Excess back fat might seriously damage your spine, researchers warn. In a study published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism, researchers have discovered that obesity greatly increases the risk of spinal injury.
Chinese and Finnish researchers made the discovery after studying 2,599 men and women in southern China. The volunteers were recruited for an experiment which was designed to learn if being overweight or obese contributed to lumbar spinal degeneration in adults. To find the answer, they chose 1,040 men and 1,599 women (median age of volunteers was 41.9 years) and compared those with lumbar disc spinal degeneration to those who had healthy spines.
Using magnetic resonance imaging, the investigation revealed that 1,890 of the volunteers suffered from spinal degeneration. Scientists found that the majority of these subjects had higher BMI than healthy controls (23.3 kg/m2 vs. 21.7 kg/m2). In fact, the damage was even more profound among overweight and obese volunteers.
This study, one of the largest of its kind, proves just how dangerous excess body fat is to the health of the skeletal system. Three of the skeletal system's most important jobs is to protect the internal organs, provide structural support and mobility. Bones and cartilage are very strong and flexible, able to withstand tremendous force, but as with all living things, being subjected to constant stress, will eventually wear them down.
The Chinese and Finnish research team wrote "In one of the largest studies to systematically assess lumbar disc degeneration on MRI, our study noted a significant association between the presence, increased extent, and global severity of disc degeneration in overweight and obese adults. "
Their conclusions shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. It's not uncommon for obese and overweight people to suffer from arthritis and inflamed joints. Over time, their bones begin to buckle under the strain.
Last December we wrote about a government survey which found that arthritis sufferers were less likely to participate in physical activities than people without arthritis. Other studies show that oveweight and obese people with arthritis endure constant pain and have a lower quality of life.
This newest report deals with dangers that excess weight can do to the bones that protect your spinal cord. If you lose functionality in this vital region, many parts of the body will be affected.
Bottom line: obesity and overweight pose serious threat to your health and wellbeing. Now that you have this information, it's up to you to decide what you'll do with it.
Don't be afraid, the Lord our God has overcome the world!
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Samartzis, D., Karppinen, J., Chan, D., Luk, K., & Cheung, K. (2012). The association of lumbar intervertebral disc degeneration on MRI in overweight and obese adults: A population-based study Arthritis & Rheumatism DOI: 10.1002/art.33462
" Back Fat Can Hurt Your Spine" copyright 2012 Living Fit, Healthy and Happy(SM). All Rights Reserved.