Some of you never thought about this, and on the other hands, other wonder but don’t get answers. So we are here today to answer your question – “Is there a connection between weight loss and back pain?”

Before we jump any conclusions we need to understand that there are two sides to this story. On one side there are people that have excess weight and are experiencing back pain. And on the other side we have people who lost a significant amount of weight and back pain occurred as a result of this.

Overweight People And Back Pain

Many people who are overweight and are experiencing back pain, often fail to see the connection between the two. The truth is there is a connection. It is not 100% certain exactly how excess weight contributes to back pain but it well known that people with excess weight are in a greater risk of developing muscle strain, joint pain as well as back pain.

Pain Causes

Even though we are not 100% sure how excess weight causes back pain we can point out a few possibilities:

1) Excess fat around your stomach

When you gain weight, the area around your waist becomes large thus creating a strain for your spine, dragging it forward into an excessively arched position. Being unnatural, this position is putting an additional strain to your spine, vertebrae, discs and spinal nerves and often results in back pain ( ).

2) Extra strain on your leg muscles

Increased body mass have can have a devastating effect on your leg muscles. Because your muscles are not able to cope with your weight they start to alter your walking pattern. Instead of flexing your leg in the knee and hip, your leg joints lock in position and you move by tilting your body side to side. Again, the spine has to arch out of it`s normal position, leading to spinal compression and pain.

3) Herniated disc

There is no doubt about it that extra weight is putting additional pressure to, pretty much, all structures of your body, especially your spine. This results in damage of the discs, having been forced to overcompensate that excess strain. Pinched nerve can often accompany disc herniation and make things even worse.

4) Post surgery complications

Obese patients are also in greater risk of complications and infections following the surgery.

Pain Reliefpain illustration from ADAM

Losing body mass can result in back pain relief for a number of reasons.

1) Exercise

It is as simple as that, when people try to shed pounds they turn to exercises. It is commonly know that the general effect of exercise will have a positive effect on your pain, including but not limited to back pain.

2) Reduce Strain On Your Spine

As we`ve said earlier, excess weight is putting an additional pressure to your spine, discs and spinal nerves, so it is only logical that when you lose it the strain on your spine, muscles and nerves is reduced.

3) Posture Is Improving

Many obese people are used to being slouched, their back arched forward, with their shoulders bent forward – all indicators of a bad posture. Now, I cannot let excess weight “take” all the blame here, because many of us don’t even pay attention to good posture, but it is contributing to it.

And as you begin to lose weight you will become more aware of your posture, sit upright straight and standing tall. So as you start implementing those tiny changes you will notice your pain slowly going away. (
4) Strength And Flexibility
As you probably know, muscles around your spine are there for a reason – to support it and prevent injuries. So as you exercise you are not only losing weight and relieving yourself of back pain, you are also strengthening the structures of your spine, making them more flexible and more resistant to injuries.

Back Pain As A Result Of Weight Loss

When I first found out about this I have to admit I was a little surprised, and I`m guessing most of you will be as well. We all know losing excess weight is beneficial to our overall health, so why does the back pain occur then?

There are several causes, according to, that we are going to list below:

1) Decrease In The Amount Of Nutrients

When we lose weight and regulate our diet, we are limiting the amount of calories we are consuming on a daily basis. Now our body is getting less nutrients than it used to, which can lead to certain problems such as back pain.

2) Decrease In Bone Density

Losing weight will lead to a substantial mineral and water loss, which will result in decrease in bone density. Reduction in bone density

can lead to spinal misalignments and cause pain.

3) Overtraining

Sometimes when you see you are doing good and weight are going down, you can get overexcited and start exercising harder and harder. This can often lead to overtraining and increased burden on your body, which often leads to injury and back pain problems.




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