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The Link Between Obesity and Low Back Pain

Over 40% of adults have obesity, making it one of today’s most pressing health issues. Defined as a BMI of 30 or higher, obesity has many known health complications, including low back pain. 

Below, we’ll discuss how obesity and low back pain are connected, as well as strategies for resolving your discomfort. 

How Does Obesity Contribute to Low Back Pain?

Numerous clinical studies have identified increased rates of low back pain, chronic low back pain, and disability in obese patients. A review of 95 clinical studies found that low back pain risk was directly linked to higher BMIs, and obesity is currently considered a risk factor for low back pain. 

The connection between obesity and low back pain is thought to be due to:

  • Increased impact on the spine

Excess weight increases the impact on the vertebrae of the spine when you sit, stand, walk, and move. This strain on the spinal structures can gradually lead to damage and low back pain as a result.  

  • Reduced blood flow to the spine

Obesity can cause atherosclerosis, a condition that develops when plaque accumulates in the arteries. Atherosclerosis can decrease the blood flow to the spine, which reduces the oxygen and nutrients that reach the lower back tissues. This may cause lower back pain.   

  • Chronic inflammation 

Obesity contributes to chronic, low-grade inflammation. Inflammation may cause the tissues in the lower back to swell, potentially putting pressure on nerve endings. Over time, chronic inflammation can trigger tissue damage, further exacerbating lower back pain. 

At Florida Wellness Medical Group, we offer an extensive range of non-invasive therapies to help you recover from lower back pain, including physical therapy, chiropractic care, massage therapy, and acupuncture. A member of our experienced team can create a personalized treatment plan to fit your needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!