Is Being Overweight Causing Your Back Pain?

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Back Pain and OverweightThere has been little disagreement for decades that packing on extra pounds can be detrimental your health. Now there’s reason to believe higher levels of belly fat have a direct relationship with pain throughout the body.

Having an “apple-shaped” body with more fat around the midsection has been proclaimed as unhealthier than having a “pear-shaped” body where fat accumulates more on the thighs and buttocks for years. Excessive weight gain has also been associated with health issues such as an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Recent research at the University of Illinois and Washington University School of Medicine has found that fat stored in the mid-section really does play a large role in a key driver of disease and pain in the body: inflammation.

The latest research has discovered that visceral fat, which accumulates around the internal organs as opposed to under the skin like subcutaneous fat, releases high levels of an inflammatory molecule known as IL-6. These increased levels of IL-6 correlate with increased levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) associated with chronic inflammation. The resulting systemic inflammation produces a protein called Circulating Immune Complex (CIC). CIC is the culprit behind inflammation-related pain and swelling.

Visceral fat cannot be removed through procedures such as liposuction due to its location next to sensitive organs. Surgery also fails to reduce the size of fat cells. That’s why eating healthy, staying active and even taking nutritional supplements really are necessary to get many of the weight loss benefits of reduced pain throughout your body.

In addition, excess weight in the midsection places additional stress on the spine and muscles of the lower and middle back. So while being overweight doesn’t guarantee you’ll experience pain, it certainly does increase your chances.

You can find more information about how to lose weight without aggravating your back or other joints by browsing the articles section of our website.

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