How Does Being Obese Affect Back Pain?

Is there a connection between weight and back pain? Quite simply–yes! It goes without saying that being overweight is unhealthy. But aside from increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc., those with those extra pounds are at risk for lower back pain, too. Further, a study published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism found that overweight and obese adults are more likely to have disc degeneration in their lower back than adults with normal weight.(source:

Why could this be so? One possibility is that extra weight may cause more pulls the pelvis forward which in turn makes the spine  curve excessively inward and thus causing more strain on your lower back.

Whether or not obesity is the actual cause of back pain stands to be proven and is still contested today. A 2018 study researching the link between obesity and back pain concluded that maintaining a healthy body weight may be one of the factors preventing the occurrence of low back pain. And at the same time, there are a host of benefits to losing extra weight so it wouldn’t hurt to see if shedding those pounds might in fact help your back pain!

back pain and being overweight

Other ways that might help with back pain:

  • Exercise: this might be a no-brainer, but not all exercises are created equal and some might worsen your pain. Check out these exercises that may reduce your back pain.
  • Improve your posture: believe it or not, how you stand, sit and lay can have a great impact on your back health. Learn about how good posture can relieve back pain.
  • See a chiropractor: it you’ve tried plenty of exercises and techniques to ease your back pain, but still can’t manage to reduce it, it might be time to visit a chiropractor. If you live in the Everett, Washington area, our doctors would love to treat you! We have new patient specials and current have a 4.8 star rating on Google! Read our reviews–our patients love us.


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