Obesity and Back Pain: Can Having a Big Belly Cause Back Pain

Obesity and Back Pain

In today’s world obesity is termed now as a disease which is spreading like an epidemic. Being obese or having a big belly is a serious medical condition which predisposes you at significant risk for many pathological conditions especially musculoskeletal conditions like back painObesity is found nowadays in both children and adults alike. It is well known that being overweight or obese can lead you to have hypertension, coronary artery disease, diabetes among other illnesses but little is known about the fact that Obesity is also one of the leading causes for Back Pain.

If you are overweight or having a big belly, it is very likely that you may already have, or may have in the future, disease conditions like osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosisspondylolisthesis and the like which causes significant back pain. Studies suggest that approximately 40% of the adult population across the globe is overweight and approximately 20% of children are overweight or obese. This is a startling fact and this was the situation a few years back but due to people now becoming more health conscious and keeping a tab on what they eat the situation has somewhat improved but still a lot needs to be done.

Obesity and Back Pain

Can Having a Big Belly Cause Back Pain?

Coming to the question of how being overweight or having a big belly can lead to back pain, in medical science the spine of our body is designed in such a way that it carries the weight of the body and maintains balance and distributes the weight during periods of rest and activity. If an individual is overweight or having a big belly, the spine is forced to carry that extra weight on itself and is not able to distribute to other parts of the body. This results in the spine being overworked resulting in damage to the spine and causing back pain. The area of the spine which is most sensitive and often breaks down due to extra weight is the lower back or the lumbar spine. Because of this damage, the individual suffers unrelenting back pain.

Can Having a Big Belly Cause Back Pain?

Can Obesity and Back Pain Cause Disability?

Obesity is defined as a complex chronic disease which is characterized by excessive accumulation of body fat. Obesity by itself is not considered a disability by the social security administration but if it is coupled with other medical conditions like back pain then the persons weight can play a significant role in being considered for disability benefits. Obesity is a risk factor that increases the individual’s chance of developing impairments in most body systems. It commonly leads to, and often complicates, chronic diseases of the cardiovascular, respiratory and musculoskeletal body systems.

If a person is extremely obese and suffers from back pain then there is a high possibility that the person also has problems with ambulating, bending, prolonged standing, needing an assistive device to walk or require assistance from sit to stand etc affecting his activities of daily living and his ability to work full time even in a sedentary jobs.

If you are Obese and having back pain related problems which is making it difficult to work, then you need to call an experienced social security disability attorney to seek their opinion on whether to apply for disability benefits or not. Having a disability attorney representing your case for obesity and back pain is recommended to qualify for disability benefits.

What Other Conditions Can an Obese Person Have in Addition to Back Pain?

Generally, any problem with the spine is dismissed as an issue which is related to the normal process of aging and it is true that as one ages the tissues and ligaments start to weaken causing pain and other problems but it is also true that being obese or overweight causes speeding up of the aging process and the individual will end up having one or more of the following conditions:

Osteoporosis: This condition results due to inadequate bone density. An obese individual tends to have low bone density and hence is at risk for developing osteoporosis at a much younger age.

Osteoarthritis: This is a condition caused due to degeneration of the joints. When an individual is overweight or obese it puts extra pressure on the joints of the back at the time of movement resulting in them starting to get degenerated much earlier than they really should.

What is the Reason Behind More and More People Being Obese or Overweight?

With the unprecedented progress that science has made and the impact it has on our lives especially with the introduction of smart phones and being connected to the world through the Internet always has led to lack of activity in individuals. For example a few years back if you needed to buy vegetables you had to go to the grocery shop, select the item and then buy which required a lot of walking and selecting items but now you can do it by using your smart phone or a laptop. This has resulted in lack of activity in people. Also, it has resulted in people having totally unhealthy diet and eating a lot of junk food just to save time. This has resulted in people taking in a lot of calories but spending very little resulting in them becoming overweight and having then to cope up with different health issues including back pain.

What are Some Easy Ways to Lose Weight in a Healthy Manner?

To sum it up, if you are overweight and are suffering from back pain then weight loss by healthy means is the best way to get rid of back pain. It may look tough to begin with but if you incorporate them in your daily routine then with time it becomes much easier to lose weight. Some of the ways to get rid of extra weight are:

  • Avoid junk foods like pizzas or burgers
  • Eat at least one vegetable a day
  • Take a walk after having dinner every day, may be take your dog for a walk
  • Whenever you could try and avoid lift or escalator and take steps to office
  • Try and not eat outside food.

Practicing these simple things will keep your weight under control and avoid getting back pain due to being overweight or obese.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 14, 2023

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