Spine Problems Associated With Obesity Go Beyond Pain

Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi


spine pain and obesity

Obesity takes its toll on your body in a number of ways. It increases the load our whole body has to bear, it contributes to heart disease and high blood pressure, and makes movement and exercise difficult. Obesity also takes a significant toll on the spine, and these problems extend far beyond pain. Today, we take a look at a number of spine problems that are a direct result of obesity. Here are five spine conditions that are worsened or a result of extra weight.


weight can contribute to pain. The extra pressure stresses spinal structures and nerves. Overtime this overstress can be too much for your spine to handle, resulting in pain.


Sciatica is another spinal condition that is exacerbated by excess weight. The added weight can press down directly on the sciatic nerve or on other structures that can compress the nerve. This can lead to shooting pain and discomfort in your hips, buttocks and legs.

Herniated Discs

Disc herniation occurs when your spinal discs wear out over time and the disc nucleus slips through a weakened part of the disc. Normal activity slowly wears down your discs over time, but extra weight only contributes to that process.


Surgery is a complex process, but it becomes even more complicated if the patient is overweight. Obese individuals are at a heightened risk for complications like failed operations and infections and morbidly obese individuals are nearly twice as likely to develop problems with wound healing or heart issues after surgery compared to normal BMI individuals.

Recovering after Surgery

Getting back to full health after spine surgery is another issue that is inhibited by being overweight. Recovery after surgery involves plenty of rest, but for best results, you’ll also want to be active and get exercise, something that is more difficult to do if you’re overweight. If you want to improve your odds of a successful surgery, shed a few pounds prior to the operation.

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