The nutrition and obesity unit provides integral of patient assessment to improve their quality of life. This unit is a tool providing support to the neurosurgery and pain units for the recovery, treatment and improvement of patient symptoms.

BACK PAIN AND OVERWEIGHT

Overweight people often have a greater risk of suffering back or joint pain and muscle tension.
Apart from back pain, the symptoms of severely obese or overweight people may include fatigue, as well as difficulty in breathing above all during short periods of exercise, thus leading indirectly to back pain as lack of exercise contributes to several common forms of back pain.

BACK PROBLEMS

How overweight or obesity can affect the spinal column.

The spinal column is designed to support the weight of the body and distribute loads during rest and activity.
The spinal column may bend or tense in an uneven way to compensate for extra weight. As a result, over time, the back may lose its supporting function and develop an unnatural curve leading to structural and other damage.

One region of the spinal column that is most vulnerable to the effects of obesity is the lower part of the back. People with extra weight around the body’s mid-section have more problems in this area as the extra weight drags the pelvis forward, pulling on the lower part of the back and finally creating back pain.
Apart from muscle distension, the vertebral structures, discs, may be negatively affected by obesity. Patients with significant excess weight might also experience sciatica and back pain because of a herniated disc or a pinched nerve if the discs have been damaged while compensating for the additional weight.

OTHER RELATED PROBLEMS

Being overweight or obese may contribute significantly to the symptoms associated with osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis and spondylolisthesis. For example, overweight and obese patients have a greater risk of osteoarthritis. The additional tension on joints due to excess weight may cause arthritis in these patients. In patients who already have osteoarthritis, weight loss is one of the recommended treatments.
Furthermore, successful recovery from back surgery may also be affected by the patient’s weight as obese patients have a greater risk of surgical complications and infections. As a result, the overweight or obese patients should consider losing weight before major surgery to improve the result and prevent contributing to later back problems.

Because of the complexity of developing a healthy diet, exercise and a weight loss program, patients should always consult a health professional before changing their diet or taking dietary supplements.