It may come as no surprise that excess weight can affect your health in a variety of ways, but those who have chronic back pain may be shocked to discover that excess weight may be a cause of back pain. Those suffering from back pain and struggling to maintain a healthy weight can benefit from bariatric surgery. Bariatric surgery can help with weight loss when diet and exercise alone are not enough. To learn more about bariatric surgery and reduced back pain, schedule a consultation with a MayClinik surgeon.
How Does Weight Impact Back Pain?
In general, people who are overweight are at higher risk of developing back pain as well as muscle strain and joint pain than those who maintain a healthy weight. Obesity may cause the spine to tip forward, adding tension to the back, as the body is attempting to compensate for holding an extra weight in the torso. In certain cases, this can cause the spine to bend, further aggravating back pain. Lower back pain is of special concern to those who bear excess weight in the stomach as this extra weight causes the pelvis to push forward, which in turn strains the lower back. Carrying extra weight can also make it difficult to exercise, eventually weakening the back muscles due to lack of use.
Conditions Related to Obesity
Many that are extremely overweight can develop some back issues due to excess weight, or the pre-existing back conditions may worsen. Back pain conditions caused or aggravated by obesity include:
- Sciatica: Sciatica is a condition in which the pressure on the sciatic nerve induces radiating pain from the lower back to the legs.
- Hernia: The hernia describes the disorder in which the rubber disk between the spinal bones moves forward, sometimes resulting in back pain.
- Pinched nerves: One or more nerves in the back may be pinched because of a hernia or simply because of the pressure of extra weight.
- Bulging disc: The bulging disk is identical to the hernia, except that the disk between the spinal bones does not bulge out equally.
- Arthritis of the spine: Carrying extra weight may make arthritis of the spine worse because of the pressure of obesity on the joints in the body.
Bariatric Surgery and Reduced Back Pain
Back pain caused or worsened by obesity can be minimized by weight loss. Unfortunately, some people are unable to maintain a healthy weight by diet and exercise and, in some cases, back pain may be too extreme to exercise. In such circumstances, bariatric surgery may provide a solution. There are various forms of bariatric surgery, all of which aid with weight loss by restricting the amount of food the stomach can carry, physically limiting the number of calories that can be consumed and reducing the intake of calories by reducing the length of the digestive tract. The different types of bariatric surgery include Gastric Balloon, Gastric Sleeve, or Gastric Bypass.
For more information on weight loss in a safe and fast way, be sure to contact our trusted bariatric surgeons and weight loss specialists. MayClinik family always here to help you!