Obesity back pain management should be a topic of major concern since Obesity is currently known to be responsible for many cases of low back pain among individuals in the U.S. In fact, each year, a large percentage of the over-weight population consults a physician or a chiropractor seeking back pain help.
Back pain in general, may be acute (short-term), lasting less than one month, or chronic (long-term, continuous, ongoing), lasting longer than three months. Low back pain – the most common complaint– frequently results from back injuries sustained in competitive sports, industrial mishaps, automobile accidents and other. While it’s usually common to have several episodes of acute back pain, it’s unusual for one to experience continuous long-term pain.
HOW DOES OBESITY RELATES TO BACK PAIN
Although there are numerous causes of back pain, there shouldn’t be a single doubt in the mind that obesity is indeed among one of those causes of back pain, especially low back pain. However, the only way one can better understand the relationship between obesity and back pain is to have at least a basic knowledge of the different functions of the vertebral column (spine).
Functions Of The Vertebral Column
• It protects the spinal cord and spinal nerve
• Supports entire weight of the body
• Provides a rigid framework for the attachment of muscles
• Plays an important role in posture and movement form one place to another
• Provides a flexible axis for the body and a pivot for the head
The Vertebral Column is designed to carry the entire weight of the upper body and distribute it to the lower body. The lumbar vertebrae which are located in the lower back are very large because the weight they support increases towards the lower end of the vertebral column.
The 5th lumbar vertebra(L5) specifically, which is the largest and most movable, is responsible for carrying the weight of the whole upper body. Muscles attaching on L5 allows flexion, extension, and lateral(side to side) bending of the vertebral column.
BACK PAIN RED FLAGS
When an excessive or extraordinary amount of weight is being carried around constantly, the initial mild low back pain experienced is just a signal from the lower back or the lumbar region, indicating that the burden is simply too much to bear. If these signals are ignored or failure to proper manage this excess weight, overtime the pain will only exacerbate or may lead to chronic back pain.
WHY MOST INDIVIDUALS BECOME OBESE
Most individuals have not been physically active due to their severe overweight condition, which leads to the continued accumulation of additional body fat and limited flexibility. As the fat accumulates, especially around the abdominal area, muscles gradually continue to be replaced with fat cells. This further increases the abdominal contents, plus weakened the abdominal muscles, and puts further strain on the lower back.
The evidence is clear that obesity is one of the many causes of low back pain. Hopefully, the overweight and obese individuals who suffer from episodes of low back pain will now have a clearer picture of the relationship between excess weight and low back pain.
The next step, is for them to be more aggressive in their obesity back pain management approach. It’s of paramount importance that they take the initiatives not only to eat better, but also to engage in some form of activities of tolerance, specifically designed to strengthen the abdominal muscles and increase the overall strength and flexibility of the lower back muscles.
One of the most effective approaches to obesity back pain management is to break this cycle….come on, you can do it if you try!