How Being Overweight Causes Back Pain

And the 3 Most Effective Ways to STOP It

Overweight man with back pain

Being overweight can cause back pain

As people gain weight, we’re not just adding extra pounds to our waistlines. We’re adding undue stress to our supporting structures, like joints, the spinal cord, ligaments, tendons, muscles and organs.

That added pressure often leads to completely unnecessary pain. And according to a breakthrough study from Dr. Arthur Stone, there is a direct connection between Body Mass Index (BMI) and how much pain we experience. In his study, he showed that people who were morbidly obese experienced a whopping 254% more pain than those with a low-normal BMI.

But if you’re overweight and already in pain, you don’t need science to prove it to you.

Here are the four most common reasons that carrying extra pounds harms your back… and three proven ways to relieve your back pain no matter what shape you’re in today…

Why Being Overweight Causes Back Pain

1. Extra weight speeds degenerative disc disease.

Between each vertebra in your spine is a squishy intervertebral disc. Each disc is like a wet sponge, providing a thick cushion between each joint. Throughout your day, you naturally lose fluid in your discs from gravity pressing on your spine. (That’s why you’re slightly shorter than when you first wake up.)

The discs naturally retain less fluid–and become more compressed–as we age. However, if you add extra weight to the spine, that process speeds up, leading to early onset degenerative disc disease–and a ton of back pain.

2. Extra weight increases system-wide inflammation.

Pain thrives in an inflamed body. And recent research from the University of Illinois and the Washington University School of Medicine showed that the more visceral fat (the kind around your belly) you have, the more likely your pain is caused by systemic inflammation. They proved that visceral fat releases an inflammatory molecule called interleukin-6 (IL-6), which leads to full-body inflammation–and full-body pain.

3. Extra weight pulls your muscles out of balance.

Muscle imbalances–or physical dysfunctions–are one of the most common causes of pain. And they’re the #1 cause of all back pain. Muscle imbalances occur when one side of the muscle becomes too tight, pulling joints out of alignment, causing uneven, long-term wear.

The problem is only made worse when you have extra weight pulling your body one way or the other.

4. Extra weight slowly develops spinal trauma.

Obesity can be considered a traumatic injury when it causes severe back pain. This trauma leads to a condition called spondylolisthesis–where the vertebrae slowly slip out of alignment. This puts undue pressure on the spinal nerves, causing pain.

Reduce Pain and Lose Weight–Simultaneously

If you have been overweight for a long time, you may have begun scoffing at advice that tells you to exercise. You may be thinking, “I’m in so much pain, I can hardly get out of bed. How am I supposed to just hop on the treadmill?”

So the vicious cycle continues: the more weight you gain from avoiding the gym, the more your pain increases.

Well it’s time to break the cycle once and for all. Here are 3 proven methods for losing weight and reducing back pain at the same time:

1. Jump-start your “youth” hormones to lose weight without exercise.

As children, we all had very high levels of human-growth hormone (or HGH). But as we age, levels of HGH drop off exponentially… leaving us with slow metabolisms, high blood sugar, sluggish energy and ever-thickening waistlines.

But thanks to natural science, you can now jumpstart your metabolism by supplementing with the nutritional precursors that stimulate your body to naturally produce the HGH it needs.

ThinMist Weight Loss Spray

Multiple studies have proven that when you restore your body’s ability to produce more of these “youth” hormones, they automatically reduce fat throughout your body, increase lean muscle mass and help control those annoying carb cravings.

It’s perhaps the easiest way to fight fat and ease back pain at the same time we’ve seen yet. And now it’s easier to get than ever with our ThinMist spray. Three quick great-tasting sprays under your tongue and ThinMist goes right to work improving your metabolism, fighting cravings and helping you reach your desired weight.

Learn more about our ThinMist supplement spray here

2. Get rid of muscle imbalances.

When you eliminate muscle imbalance that are pulling your spine and related bones out of whack, you not only get back pain relief… you get lasting back pain relief. That’s because you’re attacking the root of the problem.

Our Lose the Back Pain® System is the world’s leading muscle balance therapy system, providing personalized, targeted stretching exercises to relieve tight muscles while gentle strengthening exercises eliminate the weak side of imbalanced muscles. No surgery, chiropractor or medical bills required.

Learn how our Lose the Back Pain® System can help you eliminate back pain in 30 days or less

3. Kaizen your nutrition.

Instead of getting on another unsustainable fad diet, just apply the Japanese art of kaizen, or doing one small thing at a time.

This week, you might add an extra serving of vegetables to your day. Next week, you could buy whole grain breads without added sugar. The next, why not start your day with a whole-fruit smoothie instead of sugary cereal?

By making one small change at a time, you’ll find more success than trying to do it all at once. And your waistline–and back–will thank you!

The point of kaizen is it takes time. But it helps you maintain the results you’ve found already.

So start by losing weight with ThinMist. Eliminate muscle imbalances with Lose the Back Pain®. Then continue making steady lifelong progress by making incremental improvements in every area of your life, starting with your diet.


(1) Fontana L, et al. Visceral fat adipokine secretion is associated with systemic inflammation in obese humans. Diabetes. 2007 Apr;56(4):1010-3.

(2) Stone AA, Broderick JE. Obesity and pain are associated in the United States. Obesity. 2012 Jul;20(7):1491-5.


Filed Under: Back Pain
Written By:  Updated:
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Jesse Cannone, CFT, CPRS, MFT

Jesse is the co-founder and visionary CEO of The Healthy Back Institute®, the world-leading source of natural back pain solutions. His mission as a former back pain sufferer is to help others live pain free without surgery and pharmaceuticals.

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