Can Lack of Exercise and Obesity Lead to Back Pain?

Proper nutrition and exercise is a topic that is becoming more prevalent in the United States today. As the obesity rates in the country continue to rise, more research is being executed in an effort to determine what effect all of this extra weight is having on the American people. We know that being overweight and not exercising is a leading cause in diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. Studies have also shown that inactivity and obesity are also prevalent in lower back pain sufferers.

A study from the American journal of epidemiology concludes that physical inactivity and high body mass index (BMI) are associated with increased risk for chronic back pain in the adult population. The studies showed that men who exercised at least two hours per week were 25 percent less likely to experience back pain and 20 percent less likely to to experience shoulder and neck pain when compared to men who did not exercise at all. Women who exercised more than two hours per week were 8 percent less likely to develop lower back pain and 9 percent less likely to develop neck and shoulder pain than those who did not exercise. In the study, obesity had a major role in the development of back pain. The study showed that both men and women who were classified as obese were 21 percent more likely to develop lower back pain than men and women of normal weight.

In many cases, people who are obese and/or participate in little to no physical activity experience back pain because their spine is not receiving the muscular support that is needed to maintain a healthy back. Often times people who are overweight or obese may experience low back pain caused by a herniated disc. This issue is often the result of overcompensation for the excess weight.

If you are experiencing lower back pain it might be hard to get motivated and start an exercise program to lose the weight needed to help maintain a healthy back and relieve your pain. Consult your physician to help develop the right exercise program for you and get started. You back will be reaping the benefits of physical activity while also improving your overall health. Always be sure to maintain proper form while exercising and do not overexert yourself.

Although patients travel from many miles away to get the latest treatments and care from Dr. Webb and Associates, we are conveniently located for patients in Washington, Pittsburgh, Ohio, West Virginia, and the surrounding areas. To schedule a consultation and view a map of our location, please contact Dr. Webb and Associates.

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