Obesity and Back Pain

How Obesity May Cause Sciatic Pain

Lower Back Pain

Back pain can be a disruptive force on your life. Even mild back pain may affect how you move or react, and serious back pain may prevent you from enjoying the activities you do in your daily life.

While there are many different causes of back pain, one of the primary reasons that may people suffer from various back pain disorders is because of obesity. Obesity has a strong link to not only generic back pain, but also disorders that may cause back pain.

Obesity and Back Pain

Although there are ways to reduce the effect that degenerative disc disease has on the sciatic nerve, it is not currently possible to fully prevent the degeneration. Degenerative disc disease is simply a natural part of aging, so prevention methods simply include staying healthy and exercising. You may not be able to completely prevent disc degeneration, but focusing on your health (including the health of your joints and cartilage) should make them less prone to significant degeneration.

Obesity itself may cause pressure on your back, which in turn may cause issues related to back pain. The pressure of that extra weight on your muscles can cause some mild to moderate pain in general, but may also cause further issues, including:

  • Herniated Discs
    Obesity may cause extra weight to push against your spine. As you age your spine may start to slightly weaken, and when that occurs it may also trigger a herniated disc (slipped disc) that could lead to more severe back pain and sciatica.

  • Osteoarthritis
    Your joints are also under a lot of pressure when the weight of your body pushes against them throughout the day. That pressure can cause inflammation, which in turn may cause pain - especially on your lower back. This risk also increases as you age.

  • Lordosis
    Your spine needs to have a healthy curve in order to withstand some of the pressures of daily life. Obesity puts a lot of weight on the front of your spine, which may pull your spine towards the front of your stomach and cause it to develop more of an arched curvature that will make it more difficult to withstand daily stress.

Inactivity, Obesity, and Back Pain

Obesity can play a major role in the development of back pain. It is also often difficult to reduce on tis own. For someone that is above their ideal body weight, back pain and obesity can be a vicious cycle. The back pain may lead to inactivity, which leads to more obesity, which leads to more back pain. That is why it is important that you take the necessary steps to reduce obesity if you hope to reduce the effects of back pain on your body, through:

  • Exercise

  • Diet

  • Healthy Lifestyle

Long term back pain can be much easier to manage if you are able to reduce your overall bodyweight, and may help you live a fuller, more active life.


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