According to the US CDC over 70.7% of adults in the USA are overweight, and 37.9% of those are considered obese. In Canada, about ¼ of adults are obese and on both sides of the border childhood obesity has steadily increased since the 1980’s.
Now, research published at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) has found that obesity and low back pain are directly related to a decrease in spinal mobility in women (men were not subjects in the study).
The study was created to objectively assess the posture and function of the spine during standing, flexion and lateral bending in obese subjects with and without lower back pain, and to investigate the role of obesity in lower back pain. The study found a generally reduced range of motion of the spine, due to a reduced mobility at both pelvic and thoracic level because of obesity. Additionally, posture was adapted to compensate for additional weight by increasing their anterior pelvic tilt, which increased lumbar lordosis in those who were obese and had lower back pain.
In conclusion, this study found that obese individuals with lower back pain showed a higher degree of spinal impairment when compared to those without lower back pain.