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Can Weight Loss Cause Back Pain?

Weight loss is often associated with improved health and well-being. However, sometimes shedding extra pounds can lead to an unexpected consequence: back pain. But why? Let's delve into the reasons why this happens and how you can manage it — or entirely remove it.

Why Does Weight Loss Cause Back Pain?

Weight loss can sometimes cause back pain for various reasons. Assuming you’ve lost the weight in a healthy way, this should not cause you long-term issues. 

Below, we’ve walked you through some of the most common causes of back pain after weight loss.

1. Changes in Posture

Significant weight loss can alter your body’s centre of gravity and posture. As your body adjusts to a lighter weight, your posture might change, leading to mechanical stress on your spine and surrounding muscles. 

To put this into further context, imagine a group of 1000 people carrying a ship. 

Now imagine that one part of the ship gets removed and the total weight decreases, but for that to happen it’s put in a different position. Due to everyone being used to the old position, it might take some time to adjust for some.  

And it’s the same with your spine. 

This adjustment period can cause discomfort and back pain as your body finds a new balance.

2. Loss of Muscle Mass

One of the primary reasons for back pain during weight loss is the loss of muscle mass.

When you lose weight rapidly, it’s sometimes not just fat that you’re shedding but also muscle. 

The muscles in your back play a crucial role in supporting your spine and overall posture. 

A reduction in muscle mass can lead to weaker muscles, making it harder for your body to maintain proper alignment and support, eventually leading to back pain.

3. Increased Physical Activity

With weight loss often comes an increase in physical activity. While exercise is beneficial for health, overexertion or improper form during workouts can lead to back strain. It’s essential to ensure that you’re performing exercises correctly and not pushing your body beyond its limits.

4. Improper Form During Exercises 

When you increase your level of physical activity, especially with exercises you might not be familiar with, using improper form can lead to significant strain on your back. 

Exercises like lifting weights (especially compound movements like the squat or deadlift), planks, or even running can cause back pain if not performed correctly. It’s important to focus on your technique. 

Don’t be afraid to pull up a quick tutorial before the exercise or experiment with lower weight. 

5. Nutrient Deficiencies

Weight loss, especially when achieved through restrictive diets, can lead to nutrient deficiencies.

 Essential nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D are vital for bone health and muscle function. A deficiency in these nutrients can weaken your bones and muscles, putting additional strain on your back and leading to pain.
Related: How To Get All Your Nutrients on a Calorie Deficit 

How to Tackle Back Pain During Weight Loss

Now that we’ve taken a quick look at the causes behind your back pain, we also wanted to delve into some actionable steps you can take to tackle it. 

1. Focus on Muscle Preservation

To prevent muscle loss, incorporate strength training exercises into your routine. 

Exercises that target the back, such as rows, deadlifts, and lat pulldowns, can help maintain and build muscle mass in the area. Additionally, consuming adequate protein is crucial for muscle repair and growth.

2. Maintain Proper Posture

Be mindful of your posture throughout the day. Simple habits like sitting up straight, avoiding slouching, and using ergonomic furniture can make a significant difference. 

Practicing exercises that improve posture, like yoga and Pilates, can also be beneficial.

3. Gradual Weight Loss

Avoid rapid weight loss, as it increases the likelihood of muscle loss and nutrient deficiencies.

 Aim for a steady and sustainable rate of weight loss, typically 1-2 pounds (0.5-1kg)  per week. This allows your body to adjust gradually and reduces the risk of back pain.

4. Balanced Diet

Ensure your diet includes a variety of nutrients essential for bone and muscle health. 

Foods rich in calcium, like dairy products and leafy greens, along with magnesium-rich foods such as nuts and seeds, are crucial. Don’t forget to get enough vitamin D through sunlight exposure or supplements.

5. Proper Exercise Techniques

When exercising, focus on using the correct form to prevent injury. If you’re unsure about the proper technique, pull up a tutorial on your phone, or save it before hitting the gym. 

Additionally, include stretching and flexibility exercises to improve your range of motion and reduce muscle tension.

6. Listen to Your Body

Pay attention to your body’s signals. If you experience any discomfort or pain during exercise, stop immediately and assess what might be causing it. Pushing through pain can lead to further injury, so it’s essential to address any issues promptly.

The Role of Nutrient Deficiencies in Back Pain

Nutrient deficiencies can exacerbate back pain, particularly when your body lacks the essential vitamins and minerals necessary for maintaining strong bones and muscles. Here’s a closer look at some key nutrients:

1. Calcium

Calcium is crucial for bone health. A deficiency can lead to weakened bones, increasing the risk of fractures and osteoporosis, which can cause back pain. Ensure you’re getting enough calcium through dietary sources like dairy, fortified plant-based milk, and leafy greens, and consider supplements if necessary.

2. Magnesium

Magnesium supports muscle function and helps prevent muscle cramps and spasms. A lack of magnesium can cause muscle stiffness and pain. Include magnesium-rich foods like nuts, seeds, whole grains, and green leafy vegetables in your diet.

3. Vitamin D

Vitamin D aids in calcium absorption and bone health. A deficiency can lead to brittle bones and an increased risk of fractures. Sunlight exposure is a primary source of vitamin D, but you can also find it in fortified foods and supplements.

4. Protein

Protein is essential for muscle repair and growth. Inadequate protein intake can hinder muscle maintenance during weight loss, leading to muscle loss and back pain. Make sure to include lean protein sources like chicken, fish, beans, and legumes in your meals.

Weight Loss and Back Pain: Conclusion

While weight loss can sometimes lead to back pain, understanding the underlying causes and taking proactive steps can help you manage and prevent discomfort. Focus on maintaining muscle mass, practicing good posture, and ensuring a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients. By doing so, you’ll not only achieve your weight loss goals but also support your body’s overall health and well-being.

If you’re looking for additional nutritional support, incorporate Verve V80 into your routine. 

Learn more about Verve V80 
Bottle on board with green fruit

Unlike other greens drinks, Verve V80 offers 100% transparency on all ingredients and dosages, making it easier to ensure you’re getting the necessary nutrients to support your body during weight loss. 

With over 80 ingredients and 200+ health benefits, it’s a cost-effective way to enhance your diet and prevent nutrient deficiencies that could contribute to back pain. Prioritise your health with informed choices and the right nutritional support.

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Verve V80 at a glance: 

  • 80 ingredients
  • 100% Transparency
  • 200+ Science-backed health benefits
  • 81% feel the difference 
  • 100% NRV of essential vitamins
  • Only 29 calories per serving! 
  • Informed Sports Accredited 
V80 Transparent Greens Powder
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