The Importance of Weight Reduction in the Long-Term Treatment of Chronic Pain

Not only does obesity lead to many preventable chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure, but there is much to be said about the importance of weight reduction in the long-term treatment of chronic pain.

The Connection Between Chronic Pain and Obesity

According to the Mayo Clinic,¹ obesity is a cause of metabolic syndrome, a group of tied conditions including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and other chronic conditions. Studies have also shown that obesity and pain are inter-connected and influence one another.²˒³ Migraine, arthritis, and different chronic conditions can cause both physical and emotional symptoms. Extra weight also puts stress and pressure on joints, increases pain sensitivity, reduces flexibility, causes inflammation, poor sleep, and affects quality of life.

Common Types of Chronic Pain Linked to Obesity

Low back pain: Excess weight especially affects the pelvis, back, and knees. As a person becomes heavier, the pelvis is pulled forward, and the lower back becomes strained.

Diabetic Neuropathy: Having obesity makes you more likely to develop diabetes, the condition of having too much glucose (sugar) circulating in your bloodstream. Obesity also causes diabetes to worsen faster. Diabetic neuropathy, a type of nerve damage, is a serious diabetes complication that may affect as many as 50% of people with diabetes.

Rheumatoid Arthritis: Genetics, gender, stress, and the environment all play a role, as well as obesity. It raises the risks of developing RA, changes how some medications work, and affects the path of the condition negatively.

Fibromyalgia: Studies have shown people with a BMI greater than 35 have a greater risk of developing or worsening existing conditions like fibromyalgia.

How Weight Reduction Benefits Your Chronic Pain Treatment

Making gradual changes, like improved eating habits, increased physical activity, and managing your mental health can not only reduce chronic pain, but also promote overall health and improve your quality of life. At FX Spine and Performance Center, we understand the importance of weight reduction in the long-term treatment of chronic pain, as well as proper biomechanics.Through traditional medical evaluations and functional movement screenings (FMS), he will be able to better identify the pathological etiologies as well as the biomechanics that perpetuate chronic pain and inhibit functional improvement. Following a comprehensive evaluation, he will develop a structured treatment plan of traditional medical, interventional and professional physical therapy followed by a structured long-term land exercise program in order to improve the patient’s neuromuscular coordination, strength and conditioning. If you are interested in learning more about the importance of weight reduction in the long-term treatment of chronic pain, schedule a consultation with Dr. Nicholas A. DeAngelo today: (706) 842-6800


  1. Metabolic syndrome. Mayo Clinic website. (2019). Available at: Accessed April 24, 2020.
  2. Institute of Medicine.Relieving pain in America: a blueprint for transforming prevention, care, education, and research. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. 2011.
  3. Hitt HC, et al. Comorbidity of obesity and pain in a general population. Results from the Southern Pain Prevalence Study. J Pain. 2007;8(5):430-436.

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