Back pain is the leading cause of disability according to American Chiropractic Association. It prevents people from working and doing everyday activities. It’s the most common reason employees give for missing work and accounts for 264 million lost workdays in a year.
Facts about Back and Neck Pain
Additionally, research from Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation reveals that out of all the conditions studied, “low back and neck pain generated the highest expenditures at $134.5 billion.”
Kaiser Family Foundation has startling stats about adults who are obese by location. More than one-third of Texas residents have a BMI higher than 30. This is considered obese. Out of the people who are obese, one-third have back pain. What does this mean for those who have neck or back pain?
The Effects of Weight on Back and Neck Pain
Extra weight increases a person’s risk for developing high blood pressure and heart disease. It also adds strain to the muscles and joints. And this can lead to osteoarthritis (OA), which is a degenerative joint disease. The cartilage is what cushions and lubricates the joints. When the cartilage wears out, it causes OA. There’s no cure for osteoarthritis in the spine.
Losing weight can help prevent OA from occurring or worsening. The amount of pressure a person puts on the body exceeds the person’s actual weight. It’s about 1.5 times a person’s weight.
Someone who weighs 140 pounds actually puts 210 pounds of pressure on the knees, ankles, hips, and spine with every step. For a person weighing 300 pounds, it’s 450 pounds of pressure. The discs in the spine already degenerate as people grow older. Weight speeds up the risk of disc herniation by more than 30 percent.
It also puts a spine at risk for ruptured and slipped discs. While the neck doesn’t feel the same amount of pressure as the knees, prolonged bending of the neck while sitting at a desk can increase strain. More weight also triggers poor posture and uneven weight distribution, a common cause of neck pain.
Any reduction in weight will help lighten the load on a person’s body as well as manage or prevent conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
Have a question? Please contact us or call 214-823-2052. We have two conveniently located offices in Addison and Dallas serving patients in Dallas, Addison, Plano, Frisco, Garland, and other cities in the DFW metroplex.