Phone: 712-732-3349 - Redenbaugh Chiropractic: 801 Hudson Street, Storm Lake, Iowa 50588

Is your low back pain caused by being overweight? Find out why new research says no.

Obesity does not equal low back pain

Is your low back pain caused by being overweight?

The research says no as of right now. Low back pain is one of the most common reasons for seeing a doctor. 1.

It is one of the most common reasons people seek out chiropractic care in our office here in Storm Lake, Iowa.

Are you suffering from Low Back Pain?

If you are suffering do you know what is causing the problem? Has your doctor told you your body weight is causing your low back pain? Many patients have been misinformed by their doctors about the relationship of body fat percentage and its relationship to back pain. Current research is casting doubt on this long assumed correlation between low back pain and obesity.

Do you suffer from challenges related to weight gain and body fat percentage?

Have you been told your low back pain is caused by your weight?

Please understand that maintaining a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI Explained) is important to your overall health. High blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and cancer are common diseases related to unhealthy Body Mass Index. For these reasons alone it is a good idea to maintain healthy nutrition and an active lifestyle. But, do not assume your low back pain is directly related to your weight and will go away as you shed the pounds.

2 common myths exist about low back pain.

Myth #1.

Myth: Obesity is directly related and increases low back pain. A research study was conducted by Australia scientists and examined the relationship between obesity and low back pain. They examined the prevalence of LBP among Spanish twins. They also accounted for variations due to genetics and the shared environment of their adolescence.

The study revealed the following facts:

-Body fat distribution and increased BMI has a small prevalence of association among female Spanish twins.

-The relationship between LBP and obesity, lumbar disc degeneration, genetic predisposition, and environmental factors were taken into consideration.

-Findings suggest genetics and early childhood environment are possible underlying mechanisms for LBP.

These research results do not support a direct causal link between obesity and low back pain. This research was just published in LBP study about Spanish twins. 2.If your doctor is not familiar with this study you can share the research article.

Myth #2 Myth:

Low back pain is so common, it must be an easy condition to treat. Do not confuse how common low back is with how easy or difficult it is to fix. Low Back Pain is complicated. I hear this often in my office, “Doc, just fix my low back as fast as you can”. This is not always possible. I will always do my best to correct the problem or stabilize it, but every person is different. It is difficult to undo years of wear and tear, trauma and poor spine maintenance. It is like a used car. The older it gets the more difficult it is to find new parts to replace the old parts.

  • Do you sit for longer than an hour at a time at work? Do you exercise less than 2 hours a week, especially moving your low back? Do you have a family history of low back pain?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then it is likely your low back problem is more complicated than you think. In our office I work with each individual patient to determine the underlying cause of their LBP. I do not automatically blame low back pain on Body Mass Index.

I follow current research trends and treatment options. If you have not gotten help elsewhere we may be able to help you here at Redenbaugh Chiropractic.

How can we help your low back pain?

1. First we rule out trauma.

Did you ever hurt your low back in a car or sporting accident? If you have hurt your low back in a traumatic accident it is important you get evaluated by an injury professional. You may need x-ray images or MRI to rule out serious problems such as torn ligaments or broken bones.

2. Then we look at family history to see if their is a genetic component to your low back pain.

Have your parents or grandparents ever suffered from LBP? If genetics is related to your LBP does this mean your case is hopeless? No, absolutely not. LBP can have any number of root causes, it is my job to find out what is causing the problem and fix it or minimize the negative outcome.

3. What else have you tried to help this condition?

This important question lets me know what you have tried in the past to help this problem. Once we have answers to these three questions and others, I can then start to build a picture of what is causing your low back pain. This allows me to build a treatment program that is customized to your needs.

Will your treatment hurt?

No, the care I provide does not hurt. The care I provide in the office is gentle and effective. If you are suffering with low back pain and have not been able to get help or just want a second opinion, please consider what I have said. I am happy to answer any questions you may have about the care we provide to help people recover from low back pain. Or if you have any questions about this article leave a comment below.


1. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Why Patients Visit Their Doctors: Assessing the Most Prevalent Conditions in a Defined American Population Jennifer L. St. Sauver, PhD, MPH, David O. Warner, MD, Barbara P. Yawn, MD, MSc, Debra J. Jacobson, MS, Michaela E. McGree, BS, Joshua J. Pankratz, BS, L. Joseph Melton III, MD, MPH, Véronique L. Roger, MD, MPH, Jon O. Ebbert, MD, Walter A. Rocca, MD, MPH

2. Eur Spine J. 2015 Jun 18. [Epub ahead of print] Are obesity and body fat distribution associated with low back pain in women? A population-based study of 1128 Spanish twins. Dario AB1, Ferreira ML, Refshauge K, Sánchez-Romera JF, Luque-Suarez A, Hopper JL, Ordoñana JR, Ferreira PH Some additional exercise tips.

Posture and health.
Helping to reduce pain with exercises.

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Phone: 712-732-3349 - Redenbaugh Chiropractic: 801 Hudson Street, Storm Lake, Iowa 50588