyle, gender, height, age, and activity level. A person who is in an optimal weight usually does not have issues on their lower back because the load is manageable. Obesity becomes an issue when the excess weight starts to affect how your body orients itself when it comes to balance. Here is how.
The link between obesity and back pain:
It becomes very easy to understand how obesity can give you back pain when we start to think of obesity as a weight problem. Imagine if someone lives their daily life in a perfect weight with no back problems. Now think what would happen if they were to put on a 50-pound weight suit all over their body? First what happens is that the back starts to take much of the load, then the neck, knees, hips, feet, and shoulders? The muscles might get used to it, but the back won’t. It might be good to train with a heavyweight to strengthen to the back for 30 minutes at the gym, but having that weight all your life when you sleep, sit, work, move around or do anything is going to cause a lot of issues.
How obesity affects the lower back:
The lower part of the back, or lumbar spine, is considered to be one of the most vulnerable parts and the most common one to have issues. This rate of lower back injury increase when there is a lot of weight to manage since the stomach, which is one of the heaviest body parts in an obese person, tends to pull your hips forward. The latter creates a strain in the lower back which if prolonged can create some serious problems such as herniated discs and pinched nerves.
Common back problems caused by obesity:
Internal disc disruption:
One of the common back problems obesity causes is disc disruption that happens between the vertebrates. These discs are there to absorb shock from everyday movement, but they are not designed for long term pressure. With obesity’s weight increase, this pressure builds up until discs either slip or disrupt.
Spondylosis or spine degeneration is also a common problem that obesity causes and it all starts with the weight increase. The spine tends to suffer from degeneration when there is long-term pressure which is usually caused by weight increase.
One of the most common back problems people continue to suffer from is disc herniation. While this is also a common problem for athletes, the most affected demographic is actually people with weight management issues, i.e. obese people.
Another common back problem that affects a lot of people in the world including people who are obese is spine osteoarthritis. However, this problem seems to accelerate and worsen with obesity.