Weight Loss and Back Pain

One common question I hear is: “Would losing weight help me out with my low back pain?”. And if you search on the internet for that question, you’ll be presented with a million or more articles that say yes, but then, also a million articles that say no. The truth of the matter is that it really depends. Weight loss in relation to low back pain is a complicated matter but it also really isn’t that complicated. So the next few videos, it’s going to help settle this question once and for all so that you no longer have to be confused on whether or not losing weight can help your back.

The first step is understanding what being overweight can do to the body in relation to low back pain. Now, how can you tell if you’re overweight? One metric that is often used is the body mass index, also known as the BMI. This is a simple measure of your body weight divided by your height. BMI categories, as listed by the CDC, is anyone with a BMI of less than 18.5 is underweight; anything between 18.5 to 25 is of normal weight; 25 to 30 is classified as overweight and anything over 30 of a BMI is considered in the obese range with a set of subcategories for this specific section. However, there is a huge fault in this archaic measurement. It does not account for the amount of lean muscle, bone, or the functional units that generate stability, force, and movement of your body. 

Now, the team at Hudson River Fitness, we focus more so on body composition which is a much more specific and accurate representation of your body’s measurements. You take your total body fat and divide it by your weight, and there are many tools to gather this information. Healthy body weights and normal body compositions or body fat are based on the levels of risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cancers, and other issues. The higher the body fat, the higher the likelihood that you would develop one of these diseases. So body weight can affect your low back pain through three major mechanisms.

The first is the increased likelihood of developing a chronic disease. This indicates that your body is going through some sort of systemic, also known as whole-body inflammation. And that whole-body inflammation would make your brain and body more sensitive to injuries, aches, pains, and other issues. 

The second mechanism is that the increased amount of body fat in the absence of muscle can actually place significant stress on the joints such as your lower back, hips, knees, ankles, feet, and even toes. The weight distribution can also influence your standing posture, increasing the amount of stress applied to the neck and shoulder which can present itself as elbow, wrist, and hand pain. 

And the third and final mechanism is that the added bulk from subcutaneous fat, not to be mistaken with visceral fat around your organs which is another indicator of chronic disease risk, can actually influence the overall mechanics of how you move. And as a result, some stretches which can be beneficial for you can be difficult, making movement and therapies less effective. 

So, now that we understand the mechanisms of which excess body weight and particularly body fat can influence back pain, the next few videos are actually going to show you exactly how managing this can help you. So our nutrition coach, Sarah Supani, which you’ve seen in other videos will actually be providing you some amazing action steps on addressing this information and reducing your risk of developing chronic diseases without having to do any specific exercise especially when you’re in an active state of pain.

Now, if you are ready to take the next step in your health and think that your body weight can be a contributing factor to your low back pain, then book a free strategy call with us today by clicking on the link below or emailing us at


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