OBESITY & BACK PAIN
Great post from my friends @burnfatorbefat.
While pain is obviously very complex, with physical, cognitive, and emotional elements, there are indicators that show a correlation between obesity and back pain. A 2009 meta-analysis looked at research involving overweight participants, and revealed that there a connection between body weight and incidence of pain exists.
Three reasons were cited:
1️⃣Extra weight increases the total load placed on the spine, which increases both compressive (vertical force that reduces space between the vertebrae) and shear forces (pulls the vertebrae apart longitudinally) during regular activity. Additionally, shear forces also become greater with increased spinal arching, which is a common postural issue for those with excess abdominal weight. This means that whether at rest or during activity there may be an increased chance of injury for overweight individuals.
2️⃣Being overweight is correlated with increased levels of systemic chronic inflammation, and other pro inflammatory pathways, which typically affects the spinal joints (facet joints, sacroiliac joint).
3️⃣Obesity may ause increased disc degeneration and vertebral endplate changes. Because of the increased mechanical loading of the spine, the intervertebral discs are under constant compression, limiting spinal mobility. This lack of mobility, paired with the increased chance of atherosclerosis (via increased cholesterol and triglyceride levels) may contribute to malnutrition of the discs.
The good news is that each of these factors can be improved with healthy weight loss, lessening the potential for pain. An improved diet with an appropriate caloric deficit to stimulate weight loss has been shown to provide a solution for lowering inflammatory markers, cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Additionally, adding appropriately prescribed exercise will also help to restore movement capacity and improve pain free capability.
Shiri R, et al. The Association Between Obesity and Low Back Pain: A Meta-Analysis. Am J Epidemiol. 2010.
#RehabScience - 1 hour ago