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Obesity can be a Major Factor in Causing Back Pain


A person is considered to be obese when the amount of fat tissue throughout their body is beyond the usual levels based upon height, age and weight. The American Obesity Association (AOA) states that 64.5% of adult Americans, which is around 127 million people, can be described as being overweight or obese. It not only affects adults across the U.S., but is now becoming a trend among today’s youth.

When a person is obese, they will experience a multitude of problems, many of which affect their overall health. There will be many variables within their physique that will suffer from being overweight. Poor circulation throughout the body, weak legs, as well as back pain, are some of the things that could happen when someone is obese.

When someone is obese, they may feel discomfort in their back and may exhibit some of the symptoms that are associated with:

1) Osteoporosis: The density and strength of your bones are weakened. A person is more at a risk for fracture when they have osteoporosis. Vertebral fractures tend to be painful, often disabling a person. When you are diagnosed with this condition, you probably have lost 25-30% bone density.

2) Osteoarthritis: A form of arthritis, usually seen in older individuals. This condition means that the cartilage of the joints have suffered chronic degeneration.

3) Rheumatoid Arthritis: A person suffers from stiffness and inflammation of the joints. They will also experience weakness, loss of mobility, as well as deformity.

4) Degenerative Disc Disease

5) Spinal Stenosis: Means that the lumbar spinal column has narrowing, which produces pressure on the nerve roots. This also can result in sciatica.

6) Spondylolosthesis: There is slippage in the lower back disc.

7) Sciatica: A person has pain along the sciatic nerve. This is usually caused by a herniated disk of the lumbar region of the spine.

To better understand the affects of obesity on back problems, you should know that the spine is meant to carry a person’s body weight. It also distributes the loads during rest and activity. If a person has excess body weight, the spine then has to deal with this extra burden, causing some structural compromise and damage, as well as injury.

The most affected part of the back that is usually apparent, is the lower back, also known as the lumbar spine. If a person is not exercising, then they will suffer from poor flexibility and weak muscles in the back area. Sometimes the curve of the lower back can curve, weakening other areas of the body.

When you are interested in improving or avoiding back pain, there are a few exercises that you may want to consider. It is suggested that you work out the back at least five minutes per day to avoid injury and to ease back. They can be found below:

Curl-Up
1) Lie flat on your back with one knee flexed.
2) Raise your head and shoulders off the floor.
3) Alternate the bent leg midway through each set of repetitions.
4) Pause and then return to the starting position.

Side Bridge
1) Lie on your right side, bending your knees.
2) Raise your upper body using your right arm to hold you up.
3) Use the torso to lift the hips, being careful not to let the top hip rotate forward.
4) Make sure to bend your elbow directly beneath your shoulder.
5) Place your left hand on your hip.
6) Hold this position for 10 to 15 minutes.
7) Repeat on the opposite side.

Birddog
1) Get on all fours.
2) Extend one leg and the opposite arm so that they are parallel to the floor.
3) Hold this position for seven to eight seconds.
4) Repeat with the opposite arm and leg.

Dan Sherman has been contributing editor for this website and is an expert on Back Pain related information. To reach him, Click Here.