Obesity-related Joint and Back Pain: What Are My Options?

Obesity is a major health issue in the United States today, and there are various reasons for this. First, it deserves mentioning that some factors of obesity are beyond the control of the individual. This can include genetics, hormonal imbalances, emotional issues, and even the environment surrounding a person. Such environmental contributors might include inadequate access to safe areas for exercising, lack of access to proper nutrients, demanding work schedules, and the advertising power of big companies who sell foods that contribute to obesity.

Having said this, there’s a simple explanation for most of the obesity we see today: People are taking in more calories than they burn. Ideally, the number of calories taken in will be roughly equal to the number of calories burned in a given today; but this is often not the case, especially as more people are working sedentary jobs.

Whatever the causes of obesity in a given person, back and join pain can be a very uncomfortable reality. Many people who are clinically obese often suffer from chronic pain in these areas of the body. But why?

The answer has a lot to do with the health of the spine. When the body is disproportionate, as seen in cases of significant obesity, the spine has to work that much harder in order to keep the body upright when standing or walking. Over time, the soft tissue between the vertebrae wears down as a result of this added pressure, leading to chronic back pain. Very often, problems develop in the lower section of the spine, also called the lumbar region. Other important joints in the body – including knees, hips, arms and ankles – can wear down in the same way.

So what can be done about joint and back pain caused by obesity?

This is an important question; finding answers can drastically improve the lives of countless individuals. Of course, optimizing lifestyle (i.e. diet, exercise, emotional health, etc.) in order to lose weight is a desirable course of action for treating obesity – but these things aren’t effective for everyone. It can be difficult to find answers, but chiropractic treatment should be at the top of the list of things to consider. Because back and joint pain caused by obesity is closely linked to the spine and joints, chiropractic care makes a great deal of sense. Careful manipulations of the spine and joints can restore alignment, relieve pressure, and alleviate pain in the short-to-medium term.

Of course, a reputable practitioner will take a holistic view towards the health of the client. Many chiropractors will begin with a comprehensive health assessment that includes sleep patterns, eating habits, and exercise routines. From here, a plan will be put into place in order to alleviate the pain and improve the overall health of the patient – including spinal adjustments that can, in some cases, offer immediate relief.

It’s good to know that there are natural and non-invasive options for treating back and joint pain secondary to obesity. It starts with finding a reputable chiropractor in your area and having a discussion about your treatment goals.