Can Being Overweight Cause Back Pain? The Truth Behind

The correlation between obesity and cardiovascular diseases is quite transparent, as people who suffer from this severe disorder are more likely to experience heart diseases and high blood pressure. 

However, have you ever questioned, “Can being overweight cause back pain?”. Is there any connection between obesity and low back pain? The answer is going to be revealed in this article.

Back Pain Relief Exercises & Stretches – Ask Doctor Jo by AskDoctorJo

Can Being Overweight Cause Back Pain?

The answer is yes. Being overweight does cause back pain.

According to scientific studies, overweight people have a higher prevalence of back pain than non-overweight ones and a lower incidence of spinal problems than obese people.

Though we usually mistake overweight and obesity due to their similarity in implying people who have too much body fat, there are specific differences between the two problems.

The term “obese” indicates those who have a much higher body fat amount than “overweight.” You can figure out the condition through a health check-up report or use body mass index(BMI) to identify if you are obese or overweight. 

Nevertheless, both being overweight and obese have the strongest association with causing back pain.

How Being Overweight Can Contribute To Back Pain?

Too much-added weight can lead to back pain in patients. Here are the main ways how extra fat can harm your back.

Spine Problems From Being Overweight

Non-overweight people with proper posture can stand upright with their chin up and their chest out. The back’s natural curve, together with a tucked-in stomach, helps them remain their hips straight. 

Also Read:  Can Being Overweight Cause Headaches?

However, if you are overweight, every part of your body will get heavier, and your spine will have to bear the burden of that weight. Over time, your upper spine can hardly straighten out properly, and you might experience an unnatural curve.

This abnormality makes your neck bent forward while your head leans over your chest. The transition happens incrementally then leads to your upper back pain without you even noticing it.

What is more, not only can weight gain cause upper back pain, it also makes your lower back worse, so the answer to “can being overweight cause lower back pain?” is absolutely yes!

Being overweight forces your pelvis to slant forward to carry your weight. As your pelvis curves forward, your lower will get pulled to the front too.

The standard arch in your low back then becomes rounded and puts more pressure on the nerve system around. This is when your low back suffers constant pain.

Harmful Chemicals To The Bones

Fats are complex molecules composed of fatty acids, glycerol and provide people with essential elements for body growth and energy.

However, excess storage of fat can lead to many different chronic diseases. To be specific, fat can release chemicals that influence painful inflammation. Over time, the substances can wear down the structure of your spine. 

Belly fat plays a vital role in accelerating this process. This kind of fat contains much more harmful chemicals than normal fat and tends to release them quickly. 

Those chemicals gradually weaken your bones and create an extra force to your spine at the same time. They are also a risk factor for disc degeneration.

Also Read:  The Best Exercise For Overweight Man - The Fat Guy Guide

Back Pain Result

The natural curve of the back helps balance the massive pressure of the body on the skeleton. Once overweight, this normal alignment gets disrupted, so your bones have to work much harder to handle the extra weight. 

While your backbones are experiencing more stress, they also get attacked by harmful chemicals released by belly fat. As a result, you will suffer back pain. 

You might not feel the pain when you start gaining weight, as it does not happen all at once. But eventually, the pain will come and torture your back. It is just a matter of time.

What Are Effective Obese Back Pain Exercises?

If you suffer from some obese back pain, we would like to recommend some valuable exercises to help your back condition.

Physical Therapy

There are many centers now offering physical therapy sessions. Provided services vary from one-to-one therapy classes, modalities for decreasing pain to instruction on home treatments, etc.

The length of the sessions depends on the extent of your back pain. If you are constantly experiencing severe pain, the best way is to head to the hospital then combine your doctor’s advice and physical therapy.


You might know that yoga helps boost your body’s flexibility and encourage weight loss. Then, practicing yoga regularly can also reduce back pain and improve back muscles. 

Frequent yoga will restructure the abnormal spine to the proper order and burn calories to lose weight. However, doing yoga requires patience and effort to achieve total efficiency. But do not worry, as every yoga session will make a little progress.


Swimming is beneficial in relieving back pain because swimming helps strengthen your core muscles and makes little impact on the joints. 

Also Read:  How To Start Jogging When You are Overweight

However, back pain patients had better pay attention to some notes while swimming. For example, backstroke and breaststroke are better for the pain, while freestyle and butterfly can worsen the condition.

Then we highly recommend that you attend a swimming class to acquire the correct technique for the best result.

Frequently Ask Questions:

Gaining too much weight can make your back hurt. However, it is not always “weight gain back pain.” If your weight is slightly raised, it is not a problem.

Pain is likely to get worse at night, so that you might experience some obese back pain during sleeping. To improve the condition, you can put a small pillow under your back.

Though weight loss does help back pain, it is not sure that the pain will go away if you lose weight. Other reasons are leading to back pain too.


Have you figured out “Can being overweight cause back pain”? To sum up, we would say that the association between overweight and back pain is casual.

The more weight you gain, the more back pain you will suffer. Once you experience the pain, you are less likely to work out and eat more, leading to gaining more weight and suffering more pain.

If you unluckily struggle with the pain, do not give up. Start practicing to fight the pain and lose weight. Keep in mind that consistency is the key to success.

2 Replies to “Can Being Overweight Cause Back Pain? The Truth Behind”

  1. Attractive component of content. I just stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to claim that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I will be subscribing on your feeds and even I success you get entry to constantly quickly.

  2. You made some decent factors there. I looked on the web for the difficulty and located most individuals will associate with along with your website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.