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Readers Respond: Does Your Obesity or Overweight Condition Contribute to Your Back Pain?

Responses: 17


Updated September 14, 2009

Losing weight is amongst the top recommendations given by doctors to obese patients with back pain. If you suffer or have suffered from back pain, do you see a relationship between your discomfort and your weight? If you were once heavier and have lost weight, how has shedding pounds made your back feel?

Obesity has made my life h-ck

I am 24 yrs old and overweight by almost 34 kgs.I have tremendous body main allover my body especially on my hands,legs,shoulder...it's so painful sometimes that I can not work as well. I feel very tired and exhausted all the time. Now I have started going to gym and as well as taking medicine. Still I have a long way to go before I reach the destination. But I wish all of you facing the same problem recover quickly as I know how painful it is when you are obese.
—Guest priya

back pain and more

I have found myself 68 pounds overweight. My back hurt day and night. My whole body aches everyday.
—Guest goingdown11

Exercise Coupled with Weightloss is Key

I have lived with a low level of back pain most of my adult life. Sometimes it would really flare up. It was a vicious cycle - the more I hurt, the less I wanted to exercise and my weight crept up. I lost a LOT of weight through exercise a few years ago, but then I had a foot injury that I allowed to keep me from walking for too long. I like to eat, so the weight came back. I hurt my back badly lifting a family member and ended up having physical therapy. I also started a weight loss plan. I have a long way to go to reach my ideal weight; however, I already feel so much better and no longer take pain meds daily just from losing 30 pounds. I have added some exercise back in too and the more I do, the better I feel!
—Guest Connie B

No obese still get sciatica pain

I am a social worker from Andhra Pradesh. I am at comfortable height and weight but have diabetes and hyper tension(normal ranges). I have been suffering from severe sciatica pain in the right leg for the last 3-4 months. It was actually started in the hip, at the beginning, after one hour rigorous walk and now I am unable to walk 50 yards hardly. My doctor has prescribed medicines and have been consuming them for the last two weeks, still the condition is worse. I am afraid my left leg may involve and in such circumstances I can not walk completely. This is my story. Docs suggested some tablets contain gaba pentin an diclofenac potassium with antacids.
—Guest P V Prasad

Does Obesity Contribute To Back Pain

I am responding to the affect weight can have on your existing or yet to come back problems. I am a post menopausal woman and have had back problems since I was 30. I have never been more than 7lb over my ideal weight apart from the weight and the demands of having two children by caesarian. I do believe weight can contribute to an already existing problem or its development. However I personally know lots of overweight people who have no problems with their backs as well. Having spent a fair amount of time having my condition monitored, physio, with now osteoporotic features diagnosed because of my age I do believe a lot of problems can be genetic. I do not smoke, drink, and am not light boned yet I have osteoporosis. Therefore I believe some back problems cannot be avoided and the added demand and strains of everyday living, occupation, how you have taken care of your back over the years will compound the problem. I was very active with my children and when younger.
—Guest relative1

Obesity is a leading cause of back pain.

Reducing your weight by only 10% can make a big difference in less back pain. Extra abdominal fat and weight on the pelvis pulls the body forward and puts strain on your lower back muscles. Although obesity may not be the cause of the pain, it takes the pain to a whole new level. It throws off your posture, makes it difficult to properly align your body for a good sleep; it requires your back muscles to pick up the slack and learn to handle how you carry and shift your weight. Read more at http://backpainrelief4u.blogspot.com http://www.backachesolution.co.cc

Wt and back pain

YES YES YES....losing wt. relieved MOST of my back pain...I lost just 30 pounds and the improvement was phenominal. Core strengthening is another must after the weight loss. I couldn't feel my core under all the fat. I had a hernia that no one could diagnose because of all my fat. I feel great...still have some back pain but I have become addicted to exercise for pain relief. We all have it in our selves to self-heal.
—Guest Carol


Carrying around many extra pounds puts tremendous strain on the muscles that support your back. Being overweight can affect how you walk and how you stand. Read more about my thoughts on this topic here: http://www.backclinicsofcanada.ca/whybackneckpain.html

Weight loss and confidence

I lack the confidence that is needed to loose weight. I watch the fiber content, fat calories, and sodium in the foods I eat. I even walk 1-1/2 miles four days a week. I've had two back surgeries and am now experiencing leg tingling for which I will be treated for soon. What do I do?

Weight loss and confidence

I am 63 and would like to loose weight but I do not have confidence in myself to loose the weight. How do I begin to gain confidence in myself?

Lost weight, back went out again.

I've lost about 10 lbs. during the last 2 months, and my back just went out again a few days ago. I have been back pain free for at least a year or two, and overweight during all that time. It almost seems like loosing the weight triggered my back going out again. I still need to loose about 40 lbs, so I'm still overweight. But having lost some weight, I was not expecting to increase my back pain level.
—Guest Nancy

Minimal impact

I've had back pain since I was 10, and other than during pregnancy I've noticed only a small increase in pain when I'm heavier, and only in my lower back. Yes, extra weight puts more strain on our muscles and connective tissues, but I think doctors are quick to blame weight instead of looking for an underlying cause of the pain. They also assume that "fat" = "lazy," so when we're heavy we must also be deconditioned. I'm a lot heavier than I'd like to be, but my core muscles are in pretty darned good shape and overall I'm stronger than I've ever been -- yet my back still hurts. Fortunately, my doctors recognize I've got a lot going on in my back that's independent of weight.


I have lots of patients who have a much harder time recovering from back surgery, or from back problems, because they are overweight. Sadly, when you have back pain, losing weight is a challenge because many activities may be restricted. I have a friend who had to stop cycling because it was too jarring on her back, and that was her only real form of exercise. It's unfortunate, but I know it is not an uncommon problem at all.

Pain All Over

My weight has caused me to suffer from all sorts of aches and pains. Definitely my shoulders, neck and upper back are the worst. I also stay awake at night because of the numbness and tingling in my hands. I wonder if this is also attributed to weight?

Yes, Weight Makes a Difference

I am no overweight but I have had many opportunities to observe the effects of extra weight in the fitness classes I teach. What I see is that the uneven distribution of weight, especially when it sits in front, makes good posture even more difficult to maintain. The weight pulls on the stabilizing muscles of the abdomen and back making everything tight. Also, the extra weight makes the effects of postural imbalances even worse by exerting extra pressure on the joints. This isn't true for everyone. I've seen people who carry their weight very well. But if something is off, the weight seems to make it worse.
—Guest OMPilates

Ten Pounds Made a Difference!

My doctor made the recommendation that I lose some weight to take the strain off of my back. I wasn't significantly overweight, so I was a little skeptical. However, I did make healthier food choices and after a few months, my weight was down. I now find that my episodes of my "back going out" happen so much less frequently.
—Guest BBB

Absolutely Obesity Causes Back Pain

I've suffered from severe back pain and arthritis since my twenties. My weight has always been a problem, lots of ups and downs on many diets. Five years ago, after having the Lap Band and exercising regularly, my back pain was completely gone. Now, I've gained all the weight and my back pain is worse than ever. I have no doubt that when I lose the weight again, I'll also lose the back pain.
—Guest Tracee

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