Obesity is a condition where a person has excess body weight or fat that may affect their health. It is mainly determined in terms of body mass index (BMI), which is a tool used to determine whether a person has a normal body weight based on parameters such as age gender, and height.
A BMI of 16.5 to 24.9 is normal while anything between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight. A BMI of 30 or more than it indicates that the person is obese.
Other contributing factors in determining if someone is overweight or obese may also be determined based on waist to height ratio, waist to hip size and the amount of fat distribution on the body. In medical terms, obesity can also be defined as having excess adipose tissue.
Health Risks of Being Overweight
On top of experiencing back pain, obesity carries the risk for a person to develop multiple diseases, such as:
- Diabetes mellitus. Obesity has the risk for type 2 DM because excessive fat cells produce insulin resistance.
- Some types of cancers, i.e. breast, pancreas, colon, rectum, endometrium and oesophagus.
- The excessive body weight exerts extra pressure and strain on the joints causing degeneration of the cartilages.
- Sleep apnoea. Due to extra pressure on the abdomen and diaphragm, prolonged shallow breathing occurs while sleeping, sometimes causing sleep apnoea.
- A severe strain. Due to extra weight, the strain is put to the joints of the spine and pelvis is pushed forward causing back pain.
Obesity Invites Back Problems
People who have a body weight greater than normal BMI, are at a greater risk of having backache or spine pain. This is because the excess body weight puts a strain on the muscles, joints and ligaments of the spine thus the potential of injury increases.
Due to obesity, a variety of disorders may occur in the back which causes severe pain. Some of which are following:
- A bulging or herniated disc, where the inner jelly-like material of the disc protrudes through the protective outer shell of the spinal disc.
- Compression fractures causes a vertebrae or spinal bone to break, which in this case is most likely due to extreme pressure being placed on them.
- Degenerative disc disease caused by the aging process, where the disc tissues break down as time goes on.
- Arthritis of the spine causes a breakdown of the spinal joint cartilages, and in overweight people it occurs mostly due to lack of proper blood and oxygen supplies.
- Lordosis, which is an abnormal curvature of the lower spine.
- Sciatica, piriformis syndrome or pinched nerve roots in the back.
- Posture problems such as slouching, forward head posture, and other issues, which can lead to strain on the back or neck.
Explore Options to Treat Your Back Pain
Let’s take a look at few options below to treat your back pain:
- Exercise that can aid with weight loss. It is highly imperative to maintain a healthy weight to reduce the effects of obesity may have not only upon your spinal health, but on your general health.
- Physical therapy to help you regain spinal mobility and to practice proper posture.
- Posture braces that can help support the lumbar spine and reduce some of the pressure that is placed on this region of the back.
- Painkillers to help with inflammation-induced pain.
- Surgery may be an option, but it should only be considered when other non-invasive treatment options have been exhausted and proved not to be efficient.
- Getting spinal decompression therapy, preferably with the help of an orthopaedic device such as the Backrack
Non-Invasive, Non-Medical Treatment
Why spinal decompression therapy
Spinal decompression therapy reverses the process of spinal compression, which mostly occurs in overweight or obese people due to the excess weight that squashes the spine. By engaging in decompression therapy, your spine is lengthened back to its original size, and any structures along the spine that were placed under additional pressure, now have sufficient space to not impinge on the pain receptors located along the back and neck.
However, it is still important to acknowledge the benefits that weight loss may have in terms of pain relief along the back, neck, hips, and legs.
When to See a Doctor?
If you suffer from severe, debilitating and persistent back pain due to excess weight, or you feel radiating pain in one or both legs, you must visit your doctor immediately. You must visit a specialist doctor depending upon the severity of the condition. In this case, back pain may signal the presence of a severe problem that only a specialist doctor can diagnose and treat.
Author: Spinal Backrack