Obesity and Sciatic Pain

How Obesity May Cause Sciatic Pain


Obesity has been linked to a number of health concerns. One of the most common physical issues related to obesity is back pain. Your body was not meant to handle much weight. Excess weight caused by obesity (as well as a lack of exercise and strength) may put too much pressure on your spine, leading to such problems as:

  • Slipped Discs - Caused by pressure against the discs of the spine.

  • Osteoarthritis - Caused by pressure against the joints in the spin.

  • Lordosis - Caused by weight changing the curvature of the spin.

Obesity itself naturally puts pressure on the spine - especially the lower back. As you age, your spine starts to weaken naturally, and that weight can vastly increase the pressure your spine is forced to endure.

Sciatica and Spinal Pressure

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.

Sciatica is a set of symptoms that often occur when something is pressing against one of your sciatic nerves. As the discs degenerate, the spine starts to become weaker, which in turn irritates the nerves. When the nerves are irritated, especially in your lower back, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Chronic Pain

  • Weakness

  • Numbness

  • Tingling

  • Weakness in the legs

You may also experience difficulty moving your legs, and that difficulty may travel all the way down to your feet. The pain also tends to shoot down the leg, and many sufferers only experience these symptoms (or the majority of these symptoms) on one side of their body. Degenerative disc disease may also affect the neck, though the symptoms are then more likely to manifest in the arms.

In rare, and often more dangerous cases, sciatica may also cause incontinence. It is highly recommended that you see a doctor if you are struggling to hold your bladder or bowels.


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