Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: October 11, 2021
Back pain is one of the most common health conditions that affects roughly 90 percent of Americans at some point in their life. Your spine is very complex and it handles a lot of stress as you sit, stand and move throughout the day, so it stands to reason that your back can start to hurt for one reason or another. And while a number of different factors can contribute to new or worsening back pain, one factor stands out from the rest in terms of predicting future back issues. Below, we take a closer look at the biggest predictor of future back pain, and how you can prevent it from causing you problems down the road.
Are You At Risk For Future Back Pain?
We’ll cut right to the chase here. The biggest predictor of future back pain or spinal injuries is being overweight or obese. According to a recent study, obesity was linked to an increased risk of the following spinal conditions or issues:
- Spinal disc space narrowing
- Facet joint osteoarthritis
- Spinal osteoarthritis
- Low back pain
- Herniated or bulging discs
- Spinal bone spurs
When you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. Your spine handles the weight of your body and the effects of gravity each day, and only one of those things are modifiable. The more you weigh, the more stress your spine needs to help disperse, and oftentimes it ends up bearing the brunt of this pressure. Over time this can lead to a reduction in spinal disc height or the space between your discs, which can make it easier for discs to shift out of place and compress nearby nerves. Excess weight can also put you at an increased risk for soft tissue injuries, like muscle tears or ligament sprains.
Preventing Obesity-Related Spine Pain
The good news is that obesity and your overall weight is absolutely modifiable, so you can take back some control over your future back pain risk. It’s not always going to be easy and it will require some work on your end, but you’ll look and feel healthier if you work to lose weight, and you’ll be reducing your risk of future back pain.
Did you know that for every one pound you lose, you remove four pounds of pressure from your spine? Even a little weight loss will go a long way in alleviating stress on your spine. Even just losing a couple pounds a month will have your spine feeling refreshed and recharged by year’s end, so do right by your spine and work to shed a few pounds.
If you need help developing a plan to protect your spine through weight loss, please reach out to Dr. Sinicropi and his team. Diet and regular exercise are the two main staples of weight loss, but finding a sustainable balance between the two isn’t always easy, and we’d be more than happy to help anyway we can. But if you’re going to do it on your own, we recommend that you set attainable goals and you slowly work to change your exercise and eating habits so that they are more likely to stick long-term.
For more information, or for help with your spinal issue, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi and his team today.