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Here's How Excess Weight Affects Your Lower Back

Here's How Excess Weight Affects Your Lower Back

It’s been established that 1 pound of weight equals 4 pounds of pressure on the knees, but this only scratches the surface. 

Excess weight puts pressure on all of your joints, especially the ones in your lumbar spine. That can increase your risk of lower back injury, including herniated discs and osteoarthritis. 

At Advantage Spinal Dynamics & Innovative Medicine in Meridian, Idaho, we provide safe, effective weight loss support along with treatment for spine conditions and lower back pain to help you feel better long-term.

The impact of excess weight 

The connection between excess weight and lower back pain is well established: Overweight and obese people are most likely to seek professional help for chronic back pain, particularly lower back pain (LBP). 

That’s because carrying excess weight puts pressure on the vertebrae, leading to disc compression.

Being overweight also affects your posture. Too much weight around your middle can cause your pelvis and lower back to shift forward, and heavy breasts can lead you to slouch and curve your shoulders inward. 

That only worsens the issue, altering the natural curvature of your spine and distributing your weight incorrectly. Over time, this added wear-and-tear can increase your risk of back pain and injury, including: 

Treatment for lower back pain can be much more effective if you simultaneously work to lessen the strain on your body by losing excess weight. However, fad diets and extreme restrictions aren’t the way to go.

Losing weight safely and effectively

Not all health concerns can be solved simply by losing weight, but joint and back pain are among the most likely to respond to weight loss treatment. 

Weight loss for back pain should focus on taking pressure off the spine and strengthening the surrounding muscles. Don’t avoid physical activity due to aches and pains; this only weakens your back further. Instead, start small and don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. 

Many people with lower back pain have kinesiophobia, or the fear of pain with movement. If you’ve gotten used to living with chronic pain, you might avoid moving to prevent flare-ups.

Overcoming this fear with gentle stretching and exercise is often the first step to losing weight and reducing pain. 

At Advantage Spinal Dynamics, our team can provide active guidance on losing weight, with exercises and advice tailored to you. We also offer a number of other treatments for back pain, including: 

With a multi-pronged approach, we can develop a treatment plan that addresses your pain and helps you reduce it. To learn more or get started, schedule a consultation by calling Advantage Spinal Dynamics & Innovative Medicine at 208-213-7963, or request an appointment online

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