Obesity and pain- you can lose both this year

Whether it’s extra weight gained from holiday eating or excess weight you’ve carried for years, the new year is the perfect time to lose it.


I’ve written before about reasons to maintain a healthy weight  at Why Obesity matters. Multiple health conditions including diabetes, heart disease, even cancer can stem from excess weight.

But here’s another reason to shed those excess pounds or kilos- pain.

Obesity increases the risk of chronic pain especially back pain , and weight loss leads to significant decrease in pain, sometimes more effectively than medications and surgery.



Pain in the spine , hips and knees may worsen with excess weight. (skeleton display at the Museum of Natural Science in New York City)


Pain management specialists discussed the relationship of obesity and back pain at the American Academy of Pain medicine annual meeting. Medical research studies conducted at the Mayo Clinic linked obesity to back pain. Other studies implicated obesity in cases of arm, knee, hip and back pain in adolescents as well as elderly people.


A study from Norway of 64000 people showed

people with a BMI greater than 30

were more likely to develop low back pain

than those with a BMI under 25.

Body mass index chart
A BMI OF 30 or more represents obesity. BMI Chart created by Vertex42.com. Used with permission.


And an Australian study showed that both

obesity and smoking  are related to back pain.

No Smoking sign with pumpkins
sign posted at a produce market in rural Georgia


So  don’t just resolve to lose weight,

set a goal

make a plan

put it into action

Here is a recap of this blog’s obesity related information to help you get started.

How achieving emotional healing can lead to weight loss

How a woman kicked her addiction to junk food and now helps others to do the same

Comparing different weight loss programs

How attitudes affect weight loss efforts



Please  share your goals and how you plan to make it happen.


Author: Aletha Cress Oglesby, M.D.

I am a family physician who explores the HEART of HEALTH in my work, recreation, and through writing. On my blog, Watercress Words, I inform and inspire us in healthy living. I believe we can turn our health challenges into healthy opportunities. When we do, we can share the HEART of health with our families, communities, and the world. Come explore and share with me.

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