Crouse Health Online: Wellness is just a click away.
Share Share
  |  Connect with Us: 
large
med
small
Text Size
 

Health News



Those Extra Pounds Could Harm Your Back

Those Extra Pounds Could Harm Your Back

01/30/12

MONDAY, Jan. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Overweight and obese adults are at significantly increased risk for lumbar spine disc degeneration, a potential cause of low back pain, researchers say.

Previous research has linked having a higher body-mass index (BMI), which is a measurement that takes into account a person's height and weight, to reports of low back pain. This type of pain can affect physical and mental well-being, limit mobility, reduce quality of life and is associated with substantial financial costs for both the patient and the health care system.

The new study included more than 1,000 men and nearly 1,600 women aged 21 and older from southern China. Overall, 73 percent of the participants had lumbar disc degeneration, but the condition was more common in men than women (76 percent vs. 71 percent) and more prevalent among older people, according to the study in the new issue of the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Seven percent of the study participants were underweight, 48 percent were in the normal weight range, 36 percent were overweight and 9 percent were obese, the investigators noted.

"Our research confirms that with elevated BMI there is a significant increase in the extent and global severity of disc degeneration. In fact, end-stage disc degeneration with narrowing of the disc space was more pronounced in obese individuals," Dr. Dino Samartzis, of the University of Hong Kong, said in a journal news release.

As people gain weight, disc degeneration may begin to occur due to physical loading on the disc, the study authors suggested. In addition, fat cells may play a role by causing chronic low-grade inflammation, they noted.

"Since overweight and obesity are worldwide concerns whose prevalence continues to rise, our study's findings have considerable public health implications. If these issues continue to plague society, they can further affect spine health leading to low back pain and its consequences," Samartzis said.

Disc degeneration is a complex process and future studies that investigate risk factors for the condition should take into account the effects of being overweight or obese, the researchers recommended.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases has more about back pain.

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

OF INTEREST:
 

Latest News

Crouse First in Area to Perform Single-Site Hysterectomy
more >

MedEx Bedside Prescription Delivery Service

Free service offers convenience, patient education at discharge.
more >

CrouseSports Express After-Hours Ortho Care

Immediate care of orthopedic injuries in kids and adults.
more >

Weight Loss Surgery

Is it right for you? Attend a free information seminar held twice monthly.
more >

Quality at Crouse

See how Crouse Hospital strives to provide the best in patient care.
more >

Cheer Up That Special Someone

Say get well or welcome a new arrival with a gift purchased right at Crouse.

more >

Make an Online Donation Now

Your donation of any amount helps support Crouse services & programs in a meaningful way.
more >

Shop Online Now

Say get well, thinking of you or welcome new baby with a unique gift from the Crouse Gift Shop.

more >