Higher Body Weight and Back Pain Risk

Weight and back pain

Isn’t your back completely supporting you and causing you to trouble consistently, even after taking proper treatment to avoid back pain?

Then you are not following the precautions that need to be taken during back pain management, and one of the significant lookouts is the maintenance of healthy body weight.

Yes, you heard right, Adiposity, i.e. excess weight and back pain exhibit a positive linear trend. You cannot fully recover from back pain if you are extremely overweight or obese.

Incidence of obesity has become twofold since 1980 and today approximately a third of the world’s population is suffering from the problem of obesity.
Many of the people don’t seem aware of how obesity provokes back pain and what can be done to reduce this weight, especially when you are suffering from severe back pain. So, let’s explore a bit of the relation of increasing body weight to the increased back pain.

First things first, how is obesity or excess weight associated with back pain?
Obesity can trigger back pain via two possible mechanisms: biomechanical processes and endogenous substances.

Biomechanical Processes

The increased size of the abdomen leads to postural changes that exert a mechanical load on the spine and cause back pain. These changes are –
Pressure on vertebral disc increased in both standing and sitting positions
Excessive lumbar anterior and thoracic posterior curvature
Enhanced anterior pelvic tilt and hip joint movement
Thoracic and thoracolumbar segments with reduced flexion moments
Force on the back muscle increases when an obese person bends the upper body due to increased gravitational pressure

Endogenous substances

In obese people, adipocytes (fat cells) secretes the adipokines which lead the induction of pro-inflammatory cytokines like interleukin-6 and tumour necrosis factor. Therefore, these endogenous substances, along with hypertrophic adipocytes, interrupt the endocrine system and cause pain.

Except for these two mechanisms, nutrition of the disc also affected due to excess weight. 

Limited mobility of spine due to fat deposition in the body, fluid movement and functional disc rehydration got limited. It significantly affects the nutrition of the intervertebral disc. The nutrition of the disc is also affected by the reduced blood supply to the disc due to atherosclerosis, especially among people suffering from dyslipidemia (a condition of increased triglycerides and LDLs) and hypertension. This restricted blood supply leads to starvation of disc cells.

As a result of these, back pain got aggravated, and therefore, it is essential to be fit, healthy and maintain normal body weight. But losing weight in a condition of severe back pain is another challenging task. Because at this stage, the spine is in a very fragile state, and any heavy pressure may cause extreme damage.

So, what should be done?

What are the safer means of losing weight in back pain? 
The best ways to reduce weight in such conditions are maintaining a healthy diet, and lightweight exercises and yoga.

Let’s explore these in deep!

Diet for lowering body fat during back pain

Anti-inflammatory Diet

Must include anti-inflammatory diet as it dispenses dual-action, firstly it is healthy, and secondly, it alleviates inflammation associated with back pain. The green vegetables, fruits, grains may contribute to your weight control.
You must include the following nutrients to your diet:


Proteins are building blocks of your body; every body part is composed of tissues and tissues are composed of proteins, so include proteins to your diet. The pro tip is that always go for plant-based protein sources instead of the animal, add soy, lentils and beans in your diet.


Instead of refined grains and white starch, opt for brown rice and whole grains. Increase the intake of green vegetables, winter squash, sweet potatoes, beans. Also, try to have 40 grams fibre daily by adding whole grains, legumes, oranges, yellow fruits, berries and tomatoes in your diet.


Eat healthy unsaturated fats which include the sources walnuts, almonds, cashews, seeds, olives, avocados, oils from olive, corn, canola, grapeseed, coconut. You should also add food sources enriched in omega-3 fatty acids like sardines, salmon, hemp seeds and flax seeds.

Other eating habits to take care of:

Nutritional Labels

In this era of packaged food items where food is not always cooked by ourselves, it becomes necessary to look for nutritional labels while buying any food from the store. It contains essential information about the calories present in that particular food item. This label also shows the quantity of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals that the food item contained. So read the label carefully and then choose the food.

Say no to carbonated and sweetened liquids

Yes, No means No! These two liquids contribute significantly to gain fat in the body. So, try to avoid these two forms of drinks.

Smaller Portion

Try to eat in smaller portions. In this way, you will be able to avoid a load of high Glycaemic Index on your system.

Breakfast is Important

Do not skip breakfast as it is the start of your day, and it requires energy and fuel to work. Always have a healthy breakfast.

Planned Meals

Plan your meal; it is necessary. In this time of hustle, we cannot eat as how or when or whatever; instead, you must plan your meal. Add five portions of different fruits and vegetables, two parts of proteins and a small amount of unsaturated fat.

So, start your path of losing weight by following these rules. Healthy food contributes 80% in managing weight, whereas the remaining 20% depends on daily physical activity.

Exercises and yoga for reducing excess weight and back pain –

People who are overweight with back pain face certain problems in finding the best suited physical activities as wrong exercises may worsen the pain, and leads to reduce the quality of life.
Let’s explore the suitable exercises for low back pain.


Walking is known as the best way to burn calories and reliably reduces weight. It significantly helps to increase energy expenditure as it promotes loss of excess body fat. Studies also validate that a modern-intensity walking program helps to reduce weight and waist circumference.
Also, the walking doesn’t exert pressure on back and joints. It can be done anywhere and anytime. Start with twenty minutes per day and increase slowly with time.

Resistance Training

Resistance training is a safe and efficient way of losing weight for obese people with back pain. This mode of training remarkably improves the energy expenditure via enhancing metabolic rate and promotes weight loss by post-exercise fat utilization.
Include exercises such as seated biceps curls, wall sits, triceps extensions, lateral shoulder raises, hip bridges and reclined chest presses.


This form of exercise not only helps to strengthen the core along with lowering back pain but also improves the posture.
According to a study published in the Journal of Injury, Function and rehabilitation, pilates exercising program significantly reduced back pain and associated disability. Therefore, it is beneficial to add pilates 2 to 3 times a week to cut that extra weight.

Therefore, by including these routines in your lifestyle, you can lose your body fat and weight, which ultimately helps to relieve back pain. You can also go for some non-invasive management option such as Lumbar Sacro Support, Orthopaedic Heating Belt, Backrest, and Posture Correctors to support the spine, reduce pain and correct posture.

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