I know this sounds weird whenever I tell people but the more weight I lose, the more my lower back hurts. I have degenerative disc disease and some herniated discs in my lower back and arthritis as well. I also have some herniated discs in my upper back (between my shoulder blades) and in my neck. The pain is getting worse throughout my spine as I lose weight, but I notice it the most in my lower back. I have lost 20 pounds since the beginning of June and I have always found that in my own personal experience, the less I weigh, the more my back hurts. I know – it doesn’t make sense – doctors look at me like I’m nuts – but the pain I feel is very real and it is getting worse.
I feel better otherwise – I have more energy, my leg and knee pain has decreased – but the back pain is worse. I am hoping that someone will read this and will be able to tell me that they have heard of this happening to someone else they know or something. Any thoughts?
Loss of butt padding? When I gained weight from 100 to 130 lbs, and went from having a bony butt to a round one, I was able to drive a long longer before getting stiff and sore, and no longer needed to use a pillow at my lower back.
OMG I thought it was my imagination! I have similar back issues. I’ve lost 30 pounds in the past 1 years with 20 of it being in the past 8 months or so. I’ve got continuous stabbing pain in the shoulder blade area and my lower back is so bad sometimes I can’t stand up straight. Let’s not even go there about the neck and resulting headaches.
I had laughingly told my hubby about a month or so ago that losing weight had increased my back pain. I was joking at the time. But the more weight I lose, the worse it gets. I’ve still got at least 20 to go and if at all possible another 10 after that.
If you run across something about this, send it my way. I’ll try to find some research this week and if I see anything, I’ll let ya know!!
Thanks for posting this. I hadn’t connected the two until reading your experience.
Sandy Robinson says
Sorry to hear the same thing is happening to you, but I’m glad to know I’m not nuts! I thought it was just me! That’s why I like writing on this site. I never feel alone. I will keep reasearching it and will let you know if I find something.
Benni Smith says
I thought it was just me. I am so glad I am not crazy. I have lost almost 100 pounds in a year, on my own without surgery, and my back and hip pain is getting worse.
Omg me too. I don’t understand. I’ve lost 93 lbs this year and my lower body (lower back, hips and knees) hurt so much more. I want to cry
That is me to n the doc just said its because of my weight i even feel really sick with the pain
I have lost 62 pounds in one year just changing my eating habit and my back,shoulders,and knees are killing me would love to know what’s going on
I as well have had been suggested to that loosing weight would help my lower, mid back, and hip pain….. As well as low intensity exercise and stretching….. So I started dieting, working on eliminating thing that overwhelmed and stressed me out because stress make my weight jump up dramatically. So I did yoga for a short period but it made my back hurt in a new spot which now everything hurts even more after loosing 37 pounds between December and now which is beginning of May. I hoped for sure the weight loss and stress relief would help the pain but it hurt now more than ever!!!! I’m atleast happy knowing I’m not the only weirdo out here ….. Hopefully one of us gets some answers or gets pointed in a productive direction for finding out what’s wrong with us
Lucy B. says
I know why. I have lost 60 pounds and my backsometimes aches so I researched it. When you lose weight your posture and spinal alignment changes. Remember, you do not walk with a flat belly like you do with a Buddha belly. Heavy breasts can affect posture, so can just having less weight to carry. Maybe you walk faster or stand longer than your body is used to. Your body will need to realign itself or maybe you will need physical therapy or a chiropractor or orthopedist to help it along. Just ask yourself, what exactly is different now from before I lost the weight? Activities? Activity level? How often you sit or lay down? Have you lost weight on your bum, breasts or belly? Asking is the first step. Good luck!
Mellissa B says
I pray that this is the situation for me…thank you for the insight. I will contact a chiropractor soon.
Same thing started happening to me! I’ve lost 80lbs so far and started having shooting pain down my left leg after the 1st 50 lbs. Improved after working with a chiropractor, then lost another 30lbs & the pain is unbearable. Learned through an MRI yesterday that I now have a severe herniation in my lumber area (L-5) that is pressing on my sciatic nerve bundle. No accident or incident/injury stands out — only difference is the weight loss. So this whole realignment theory makes a lot of sense. Perhaps if I’d done some core strengthening work as I lost the weight — might not have happened. Seeing a surgeon on Friday as the chiropractor can’t do anything at this point. Hopefully she’ll have a solution!
Paige Lewis says
Thank You!! I have the same issue and have heard that it’s the alignment. I had more pain when I got orthopedic shoes. The doc said to not wear them so that my muscles aren’t strained. I have degenerative disc disease as well. Glad to know I’m not crazy. My doc did give me some creams that reduce inflammation and has some lidocaine. those are a lifesaver. Heat and ice also work along with stretching.
Your are correct, about the body realigning. At the slimming club I attend, a very obese lady who lost a lot of weight was in agony with her back and was told by a back specialist the same thing.
Thank you for your common sense approach. I agree wholeheartedly and just hope my pain subsides over time
I two suffer the same an I’ve only lost 10kgs but I then read apparently if the Pl ur loosing the most weight is ur tummy then apparently ur Tummy could of been acting as support the fat in it yeah could of been acting as support for ur back an now ur loosing it ur back is loosing support an the only way to stop it is to replace it with muscle so lower tummy toning an upper tummy toning an exercises to increase bum muscles etc hope u worked out ur problem N corrected it
I too have experienced the same for approx 10 months. I have done extensive physiotherapy without relief. There are a lot of comments of people experiencing similar, has anyone actually found relief???
I am experiencing mid back side pain after the loss of 30 lbs. I’ve had severe ddd mist of my life and have had several surgeries. I’m also an occupational therapist and must agree that it all has to do with your spine realigning itself as your weight shifts. Besides seeing a therapist, one of the best things that you can do for yourself is strive to keep your weight stable. Good luck!
I have exactly the same problem. Lost 30lb in a couple months. Pain fluctuates between upper right and centre back. Doesn’t help anybody, or me, but you know you are not on your own.
Same – I lost 35 lbs in 2 months. Numb/tingling between shoulder blades began about 10 lbs ago. Looking for solutions too. I thought I was crazy thinking it was due to my weight loss.
Joanne Gerhart says
Have u gotten any relief I have been feeling like I been in a fight with a electric fence sometimes after losing 50 lbs . Help
I’ve lost almost 50 pounds over the summer and in the past month I’ve had so much back pain
I have been in this exact same situation for over a year now and, like others I am reading above and below, I thought I was the only person in the world suffering from this same issue. I have always been an active person and love hiking in the Rockies. Now I cannot walk 100 feet without severe lower back pain. I went to a spine surgeon and he said I am not a candidate for surgery and sent me to a pain management specialist. In six months I have had diagnostic facet injection, steroid injections and a procedure called a Rhizotomy. They burn the nerve endings with a laser. Nothing has worked and the extreme pain continues. My next plan is for a spinal cord stimulator to be implanted. I have read extensive reports and conducted personal interviews with past patients of the procedure. It seems to work on everyone I have spoken with. I eat meals on a regular basis, I have not lost my appetite, only eat smaller portions. Exercise is a waste of time because the pain simply comes back with more intensity afterwards. Except for riding my recumbent bicycle. No pain while doing it but afterwards, the pain intensifies. At least reading that there are others out there who suffer from the same pains is a small comfort to know others “feel my pain”. A disgusting quote from Bill Clinton.
Same problem with me, I lost 25 Kgs and suffered a herniated L4/L5 disc for no apparent reason and no doctor would believe me. I tried various treatments but to no avail, in the end, ozone therapy worked for me, but prior to that an epidural injection was given, the combination of both allowed me to walk again after being bedridden for 3 months.
Frank D says
Very curious about those spinal cord stimulator patients with implanted results you have? I have NOT done nearly the extensive research you have done . because the little bit of research I did,was enough to make me NOT want to get it done.. most of the folks I read comments from had to have it done over and over 3 or 4 times with different brands etc before it worked. I’m not sure if these were handpicked patients that you were given or people you randomly found?
But my main question on these spinal cord stimulators that I don’t seem to be able to find info on that i’m looking for is this. if you or ANYONE ELSE CAN answer for me is this. what are the limitation / restrictions with these things? example?
what sports can’t you play with it?
can I go in the Hot tub with it?
can I do Yoga and stretching classes and workout classes with this thing no problem without wireless splitting?
stuff like that
I thought I was going nuts myself with this problem, I have lost almost 60 pounds and my lower back spasms all the time now, what can I do to stop it?
Casey Coleman says
I have been having the same issue recently. I’ve lost about 37 lbs since Jan 2019.. Over the last week or two, I’ve started having lower back pain all acroos by back. I’ve also experienced really painful back spasms I’ve fallen several times due to this. Not sure where to go next in this journey.
Sara Jane Blazo says
Wow…funny how many people have the same issues. I have lost(not planned to) 20 pounds or so in the last year and now have low(L4/L5) back issues, degenerative disk disease with no disk space left. Fortunately cortisone injections take away the pain, but I didn’t connect it to the weight loss til I read this post. Will ask my orth Dr. about it, next visit!!! Strange, eh?
I too have loss weigbhf and the pain is getting worse.I have Ankylosing spondylitis.
Tina I too have Ankylosing Spondilitis. Since 2011! I have lost 50+ lbs in last yr because of it and now I wonder if it has cause my nerve impingements and bulging disc from my L2-L6. Also 3 in my neck too! I take methotrexate, Humira and Celebrex but inflammation and these issues still there. Taking oxycodone and Fetenyl for pain. Epidural did nothing so getting nerves in back cartaurized. Medial branch ablation I believe is what it’s called. So much pain makes me have NO APPETITE!? Any ideas for better quality of life
Me too, I have pain on upper back clavicle area, and lower back pain,had to retire befor my time ,also I’m losing weight,also having muscle spasam, doctors just look at you like I’m exaggerating
Miriam Barry says
Try and get off tablets and srart swimming and weights programme. You will definitely get results. It will take patients and willpower, but end result will make it worth while. Good luck
I swim and go to the gym. Have lost 58lb in 6 months. The pain in my lower body has intensified since losing the weight. So much so that I am finding it harder to do the exercises because I am wiped out for 2 days afterwards. You think losing weight will help.
SUSAN THOMPSON says
Metzie, my husband has been through all those things,too, with no relief. He has been diagnosed 4 months ago with ra in wrists and feet but the back thing is long long term.
I lost 60 lb over the last year and a couple months. My back has ddd, bone spurs a couple of compressed discs and osteoarthritis. I have dealt with back pain a long time but never to this extent! And the doctors will try anything if you let them. Prayers for all of us!
Jessica Michelle Allen says
I had the gastric sleeve 08/08/18 and have had horrible back pain since. I’m only 35.Just got my MRI on Wednesday. My sister said she can feel something sticking out my back on both sides. Both hips hurt all the time. At least if I find out that it’s disc herniation I’ll have an answer but I’m so scared.
I have lost at least 20 pounds since January (didn’t need to lose them, part of my symptoms I suppose) and am now quite skinny -so not sure if it applies – but YES, not only has sitting been more difficult (bony butt here also), but I have had alot more lower back pain. I’ve been wondering if it has anything to do with the pelvic floor. Since you have IC also, might be something worth checking into.
Sandy Robinson says
Hi Dawn, I see the neurologist tomorrow – I’ll be asking him some questions about weight loss and back pain – hopefully I can get some answers.
That is crazy because the exact same thing is happening to me! I have fibro and all the disc problems you mentioned. I recently started a new treatment for fibro and it is getting better but I’ve also been losing weight (about 20 pounds) unintentionally and my back pain, specifically lower back, is getting much worse. I had never thought of a relationship between the two until I just saw this post. I will be following to see if anyone has any answers.
I lost 47 PDS and have facet arthropathy with degeneration of cartilage between L-5 and S-1. I also have degeneration in two compartments of my knee and bone spurs in my legs. I have had pain for while, but I have never felt pain so severe I have to lie down and force my body to move because my body is afraid of moving. I almost wish I had never lost the weight. PS also experiencing muscle spasms that are also more dehabiliting than ever. Worst pain in my life.
Hi – I have this too and after losing 27 pounds. I thought it might have been due to caffeine. I used to get terribly bloated from coffee but since I went salt-free I could drink all the coffee I wanted. So I’m trying to end coffee to see if that helps. Other than that, the only think I can think of is that after losing weight we might be changing our posture and holding ourselves differently, engaging different muscles? Mine is a muscle ache – not really bad but I really feel it when I bend forward, and I’ve always been flexible. I’ve had this backache over a month, never had back problems before although I do have porous bones – osteopenia so I’m taking more Calcium/Vit D/Mag.
Hi I just read your post about pain, You said that you were swelling but went salt free so you could drink coffee. Did you know caffeine will dehydrate you. Your organs and joints need water, so if you are drinking a lot of caffeine it is pulling the fluid out of you. You might want to research about lack of hydration to body and symptoms. Hope this information helps you.
I am so glad that it is not only me! I only lost five pounds so far, my family says that I lost more than that but I can’t tell. Anyways, I started to feel this back pain after the weight loss. I been taking these vitamins, and working out for about two months now. I feel very energetic, I am not as tired as before but my back hurts. People tell me I might be over working myself at the gym but I haven’t gone for two weeks now and the back pain is worst than coming back from an intense workout.
I am not a doctor, but my hypothesis is that when you way alot you are placing significant pressure on your back. Only when you lose weight, do you release that pressure. My question is whether it this pain lasts or is only temporary?
Ed I’m thinking along those lines myself. It just seems that my weight has been causing nerve numbness in a sense. Then when I lose some weight and it only has to be 5 pounds to cause more pain than usual. Which I believe is the reason the nerve wakes up in a sense. And it’s a good bit of pain. Just my thoughts on it. Good luck to us all on losing weight and easing the pain.
Same thing happened to me you know! Only that my weight loss was deliberate. I made significant changes to my diet, stopped eating certain types of food, etc. When I got the results I wanted – to lose weight – I was so happy. Not anymore … I have very bad lower back pain and numbness and tingling in left foot. Awful! My manual therapist says that my body tries to readjust itself to my new weight and the more significant the weight loss the more time will be necessary for the body to adjust. I hope she’s right. First neurologist I saw was as baffled as I was. He just couldn’t see any reason for my problems. Hope you got an answer, Sandy, and a good one at that.
How you are losing weight is important. Are you losing body fat or are you losing muscle mass, please check. Its easy to lose weight unhealthily. But, if you are losing weight by healthy meal plan, than there won’t be any issues.
I have lost around 20 lbs of body fat in last 4 months, and i’m perfect healthy, fresh, look younger and lots of compliments.
LUCY Kariuki says
You say you have numbness in one of your feet.It would be wise for your doctor to send you for an MRI just to be sure your problem is not in your spine.I had surgery in November last year 2016 which involved removal of a meningioma from my upper spine.The doctors initially all thought I had lower back problem and I wasted a precious time doing physio sessions.Finally when I visited my neurologist on appointment in early November his face became very serious when he realised I could barely walk un attended.He quickly sent me for the whole back’s MRI. When he saw the MRI report he was shocked and explained that I had cervical meningioma that was dangerously pushing against the spinal cord and of course the nerves, thus the numbness and weakness in the legs.I also lost my appetite completely in hospital and since then have been eating very little.(lost about 15 Kgs!). Doctors, kindly explain to us the reason for the sudden weight loss.
I am so glad to know this is not just me! How strange though! I, too, have lost 25 lbs (seems to be the common number on here) and my lower back is KILLING me. They say that strengthening your abdominal muscles helps your lower back. The thing is, when I start working out and losing weight, I am working those muscles and I also begin holding them tight all the time, which they also say is good for your lower back. I am in constant pain in that area though. Doesn’t make ANY sense to me.
I have lost between 7 to 8 stone to loose, and only about half way there, however I have been told because of so much weight to loose, the loose skin will cause my spine to get very painful again, like it’s at the moment.
Is that correct? I’d appreciate a reply.
Kathy G. says
I have the same problem. I lost 105 lbs. in a year (deliberately). Although I feel wonderful, I have terrible back pain. NEVER like I do now. I do a lot of walking, treadmill, and stationary bike riding. I had to miss 2 weeks of work this past spring because of lower back pain and now I have pain in my thoracic area. When I had the pain last spring I had 8 sessions of physical therapy. The therapists showed me how to strengthen my core and I still do some of the exercises. I should mention, I had a c-section and an abdominal hyst. and now, because of the weight loss, I have “jelly belly” that I absolutely cannot get rid of. I wonder if a tummy tuck would help with the back pain and support. If I don’t take some ibuprofen, I am in complete agony.
I have the same thing. Ibuprofen really doesn’t do much. A heating pad helps, until the next day at work and it starts again.
Mike G says
I have lost 70 lbs since the 1st week of August under a supervised program, and I am having persistent back pain for the first time in my life. I am running quite a bit, but before I put on weight I had run 4 marathons. The doctor supervising my diet suggested the drastic weight loss is causing the muscles to pull the spine out of alignment, and that I need to do exercises to strengthen by abdominal muscles. I am not particularly soft in the middle, but I am working on my abs and I hope this will relieve my back pain. I am also glad that I am not imagining things.
Christina M says
I went looking for explanations for my recent back pain and found these comments here. I am glad I am not crazy and that others have had the same experiences. I have lost 28 lbs since the end of August and 70 lbs in the last year and a half. Within the last 3 weeks or so have been experiencing terrible back pain. I figured it must be due to losing weight rapidly after being so overweight for so long, but it is nice to hear similar stories to confirm. My doctor said that I need to stick with my diet and exercise (30 more pounds to go) and eventually my body will adjust to my new weight.
I have lost 47 pounds on purpose and have always had back pain but still could function, but now that I have been lost weight, as a matter of fact lowest weight I have ever been in my entire adult life. I have been experiencing pain in my lower back and legs so severe that I am finding that I am having to lie down in the middle of the day and having to motivate my body to even think about moving. Because even though I have alot of pain in one position body seems to think moving will make it worse.let me know what doc said to you please.
I heard that when you lose weight, your organs shift around, causing lower back pain. Has anyone heard of this? An Exercise Phisiologist Doctor mentioned this in a seminar he gave at my company.
I am, and have experienced the same thing while loosing weight after the birth of ALL three of my children. The pain did disappear completely after about a year. Still have no explanation for the pain.
UK Kathy says
My son told me about this site as he lives in the USA. What a relief as I have shed 4 stone and have loads more to go but thought i was going mad as i am in the most awful pain in my lower back. I have a hernia so know my lower abdoman is non existent and my back must work overtime to hold me upright but blimey i feel the weight around my middle which i never did before since loosing the 56lbs and everyone says you will feel lighter. I also think its to do with the toxins stored in the fat cells that need to find somewhere else to go so are making the muscles feel more sore. I also read a book on somatics a out how the body muscles can go into a tightening and you do not know its doing it. this then stesses our other muscles and they all become sore due to working all the time.
Doc J says
Please realize that when you lose weight, whether intentional or not, there will be structural changes that occur to the body that are often not noticed by the untrained eye. When a spinal column has adapted to a certain weight and structural position, it tends to be in a state of homeostasis and “comfortable”, for lack of better terminology. The loss of body weight creates a sudden change in structure, and subsequently homeostasis is gone. Often times the will be body alignment alterations, muscle position changes, and a widening of the IVF or inter-vertebral foramen. The combination of these can cause swelling and a general irritation to the body, resulting in pain. The good news is that the body will once again adapt and the pain will go away. In my practice I see pain that will last a few days, a few weeks, or be intermittent for the duration of the progressive weight loss. It is important to work on conditioning the “core” musculature off the body to help minimize any negative side effects of weight loss. Again, just remember that it is temporary.
But that doesn’t answer why there is pain with loss of weight but not with the gain of it. In both cases there is, if there is, structural changes.
Dena Rosario says
I have chronic pain in my lower back, knees and ankles due to arthritis and find it almost impossible to excercise and yet I am desperately needing to lose weight as I am somewhat obese standing 5ft tall and weighing 215lbs what can I do? At this point I am willing to deal 28th the back pain if losing weight will ease the knee and ankle pain, better to deal with 1 rather than three
Sweetie I saw your post I was in the exact same boat. I’m 35 and had a hysterectomy last year that left me post menopausal very young and the weight problem got worse. I was already overweight and I didn’t need the hysterectomy making it worse. I started by cutting out all wheat and gluten. I lost 20lbs from just that in just 2 months. I then went further and cut all other starch, potatoes and rice for example, I immediately last 44 lbs. I’m now down 80lbs and weighing in at 144. Give it a try it’ll be hard for the first two weeks but it’s incredible the results!
Thank you for you explanation. I’ve lost 80 lbs this year on the kerogen in diet. SSixty-five pounds on purpose and the other 15 after I hurt my thoracic spine and cervical spine through stupidity and couldn’t eat. I wondered about going from a couch potato to walking 10,000 steps a day was the problem, then this last bout with my back I wondered about all the weight in 10 months. It makes sense now
Thanks for your post. 10,000 steps per day. You must be walking several miles. Amazing!
Thanks all. I am having this issue right now. Ab exercises make sense but I haven’t done them yet (because I hadn’t thought of them).
Stretching did help me some (especially after using heat). Also heat (hot tub and heat pad)
And I used a towel to support my lower back when sitting or laying. Time to reach for my toes
Don’t!!! I was able to do that and reached a certain age and that is when i herniated the disc that is probably the bane of my DDD problems now. I did some research and read that it is absolutely the WORST thing you can do for your spine.
Soooo glad I found this discussion and the comments from Doc J (hoping he’s a real doctor)I’ve been losing weight intentionally for about 6 weeks and the back pain I’m feeling is along my spine about the middle of my back. I especially feel it when I’m doing something while standing, like cooking or folding laundry. But I also have it when I sit erect during my morning meditation. The pain isn’t constant and immediately goes away when I lie down. I have about 65 more pounds to lose so I imagine there’ll be more kinks to workout. Why isn’t this common knowledge? Would’ve saved me, and I guess quite a few others, some concern.
The exact description of my issues! I’ve lost 30 lbs Intentionally with proper diet the past 10 weeks. I wasn’t expecting the random burning mid- back pain along my spine!
Like others, I hope as I stabilize at this weight, the pain will subside.
I have the exact problem, I was thinking my decrease in calories and protien could be to blame. Along with core weakening. I had drastic weight loss quickly due to stomach cancer. Cancer gone, along with 70% of my stomach. So I’m eating tiny meals.
The burning, cramping pain is really making it hard to do my desk job.
Hi again. My back pain from weight loss FINALLY went away after a year of having it! My comment is Sept 1 above. I have lost 40 pounds and I have no other medical issues – I found this discussion because I think it’s the only one on the entire web about this!
BUT I think it was actually because dieting makes me constipated and after being that way for a long time the maybe it can lead to a constant backache? I finally took care of it and after a couple of days the backache disappeared. At least I hope that’s what it was – such a simple solution. I also appreciate Doc J’s comment and it makes a lot of sense to me, although a name and hospital affiliation would go a long way in establishing that as a confirmed medical fact.
Sandy Robinson says
Thanks Ann for the update! I am still having back pain, even after over two months of physical therapy and having lost more than 40 pounds. Still waiting for the pain to get better. I hope you have continued pain-free days! Keep in touch!
Thanks for your kind words Sandy. I should add that I do yoga and dancing and the back pain remained through it all. It would go away with a few stretches and exercising was fine and then it always returned. You will get through it (but if you’re stoppered up you might look at that solution). Also, I find that taking too much Calcium (with Vit D and Magnesium) also causes the pain to get worse even though it’s supposed to help. I went off it altogether and now I am taking half of what they recommend and eating high-calcium food.
Wow.. I thought I was crazy too… so tonight I decided to start researching… I had gastric bypass surg 17 months ago and I have lost 165 lbs in the past year… I have severe and debilitating back pain. I have been off work off and on since December (almost 3 months).. in that time we have been through almost $20,000 dollars in tests.. MRI x2- Myelogram – CT scan – 2 epidural injections – phys therapy – xrays – Nerve Conduction Study – etc..
Finally we have found that L1-2 is bulging and L4-5 is bulging down pinching the L5-S1 nerve. I have low back pain, left buttock pain that goes into the thigh, behind knee to calf and into arch of the foot… and since phys therapy started the leg is now going asleep and pain is more severe.. they told me friday they were referring me back to the neurosurgeon and recommening surgery. I told them all about the weight loss and all they had to say was ‘fantastic!’ and “could you imagine the significant pain you would be in now if you were carrying that”! … for the 1st time i have embraced the idea of surgery because I can’t take the pain any more.. i cant go watch my kids play ball, I cant work like I need to, I cant do anything…pain pills and the couch is so depressing..I work in an area of seeing ppl in pain 24/7 and I dont want to be like that and dont want to be hooked on these pills..
gosh.. who would have thought weight loss would do this?
Marie I started bawling when I read your post. I keep turning my back on bypass because I am convinced I should be able.to do this myself. I played sports all my life until age 16 when I sufferred a broken tail bone. Since then even standing sitting laying down hurts if I do it too long. I have gained and gained because I can’t move around like I want to. The pain is excruciating. I’m wearing OTC back patches every day except for those days when my skin has had enough of the adhesive. I don’t even go to the dr. anymore about the daily acute pain because they all tell me to lose weight. They don’t want to hear me tell them the back pain started first. Sure the additioanl 100 pounds isn’t helping. I used to 2x a week to a gym and all I can do is use the treadmill with the long rails. I end up lifting my upper body up to walk. I drive home crying in pain. I can do a 20 minute mile. I am active at home with 3 teenagers. I read these comments and nearly died because it feels like there is no hope for me if losing weigjt is going to make the back pain worse. I can’t even stand in the shower without holding my breath sending my blood pressure through the roof over the pain. Ibuprofen doesn’t help and opioid pain meds make me sicker than a dog.i don’t wanna be one of those people always on pain meds. I am going to reconsider the bypass but only because I cannot take the pain. Did you see the neurosurgeon? What did he say? My doc refuses to give me a referral to anyone other than the weightloss doc. He says once I have the surgery we can talk about the back pain. Feeling blackmailed a bit.
Hi I have the exact same weight loss and I have more to go but the more weight I lose, the worse the pain gets. I hope you still have the same email address cuz I really want to know what you did and how it’s turned out for you
HAve lost 8kg over the last 2 months through exercise and reduced food intake. Have always had the “occasional” lower back problem but it has been constant for the last 3-4 weeks. The comments here seem to support my thoughts on the cause.
I have lost about 27 pounds in approx. two months and started feeling a strong muscle ache throughout my back whenever I was sitting for a little while. Being a massage therapist I thought it might have to do with the body adjusting, but came here looking for confirmation. I’m glad to hear the suggestions here and that it does eventually go away.
I lost 80 lbs and felt dreadful as I’ve never had any physical problems before at all. But as my weight decreased back pain was making me sad and irritable all of the time. Nobody was telling me why. I’ve regained my weight because my mood and back feel sooo much better at this higher weight. The trade off is a little embarrassing socially and professionally, so, I do want to try again. Now I have some logical answers that will help me plan my next try. Thanks to everyone who shared.
Wow- My Dr. referred me to Physical Therapy because of my back pain. I recently loss 30lbs my lower back problem started about 2 mths ago. I related it to stationary bike @ gym because I noticed increas in pain the day after using the bike. Physical Therapist said I had a lot going on 1-my organs are all out of place and 2-I have scaring from a C-section I had 18yrs ago 3-she is 99% sure I have a broken coccyx.(I did injure it about 5-6yrs ago riverrafting, fell out & hit a boulder butt first-Iwas in pain couldn’t sit for months but never went to Dr.) I was also told I should have an abdominal ultra sound becase of possible desending aorta, or something like that. I have an appointment tomorrow & hope this pain goes away soon-I’d hate to gain back the weight I work so hard on to lose! need to get back to working out.
I, too, am having lower back issues with my weight loss. Depending on how much weight you need to lose, it is to be expected that you will experience some pain in your lower back. As your body adjusts to your new weight, you will see a decline in the amount of pain you are experiencing. Basically, your body stretches back to it original state, or as close to it as humanly possible. Best of Luck!
Thank goodness I found this thread. I’ve lost about 30 lbs since March 1, and have had bouts of really bad back/neck/shoulder muscle aches ever since. Even as I type I’m nursing a terribly sore neck that’s been going on for about 2 days. There were definitely some useful tips here- and reading the thread shed some light on what I’m going through, so thank you to all of you for contributing to the discussion. I’ll be checking back for updates, and will hopefully post one of my own in a few months, hopefully another 50-60 lbs lighter and back-pain free!
I had the gastric in 2004 at 366lbs. I lost down to 277lbs before I started having severe back pain. I stopped all exercise and went back to what I knew to help pain, food. So Since 2004 I have stayed between 300lbs and 280lbs If I start to gain over 300lbs, I experience knee and ankle pain. Every time I drop down toward 280lbs or less.. I have the worst back pain. I finally figured out this pattern about two years ago. I had decided that my back was suffering because of the fat hump that normally supports my back goes first when I loss weight 🙂 Reading the post that I have read today helps me understand that I am not weird. 🙂 I have been losing weight for the last few months and currently have on a back brace, longline bra and sit with extra back support while at work. It give me hope to understand that I need to strength my core and most of this is muscle pain that will eventually go away when my body had adjusted to my weight loss. I plan on working thru this pain. Thanks so much everyone for sharing your experience.
I have been down this roller coaster twice and it makes sense to me that the body needs to to adjust. I will fight through it and try to meet my goal. Then I will do everything to stay at that goal. Good luck to everyone and thanks for all the posts. It saves me a visit to the doctor.
Wow this is some very useful information!!! I standing here in tears not knowing rather to sit or stand. I have lost a total of 45 pounds this year and now my lower lumbar is killing me!!! I’m very happy I found this website.. Once I started reading everyone else stories it all made sense!! Thanks to all!!
I know exactly how you feel! It’s gotten to the point where nothing I do offers any type of relief. It hurts to sit, hurts to stand, hurts to bend over, hurts to lay down. So just on a whim I thought I’d see if there were any internet articles out there on this type of pain. At least I know I’m not alone!
So glad I found this thread. I just lost 60lbs in almost 5 months and my back has been getting worse and worse with every pound lost. I was worried that maybe I was losing muscle or bone mass but I eat very healthy and exercise so I guess I’ll wait to see if it gets better with my new body. I type this on my phone as I lay here on the couch in pain. It’s my spine all the way down my back; mostly my middle back. When I was heavy, my lower back always hurt but it was because of my heavy stomach. Now, with no tummy, it’s my middle back and most of my spine. The body adjusting topic makes sense and gives me a lot of hope. Was wondering: what calcium supplements should I take to make sure my bones are healthy? I’m a 26 year old, Active male. Thanks all. Also; any sleeping positions recommended for middle back pain? I tried the lower back tricks but it simply doesn’t make a difference. Ahhhh, I need a back-pain pen-pal! 🙂
I am struggling right now w/lower back pain. It is frustrating. I do know a few things though, It’s not because you lost weight. You probably have week stomach muscles and need to find safe exercises to build them up.
If you sleep on your side you should put a pillow between your legs, from the knee to the ankle this will align your spine. If you have health Insurance, you really should go to your orthopedic doctor and get a physical, sleep positions and an exercise routine. You may be doing one thing wrong that is straining those muscles. Technique is important…good luck.
I, too, am glad to have found this site. I have also been suffering pain related to weight loss. However, my pain is in my hip joints, and not my back and all. Both my hip joints have suffered quite a bit of deterioration, but the pain level was stable and bearable, until I began to lose weight. I lost about 25 pounds last fall, and, like others who’ve posted here, I thought perhaps it was related to loss of “padding.” The pain was the most intense for me when lying in bed at night, so I thought that having less fat gave me less “cushion,” and that was what caused pain. Then I stop dieting, and the increased pain stopped, too. I gained back about 10 pounds, and the pain neither increased nor decreased. Then, this last week, I started dieting again, and lost 4 pounds. The increased pain returned with a vengeance. I now have the highest pain level ever. It doesn’t seem logical to me that the loss of 4 pounds would be sufficient to cause any postural or structural change, and it certainly isn’t sufficient to have decreased any amount of “padding.” Also, since my pain increases primarily while I’m in bed, it also doesn’t make sense that they increased pain would be due to postural changes. I am forced to surmise that the increased pain is somehow related to a non-structural process; perhaps biochemical, hormonal, enzymatic, and/or some other process, perhaps related to increased toxicity, which is increasing the levels of inflammation I experience.
I regret to throw a “wrench in the works,” so to speak, but I am having extraordinarily increased pain, not in my back, and directly related to weight loss dieting. I would be very interested to hear if anyone else is experiencing increased pain levels,related to dieting, in areas other than the back. Also, I would be interested to hear any theories as to the cause of dieting related pain increases, other than postural and structural, as I feel certain these are not the causes, at least not in my case. And I can’t imagine that I’m so unique, that no one else has had experiences similar to mine.
This is my exact problem. Ive lost 30kg in 6 months and only feel pain when lying down at night. usually when i try to get up again. it could be my hip. ive never had this sort of pain before. its almost impossible to get out of bed due to the pain, yet as soon as i stand up the pain goes away. during the day no pain. lie down for a few hours – searing pain.
My wife has had serious back problems the last few years and back specialist told her thin bodies allow much more torque and twisting to spine. I have lost around 7 pounds the last month and suddenly have major low back pain. I am definitely aware of more flexing and twisting in low back as the pounds come off. I imagine it takes some time for the spine to readjust to the greater range of movement. I have been religious about core work and stretching the last several years so core strength doesn’t seem to be the issue.
So does anyone got a real explanation from their doctor? I just lost 40 lbs in the last 7 month and for the last month my lower back pain in getting so bad I have to work hunched over. It’s making my regular excersize routine difficult like swimming, running and tennis , but Pilate and yoga is fine
Here are some interesting sites that address this:
My back pain had started to subside and then would flare up again. Some days I don’t need Advil at all now but I had back pain for a year while losing 40 pounds. Now it’s finally going away for good (I hope).
After reading these and other articles recently, I determined that I needed to strengthen my core muscles. Keep in mind that this is after having checkups and determining there was nothing wrong. Doctors couldn’t explain it either and didn’t seem to believe me. I do carry a heavy purse around out of necessity and my exercises did put strain on my back. That includes walking (with a purse).
Like everything else, the right answer is no mystery – losing weight requires lowering your food intake and you might easily be depriving your muscles of necessary nutrients, and your lower back is what holds you up and will feel this deprivation.
I have always gained weight around my middle while my legs stayed skinny. They talk about body types but I think a lot of it is how you use your body and I thought maybe I don’t use my core enough so it lacks strength.
Core strengthening also helps your balance! Good old-fashioned crunches plus newer fancier exercises are all good. (Strengthening your abdomen as well as your lower back is important for supporting your back.) A good one is getting on all fours and lifting and straighteneing one leg behind and the opposite arm in front.
Well my post didn’t appear but here’s the short version. I found some articles online that address this. Makes sense to me that a restricted diet will restrict some loss of nutrients that can cause bone and muscles to break down, even if you exercise, espcially as your back becomes more flexible? So now I’m doing lower back and abdominal exercises.
The doctors mentioned don’t seem to know what is causing this. My own neuro looked at me with a blank stare. When I was young it required 20 or 30 pounds of weight lose for the pain to kick in. My lower back pain would make it difficult to walk upright and my neck pain would make it difficult to turn my head. Now at 47, just a pound or 2 of weight lose causes the pain to kick in. Alana is absolutely right, it can’t be because of structural issues, organs moving around etc.. The fat supporting the back also seems unlikely given how little weight lose now causes the pain. The posters doctor who said the pain would have been much worse if he hadn’t lost all that weight is also wrong, in fact, the pain was caused by the weight lose. The most likely explanation is inflammation from the burning of fat. Advil is the only thing that I have found reduces the pain. Advil reduces inflammation. The inflammation is likely caused by the self regulating fat hormones throwing your system out of wack causing inflammation and an possible autoimmune response making it worse. The 3 main self regulating hormones that are secreted by fat cells are below.
Leptin is involved in appetite control.
Resistin is a hormone that increases insulin resistance.
Adiponectin lowers the blood sugar by making your body more insulin sensitive.
Yup, I have low back pain when I do exercises to lose my belly fat, bad experience.
Thanks for the info!
I am a physical therapist who has degenerative discs in lower and mid back. I work out 3 times a week with low impact cardio, 3 times a week on “safe” core and resistance training. I’m 52 and getting a little paunch. I recently went on a resitricted calorie diet, 2000 calories a day, avoiding bad carbs and bad fat. After losing 8-10 lbs my back and neck have been killing me. For the life of me I can’t make sense of it! I’ve been dieting for 1 month and am considering going back to my status quo. Crazy.
Continuing the above comments. I know that the intervertebral discs loose water as we age, this explains our gradual loss of height. What if our discs loose fluid as we loose weight causing the facet joints to compact down on each other inflaming adjacent tissues and nerves. My back feels stonger and less vulnerable when I am ten pounds heavier. (So much for my six pack abs.)
I’m so happy to see a physical therapist contributing to this, and with similar problems. Thank you for adding to the discussion! Inflammation in my case is definitely the culprit, whether it’s from toxins in the fatty tissues being released, or reduction in “stabilizing” fat stores across the back (my back fat was so solid I couldn’t put my shoulders back properly)…. it’s definitely a real problem and more diagnosticians and therapists should know about this!
Add me to the list. Lost 20 kg 2 years ago, and now I am woken up every morning around 4am with lower bac pain, which disappears once I get up and move around for 10mins or so. This has been highly consistent for 9 months, with no improvement or worsening. I figure the “curve” that now exists between my hip and rib cage results in my vertebrae slipping out if alignment as I sleep on my side. X-rays show nothing because the vertebrae slip back in place when I move around ( I feel them move!)
Brian Hart says
Most people see no relation between what they eat and their back’s strength and health. Just like the engine in your car, your body needs the proper nutrition so that the muscles can continue to move and support the spine. If your car runs out of gas, the engine quits and the car cannot move. If you have not eaten, your back muscles may quit working for you; they can weaken, tighten up, and become more susceptible to fatigue-related injury.
Wow. So happy I came across this thread. I also lost a lot of weight in the past year and have noticed my lower back pain increase. I found myself more susceptible to back injuries. I’ve pulled my back out twice in the past 6 months. I’ve heard about our bodies trying to adjust to the changes in our weight but I wish I knew how long it takes. 😉 I’ve gone to physio for 3 months then stopped because they thought I had improved. They really only managed the pain because 4 weeks later, I’m lying on my couch because my back went out and am in bad bad pain. I’d been more active and watching how I move or lift but this time I simply went to pet my dog, and boom, I can’t walk, stand or sit for long periods of time.
Glad I’m not the only one but I hope we all can get better soon!
I’m wondering if the back pain symptoms may be related to a product that I’m taking to help curb the appetite. It’s all natural, but still the stimulation is enough to cause high blood pressure. I’ve had some back issues for a couple of years that have nothing to do with weight. I’ve been doing just fine with yoga, streches & chiropratic. Then I decided to try to loose 5 lbs and started with a weight loss supplement. Progressively over the past 3 weeks my low back pain has become unbearable! My only relief that past weekend was muscle relaxers, ice and heat packs. I stopped taking the weight loss supplement on Saturday and Sunday less pain, today Monday 8/22 virtually no pain! I’m still observing but I think there is a link.
The skeleton is supposed to slip and slide along joints and where bone joins in the pelvis, lower back area. as the weight changes it can slip or stick in a way that pinches a nerve causing back pain. I have the same symptoms and the way to get it to go away is exercise, physical activity, inversion (hanging from the ankles), or massage/chiropractic.
I am at the same weight but lost some size due to intense bicycling activity. My belt is an inch shorter but my hips haven’t readjusted and there is pain in my hips. Eventually things will slide back into place automatically, or I could help them along with a professional.
I’m so glad I came across this thread. I have lost 30lbs in the past month (I know it’s a tad unhealthy) I started having this severe back pain that would only occur when I was standing up doing an activity such as dishes, shopping, laundry etc. I talked to my doctor about it and he said that my body is adjusting to the weight loss and it should clear up. He said imagine a couple bowling balls hanging for years from a tree branch, the branch would most likely grow to support the weight and once you remove the bowling balls the branch would over time try to grow to adjust the weight loss. Thankfully it was nothing serious.
Glad I found others like me!
Take care all
I have lost about 30 pounds over the last 6 months and have been getting lots of back pain. I have always have problems with my lower back but it definitely is getting worse. My doctor thinks that the way I am sitting is a contributing factor so I going to be mindful of my posture when sitting down.
I have the same problem I have lost 50 over 2 months and I to have been suffering with lower back pain it doesn’t make any sense when I didn’t have it before the weight loss but its annoying in the sense its stopping me from doin exercise :/ x
O boy so I understand this – I lost about 50 lbs a few years ago and the back pain just kept getting worse. I gained back 30 lbs and felt 100 % better. Now losing again and more back pain – kind of makes a person want to gain weight!
I am experiencing the same thing. What I think may be happening is that our bodies have not only developed certain ways of moving and posture but the fat can sometimes act as a bulking/support factor. I am working on better posture and hopefully it will correct itself. I also carry a lot of muscle on my upper body which is now not as supported.
I was doing some internet research on my debilitating back pain after having lost an intention 40 pounds this past year.. It hurts the most after standing for even 15 minutes (like I did this afternoon shopping). I left the store in tears my back hurt so bad. This pain started about 2 months ago. I also have been diagnosed with osteoporosis.. I am so glad I found this site, because I thought the breast cancer I HAD (am cancer-free now), had possibly gone somewhere else.. My pain isn’t in my spine. It is in my lower back above my hips. I think a combination of my osteoporosis and the weight loss and the fact I haven’t done any exercise to build up my core muscles are the culprit.. Thank you!
okay i have it too. I lost about 15 pounds and inexplicably I am feeling lower back pain. I hope it goes away
Okay, I am relieved to find out it is not just me. I noticed that whenever I started to get healthy, my back would get worse. Then I noticed that it was when I lost weight. I only noticed this when I started to keep a journal of everything that might have been affecting my back pain(like food, certain activities or stress). By the way I have two herniated lumbar disks (dont know if I had them before I started to lose weight.) I lost 20 lbs and thats when the pain started, I gained that back plus a few more. My back was fine while i was gaining, then I lost 30lbs and the pain got so bad I couldn’t walk. I lost the 30lbs in spurts and documented this in my journal and noticed the correlation between big drops of weight and the pain increasing. I told my Chiropractor this and he said that the body percieves weight loss as an assault or stress to the body, so you get inflamation and stuff. I also found that I have food related sensitivities to Dairy, wheat and red meat. Any other people out there with clarification of why and how to prevent this pain. Being fat is unhealthy, but I can’t live with the pain. Thanks
I am as well having alot of lower back pain since I’ve lost 25 lbs in a couple of months. I found it really strange that I would have this issue now that I feel much more physically fit. I’m eating healthy, I work out for approx. 45 min/3 times per week and I’m active all day but especially in the mornings and towards the end of the day my lower back really bothers me.I don’t want to start popping pills! I haven’t seen a docter yet, I was first curious to see if anyone else had the same issues?
I lost eighty pounds two years ago and started having back pain about two months after that . It has progressively gotten worse over time. I have to lay down for a hour or so after any kind of activity like shopping or driving or washing dishes etc. going to make an appointment to see a dr, but afraid there will be nothing they can do. I don’t want to live with this pain any longer !
I also experience extreme low back pain when I lose weight. My doctor also looks at me like i’m nuts, but the pain is very real. It literally feels like a knife that has been pushed in and twisted, I have almost felt like vomiting and passing out when the pain is at it’s worst.
But regardless of the pain I am not giving up on my weight loss journey this time. Will go back to the doc and see what we can do to aleviate the pain.
I agree, I have lost weight too and my back is killing me. I bought a belt for lower back support and I feel better. I have no clue what to do.
Can I ask how you have lost so much weight in such a little amount of time? I have tried to lose weight and have not even been able to lose 1 pound. It is driving me crazy.
Wow, thanks all,
I have lost 70+ pounds in the last two years. The last 30 pounds kicked in the back pain..that was the only thing I could think of and it seems I am right. I have tried massage, hot tubs, pills, etc. Naproxen has helped..I go to a doctor tomorrow and I will share this and hope for some relief…I don’t want to be in pain forever so I hope as some have mentioned that is goes away.
Jack C says
I’m in the same boat I’ve lost 30 lbs in 3 months and my back is KILLING me now. I have two herniated discs and was in pain before the weight loss but now its a whole new level of pain. I’m hoping its just the changing pressure points and once my body adjusts to it everything will be good but its sure disappointing to do all this work just have it make you feel worse.
Good luck to everyone affected I hope everyone comes out the other side a better person!
glad I found this thread. Lost 35 lbs in past year. Noticed that as the weight went up and down, back pain consistently came and went with the weight loss/increase. Its a shame, because the pain is such a negative motivator! The pain is as described above, begins low down, increases with even mild standing activities and eventually is up in the thoracic area. Rest improves it. I will be researching this further, and if I come up with any good recommendations will advise. I believe I will try some core (pilates) next, although at this time I do weight lifting and core exercises already, with a trainer, for the past 5 yrs. Will keep checking this site. Thanks to you all. I thought it was just me.
I am also so happy to of found this page. I was sent to the hospital last year as I had severe back pain, with no injury to cause it. I told them so many times that I had lost a stone in 3 weeks and they just said to me people your age just get bad back pain. I was 25 years old then and the only people I known my age with back pain have had injuries. I can’t believe that the head of ortho couldn’t tell me what a back pain forum could ! I’m trying to lose weight again but my back is starting to hurt again, so I’m going to do it slowly and with lots of low impact exercise this time. Good luck to you all and I hope this info will start to become common knowledge.
I’ve lost 25 pounds in the last two months and the lower back pain has been getting worse and worse until I started doing Yoga on my Wiifit. Yoga is no good for weight loss but it sure is good for balance, flexibility, and pain management. Also, just walking seems to help, too. Whatever you do, don’t stop exercising.
I have lost 290 over the last two years, yes you did read that right. I work out 2 -3 times per week and also experience lower back pain. I have learned from my massage therapist that it is my glute muscles that keep tightening up. No idea why, but that us what keeps happening…
Good for you on your weight loss! Wow. If you have loose skin on the belly (if you didn’t have it removed), then you might clench your glutes to hold your hips in line. Or you might have developed this habit from years of letting a heavy torso “rest” on your skeleton instead of using core muscles to hold yourself up. You can try repositioning your feet and make a habit of turning your toes inward just by an inch or so. This relieves pressure on some of the deep glutes and can prevent the muscle cramps/knots. You can also turn your toes more angled toward the center (if you’re not walking, that is) to help release the muscles once in a while, at the same time you want to pay attention to if you’re using your glutes to help you stand upright. They shouldn’t be a major muscle group for standing upright. Over time you can make better alignment habits. I see this all the time and my friends even think there’s nothing wrong with standing with their butt cheeks clenched. lol. And they have back pain. Good luck!
Generally rapid weight loss by over dieting result in relatively more muscle than fat loss, and this could contribute to weakening of support muscles that are necessary to maintain a good posture. Incorporating weight training while losing weight can help stem the muscle loss.
Joey D says
I also have lost weight and an feeling back pain, but it feels more muscle-related. I plan on working on my abdominal muscles and core strength but I’d like to know if any one has found relief from doing this.
Lost 137 lbs and my back is on fire. This was over 1 year and 9 months. Didn’t make sense till I found this site. Hoping the excercise pays off eventually and my body readjusts itself to the new weight. Good luck all.
Okay, so I’ve lost 57 pounds and my back is killing me. It just started 2 days ago. So, can anyone tell me if the back pain goes away.
I also have been having back pain with my weight loss, hence how I stumbled across this posting. I’m on Day 16 of my Juice Fast, inspired by Joe Cross on the documentary “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” I was at 217lbs, and this morning I weighed exactly 200. The past two days I’ve had back pain holding my 6 month old baby, and standing. I’m 30 and fairly athletic and active. After reading this thread, I think my suspicions are correct. It must be a result of the weight loss, as I’ve lost 17lbs in 16 days. Thank you all who shared, you’ve put my mind at ease.
I can totally understand I have lost over 100 pounds in the last 5 months and I feel so much pressure in my lower back. My relatives simply say that I am being a hypochondriac but I can definitely feel the pain. I am also having stomach problems as well. Anyone have suggestions?
I have lost 23 lbs in the past 6 weeks under a healthy eating doctor monitored plan (no meds, only supplements) and have started to have moderate lower back pain during this time. My search to see if the weight loss and back pain were related led me to this site, and I’m so thankful to read that I’m not alone in this question. I still don’t know the answer but definitely don’t feel so alone or so crazy, for that matter. I will mention this to my doctor next time to see if they have any suggestions! I truly hope that everyone finds relief sooner than later! God Bless!!
I was in the same boat. I lost 50 pounds rather quickly and developed back pain that was so bad I struggled to walk and I was in my 20’s. I tried pain killers, but they didn’t work. I recommend a combination of chiropractor and physical therapy. I would do both once a week and would be pain free for a couple days after. I should’ve stuck with it, but i gained some of the weight back and the pain went away.
Same here, lost 35 lbs in 2 months and back started hurting. Mostly when i get up from a chair or out of bed. I think I’ll give it a little time since I do believe my body is adjusting itself to the new me. If not a friend suggested seeing a chiropractor since he had the same issue. Mine is more in the middle of my back.
I have lost over 70 lbs in the last year,My doctors told me that I needed to lose some weight but the pain I’m having now is beyond belief .I thought when you lost weight you were suppose to feel better but thats not the case my back,hip,leg and the pain from the back runs up neck into the base of your head Ive had the most severe headaches for 4 weeks can hardly sleep almost makes you want to put the weight back on, the doctor tells me theres no reason for the pain so no help there So glad I found this web site maybe someone will find the answer to why this is happening
I’ve been losing weight slowly but in the last 8 weeks I’ve lost 7- 8 lbs. Now that may not sound like much but my back has been aching lately when I go shopping. I swim as well and that helps. But in reading through this and something that has occurred to me is that when we wear the same shoes as we do when we are X amount heavier our feet are still going in that same gait. My pain started when I was wearing some shoes intended for when I am a bit thinner (ok ok – high heels). But it also struck me that my other shoes where I had been when I was heavier are molded to how my feet were when I was heavier, so it may be worth looking into your footwear and if it is throwing off how you stand and walk.
I had the same problem, and have been getting over it once I figued it out. I lost about 90 lbs in the past 8 months, and for some time my back was hurting. I stopped eating large amounts of food and water before I went to sleep. I am a stomach sleeper, and it helped ALOT. I noticed when I ate alot before bed, I would sleep at a differnt angle. My body weight in different areas, and had alot of waste inside my colon, and stomach. I stopped eating as much…it went away. It worked for me, because whenever I eat to much…and I do still on occasion, my back hurts in the morning. No matter what the day was like..that scenario is my life. SO…if that helps Good luck.
i had the gastric bypass and i lost 150 in he first year my back is huting more and in new spots……. ik think it is the hangin skin but i dont kno
Same here, I lost 10kg in a month and my back has been hurting a lot… I have never had any back problem before. Maybe I am dieting too hard (1000 kcal/day + workout).
My guess is that the back muscles are not used to my weight being lower.
I notice that the pain comes 3,4 h after meals when I am hungry. I’m going to try to change to eat more often with smaller portions (6 a day instead of 3). Will post if it helps.
Good luck to all of you fellow dieters ‘with back pain’ and shame on the legend that weight loss is the miracle solution to happiness…
WOW!!I am sooo glad I found this as here I am trying to lose weight because of the poor condition of my back (herniations from L1-S1)(3 back surgeries) etc etc, have been getting epidurals, blocks, etc for increased pain, over and above what I usually have, lost 26 lbs in 6 months, slow and easy, yet I feel like crap. I am trying to get my my self in good condition for a weekend of fun and happiness(Bar Mitzvah of my grandson in Feb).HELP HELP- any ideas out there to quell the pain—also have had bouts of stomach pain that they cannot figure out-I think its the Fibro yet the doctors are even so unsure. Now the pain management group wants to implant the spinal stimulator- I will give it a try but am so weary from all of this-I see it says fighting fatigue- HOW how HOW
Back Talk says
I have had pain in my lower back since I was about 11. I am 24 now and still have back pain every day. When I was young I matured very fast and was wearing a full size DD cup by the time i was 12. Since then I have put on ALOT of weight…I recently started taking these all natural herb pills Nov 9, 12 to try and help me loose some weight. And to my surprise, These detox pills have worked tremendously!! As of today Dec 11, 12 I have officially lost 25 pounds. But still have much more to go. I started out at 254 and am now at 229. Since I hit that 15 pound loss, I have noticed my back hurting extremely bad. Especially when I bend down and try to come back up. The doctor said picture it like a bowling ball tied on a rope hanging from a tree for a long time, after you cut the bowling ball off, over time it will grow proper. So im crossing my fingers ><. Thankfully I have my wonderful boyfriend of 8 years in my life. He has a way with his hands when it comes to massaging my back. I couldnt imagine what my back would feel like today if he was not around. He generously gives me a back massage for about an hour at a time when im in so much pain. And it helps so so much. So my only advice would be to ask a wonderful person 😉 , if they could rub you down and relieve some tension for you. After all, Were all mostly woman on here and we deserve the pamper : D .
I can’t imagine why it would hurt more?? I been losing weight and feeling better ..you have to figure the more weight the more you back muscles are working harder, I ti think your backs with get better …
I had lost 80 lbs in bout a year and my lower back started hurting so much I can barely move… I have put back on 20 of the 80 that I lost because I cant hardly even sit up… my back pain seems to be continually getting worse… I truly hope it is just my body adjusting…
I have been actively trying to lose weight now for just over 4 months (since October 2012 til now…mid-February 2013). I’ve changed my diet COMPLETELY. Only “whole foods” –fresh or steamed veggies, roasted chicken, fresh fruit smoothies that I make. I will have to say that the weight IS coming off….slowly, but it’s coming off HEALTHY. I make sure to get regulated amounts of protein throughout the day too. I’m still having the back pain. I don’t know how much weight I have lost, as I do not own a scale…and I’m terrified to step on one. All I can say is that I have lost at least 2 pant sizes and about half of my “blubberneck”. I, too, am a large bra size…44DD. I do different slow stretched throughout the day. I don’t own a car, so I get plenty of walking done daily. Today, I walked the 1/2 mile down to the grocery store, stopping at the dollar store on the way there. So, in all, I walked about…oh….a mile and a half today. I am in so much pain right now that I can barely sit. I have been working on my posture also. Standing, sitting and walking. Nothing seems to help. I’ve tried heat pads, cold packs….even alternating heat with cold. I am at my wits end here. I love how I feel with the diet I have chosen to follow, and I want to exercise more…even if it is just walking….but, this pain is very debilitating. How long will this last? Should I continue to actively try and lose more weight? Or, should I slow down and let my body adjust to what I’ve already lost? Any help would be appreciated here. Thank you!
This site does not diagnose or advise regarding symptoms or conditions. Only a physician is qualified to do so. You should contact a physician regarding your symptoms.
Not sure if this has been mentioned before but maybe it has something to do with now having less fat for support?? Now that there is less fat the muscles and other structures have to work harder to keep everything in place. It seems like too much of a coincidence among the people who have lost weight to really be anything else!
dang ! yall are correct if you lose weight your lower back will hurt i was so scared thinkin i might be bending over to much pickin up shoes socks pants anything on the floor i was wondering what caused my pain thanx to this site i think i know why i lost 25 lbs in 2 months and every morning if i start bendin over i get lower back pain so i gotta wait till my body warms up before i can wash my cars or do any exercise that has me bending over to early in the morning thanx yall for sharing your thoughts hopefully it goes away
Julie Edgar says
I’ve also lost 28 pounds and keep getting bad backs, at the moment I have severe pain j my right thigh especially at night as soon as I get into bed never had so much pain I can’t bend and it hurts egrn I walk I felt better when I was overweight!!!
I’m shocked! I have lost 32 pounds. Mostly from January 1 to April – end of April beginning of May. I have had chronic low back pain for as long as I can remember. It became quite severe at 27 pounds loss and I never made the connection. In fact I am only just now making the connection. I started having intermittent mobility problems and have just realized in the past few days that this is effected greatly by my back. I began taking Omega #s every time I eat and am doing back exercise and when I feel any mobility issue coming on I stretch the back and it goes away. There is a great deal more to the story but I am just now making the connection between the symptoms and the weight loss. I noticed in my before and after pictures that my right hip sticks out more than the left – I am crooked! I otherwise have never ever eaten this healthy and could not be happier with the weight loss. I am actually stoked to find out I am not alone!! You guys have all been there and done that! I have had great success with these vitamins and the exercise. I would love to get an MRI of the back so I can see what is really going on. TKU for being here and posting. Great info here. Great to find out I am not alone or imagining things! LOL.
This is the second time for me with the pain from weight loss. I went from 200 to 170 and one morning I woke up with acute back pain about one year ago. No explanation for it, no history of any pain. After researching a year ago, I found similar info like these posts and the pain went away after a week or so. I plateau’d for a while and am now losing another 20 pounds. Today, it felt as though my right side was being twisted and I felt so bloated. I could not sit down comfortably and it hurts to breath in – very sharp pain that makes me jump. I hope it is the same issue that my organs are just readjusting position. I already feel somewhat better but I’ll see how I feel in the morning. It came on slowly this morning, then building up after lunch and then getting worse and making me walk stiff. Thanks for all the posts. This information is hard to find.
Hi. I am a 60 year old male. I was around 200 lbs in my 20’s. I hurt my lower back terribly in my 20’s and after an MRI was subsequently diagnosed with a degenerative disk condition. My weight climbed to 250 by the time i was 30. Pain was always more or less constant at around 4 or 5 out of 10. Since that I always hung at around 225 until I was diagnosed with celiac disease and a parasite called helicobactor pylori. So a regiment of antibiotics for the parasite and a gluten free diet and I currently weigh 158lbs. And the pain level shot up to where I couldn’t manage it any more. It felt like someone had inflated a tire tube inside me all around my waste. I had also developed sharp pain in my shoulder blade and a couple of other areas. So I went on Advil for a while and on Tylenol 3 for a while and tried a few other “miracle” approaches to the situation. So the wife says “I want you to try acupuncture”. And I’ll be very honest, I was not very conducive to the idea. So I finally go. The guy feels around and finds all the sensitive spots on my back. He sticks needles into these spots (doesn’t hurt) and he connects a mild electrical current. I went 8 times. The pain has been gone now for 6 months. He did note that my caffeine addiction was making my muscles very tight so I backed off on the coffee for a while but i’m back on it now. I thought that with a degenerative lower back condition i would always have pain but my new friend explained to me that the muscles play a large part in keeping the spine aligned. So for everyone who is discouraged don’t give up. I feel 10 times better at this weight. No pain, no gain. Acupuncture worked for me, it was under 50 bucks a session and I went about eight times over about 4 weeks.
I’ve also started feeling back pain, after deliberately trying to lose weight. I thought it would go away, but I’m glad that I decided to research this. Personally I find that if I intentionally focus on contracting my abs while sitting up it helps a lot, but I haven’t found a more permanent solution. I hope that it is just homeostasis finding a new nromal and that it will work itself out.
The same thing happened to me. The doc had previously taken xrays of my back while standing. The weight or abdominal weakness had caused a severe lumbar curve. There are tiny muscles in the spine. As my spine readjusts to proper alignment, the muscles are stretching and cramping.
Heat works better than medication IMO. Hot yoga I have found is a more permanent help.
Thanks for keeping this thread alive. Started having lower back pain after a recent mild fat loss from the more stubborn deposits in the hips, waist and thigh region. Haven’t experienced it before with earlier fat loss so there could be something to the hormonal explanation.
I have found a power stretch that works for me though — when waking up in the morning, first thing before getting up out of bed, gently roll over into a relaxed flat yoga corpse pose.
Bring your arms overhead into a morning yawn; while drawing the inhale, pull in the lower belly concave near the groin and hip bones. Simultaneously tighten your glute cheeks inward, and picture the whole body lengthening, feeling like a bowstring. I get a comfortable and comforting feeling of reinforced, supported stretch in my lower back pain areas when doing this, and the pain is reduced after.
This particular one has delivered quick relief for me, I’d really like to know if it works for anyone else.
(if you have pet cats or young children, it may help to observe them wake up)
i lost 7to 8 kg weight in a year i think by skipping breakfast now my lower back pains even while standing, sitting , on the bed but in the morning when i get up i feel fresh but after sometime my lower back pains can anyone suggest why ?
Richard Kopcho says
I have noticed the same effect and am certain that increased flexibility and mobility of the spine is a primary cause of this. Your range of motion increases with each pound you lose and you can feel how much more mobile your spine is. Core work is essential and back work (floor pilates is great) tightens and stabilizes all the supporting muscles and connective tissue. It seems like you have to avoid overly aggressive stretching and movement (it is so much easier to stretch and flex as you lean out) and allow your body time to adjust to its increasing range of flexibility from day to day and week to week.
vivian grider says
I have lot about 120 pds and feel amazing energy, but 2 month ago my back began to hurt in the shoulder blade area and still feels like a stabbing pain sometime itching and sometimes tingeling when i was over 300 never had any back pain at all. I would love to hear that this will go away.
Wow, I thought I was going crazy. After 45 pound weight loss, I suddenly awoke to back pain that was so severe it took me to my knees. I couldn’t even walk the first day. I am relieved to read the many posts above. I also have an abdominal hernia that I am having seen by a doctor as well. Dropping the weight intentionally through diet and exercise is well worth it in terms of energy and blood pressure and knee pain relief. The back pain was not anticipated and I now know I am not alone with this experience! Thanks
Thank god I have found this site !!!! I’ve had terrible back pain for almost a month now and everyone seems to think that it isn’t as bad as I’m making it out to be because there wasn’t really any proof of anything being wrong. Although my situation is a bit different from others above me, I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa almost 2 years ago and although have maintained a healthy weight for most of the time I have had terrible relapses just like right now. I’m already a small person weighing an average of 50kg but I lost weight drastically and can get down to 35kg within a matter of weeks. I have always suffered from back pain but my current situation has only magnified it. I thought I was going crazy but finding all these other comments really puts my mind at ease and only motivates me to get back on track with my weight, not only to relieve this back pain but also to be healthy again. Thanks to everyone who provided useful information and encouraging words 🙂
i had face the some problem after after starting my back pain lost our weight and the pain increased day to day
Jen nifer says
I have been struggling with my weight, addiction to various high calorie foods, for pretty much my whole life. I have dieted and lost weight and bad eating habits have crept in over time to bring my weight up again, pretty much my whole life. I am in my 60s now and after a terrific 2 year period of abstinence, with a comfortable eating plan which worked perfectly with my lifestyle, I had physical problems leading to chronic pain. This resulted in my making the choice to “treat” myself to the foods which I had not been eating. I gained quite a bit of weight over the period of almost a year. I have begun just recently to return to my abstinent eating plan and the lower back pain has returned. I have had this happen before, years ago, so I was not surprised. I have several theories: that shifts in fat deposits destabilize my spine, and another idea is that perhaps there is a release of toxins which need to work their way out of my body over time, assuming that they are stored in certain areas which become irritated with the presence of these toxins. I believe that fat cells are where certain toxins are stored, so that is another possibility. I would be interested if anyone else has thoughts about this.
I am so glad I found this website. I lost 115 pounds in just over 4 months, and am at the 8 month mark maintaining the weight. I have not been this light since high school. Almost 50 years old. I invented my own diet, and being retired, I made fitness and exercise my “round the clock” job. Allot of the credit goes to my Amish neighbors wife for healthy food plan and especially her awesome yogurt, and our high school cross country team. I was classified as borderline morbid obese by my doctor in April, and my visit last month, classified as underweight! (160/120 blood pressure is now 114/75). NEVER in life was I ever underweight! Anyway, the last 2 months, I have had intense (at times) pain in my upper body. I was thinking that my bones were so use to being stretched out in a large frame that now that I have lost all this weight that my bones were trying to shrink to my new body size? 48 inch waist to 33 inch waist. My doctor told me that she thinks there are other issues, but after running 5 to 10 miles a day on vacation last week, I question that. I believe that I earned the loss fair and square, but like a doctor said above, I believe the pain will go away. Check with your doctor, but find a friend to work out with. If there is anyone with knowledge on bone structure enlarging and staying for years, and then weight loss, please advise. The pain is really starting to annoy me, but if I know it is ok, I can chalk it up to “pain is pain” . Great job to all that lost weight.
Happy New Year all! Also very happy to have found this site. I’ve lost maybe 30-40lbs over the past year or so by changing my lifestyle completely. Like Vivian above, about three months ago I got this stabbing pain in my right shoulder blade area. It began occasionally itching a few months before suddenly one day it felt like a knife got stuck there permanently and it has hurt like heck since. Acetaminophen with codeine barely helps, sometimes naproxen sodium works better, but no matter what I take the pain is always there, sometimes not as bad as others. I do notice that it hurts less when I am physically active and more when I am at rest. Stretches feel good but don’t help. Can’t do yoga due to positional vertigo, can’t do a lot of stuff due to a damaged knee – the knee is significantly better without the additional weight! Thanks all for posting your stories here.
Been reading comments. Quite concerned. I weigh 24 stone. Used to professional athlete. But contracted bi lateral osteoarthritis in ankles about 5 years ago. Then about 18 months ago started getting severe pain in ba k and legs. Physio said it was weight related. And that my muscles had lost strength due to my ankles. I am worrying now that trying to loose a lot of weight could make my bad back even worse. Any advise would be helpful
I am so glad to read this…everybody thinks Im whining ,but its real!! so Im hearing just keep trying to lose weight Ive been drinking more water and keep on exercising
Ammy Rosenberg says
I have recently lost 22 pounds . Prior to this I have fibro, ddd, failed neck surg., failed foot surg., 2 c-sections with spinal probs that followed, sciatica, stage 4 pfs, & have been in 3 car wrecks! Obviously I have chronic pain & I average 4 hrs sleep @ night. I have tried everything with no luck. All I’m ever told is LOSE WEIGHT& you’ll feel better & all these probs will go away! WOW, such support & encouraging words! I would go to gym & would leave in tears. Yes I would have a lil more energy but I hurt so bad I could hardley get in my car! I’m so sick and tired of these drs thinking they know it all and that their ADVICE is good for everyone even tho people have diff probs, diff needs, & etc. I hate when they are so condescending & patronizing, I could just puke! I have been eating way better, taking supplements, drinking more water & in the last few months I have lost 22 pounds but I feel awful! My pain is worse, my insomnia is worse, my low back pain is way worse & my knee which had calmed way down in 6 mths is now as bad as last summer when it was first diagnosed, & my neck pain is at an all time high, & now I’m getting nasty head aches with intermittent sharp stabbing pain on the left side of my head! OMG, idk what to do anymore! I’m so glad I’m not the only one out there. It helps to know others realize how you feel & have a lil empathy too. THANKS FOR SHARING YOU GUYS! 😉
Zara Kivell says
It’s my hips! In my buttocks.
Started at the site of an old injury from 30 (!) years ago, but now the other one is doing it as well.. It’s interfering with my walking – pain and reduced range of motion – I can’t seem to stride like I could.
I’ll leave it a bit longer and then go and have scans done.
Also, I’ve noticed that my quads – which is where I get most of my fibromyalgia + ME/CFS pain, are sorer as well.
Gordon Gates says
Hello everyone. I, too, have experienced back pain with weight loss. I lost 70 lbs quite quickly because of a B12 deficiency, and I haven’t been able to walk comfortably without back pain ever since. Going the physiotherapist helped. Turns out I had to learn to walk differently (activating my abdomen just right to provide a different counterweight for the weight loss). I went to neurologists but they couldn’t find anything wrong (except identifying herniated disks) that cold explain my pain. Only physiotherapy and practice with my new way of walking helped.
Good luck, Gord
The fix that worked for me is Bowen Therapy. Google it, find someone in your area and try it. All I would add is this. It is an alternative therapy, so your doctor may not know much about it. It is a physical therapy that works on the fascia, tendons, and nervous system. Fascial therapies are at the forefront of athletic training and at the top end of medical science they are learning more each day about the importance of the fascia and the role it plays in the body. However because it’s an alternative therapy it sometimes attracts therapists with other agendas. I’m not putting anyone down but in my experience I’ve had better results from Bowen therapists who come from a more practical background rather than ones from a spiritual, universal energy, etc, background.
Bowen fixed my long standing and debilitating Sacroiliac Joint problem, but when I started loosing weight the pain came back. Understandable if you imagine that all that fat was cushioning my joints, organs, etc. Loosing fat also changes your weight distribution causing the use of your muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons to change. So as the pain came back I revisited Bowen, and ‘yes’ the paint went, then as I lost some more, the pain came back so I visited Bowen again, and so on. This isn’t a medical description but I imagine Bowen as tightening up my insides and rearranging it to take up the room left by the weight loss. Hope this helps.
Im not a Dr either and I’ve been experiencing acute back pain after losing weight also. It was more like my back was great and I was extremely active after getting past the back pain for a few months it came back suddenly with no clear cause. And then I realized that my pants were more loose and my belly was smaller and I noticed the link. If I had to guess I think the transverse abdominal muscle that is like a belt around the tummy isn’t as tight after losing weight and thus offers less support so I think it’s plausible that you could have more back pain from weight loss untill the muscle readjusts
I’ve lost 40 pounds this year, and I’ve marveled at how well my back has been. Until I took extra Calcium and Magnesium the other day. I didn’t study up on it, just took it for a couple days, and I was standing there, and pop! Something just went. It felt like my hip joint, and has crept into my lower back the last few days. I’m suspicious it’s a combination of weight loss, with everything shifting about, and the minerals I took, which I most likely did not need. I am so grateful for this thread. I’m going to work on my core. I’m looking for exercises to do that will be easy on the lower back. I’m 57 and still have about 30 more pounds to go. Slow and steady now. I’m in no rush since this happened.
Maranda miller says
I’m having the same problems went from 230 after having my son in 2013 to 158.0 now and oh boy pain pain.. lower back and hips I thought I over done my self
Yay, not alone. I’ve lost 65lbs in 11 months (intentionally) and everyone keeps saying “you must feel wonderful” and no I don’t everything hurts all the time and I’m not happy. My husband is also losing weight and same issue. I don’t understand why people seem to think that losing weight makes you better since it’s only seemed to make my chronic medical issues worse. (Btw 248 down to 185) I still want to lose another 20 lbs but I’m having issues sticking to my diet when I want to eat the pain away.
I agree I was injured at a smaller weight. I have since had one failed partial lamonectomy and the pain has steadily increased. In the beginning of August of this year I had a full hysterectomy because of tumors but since have lost 30+lbs. I have tried my whole life to lose weight but was told by my cancer Dr all my hormone imbalances due to having the ovarian tumors and the thyroid cancer are the reason I couldn’t lose weight but now that I have no thyroid nor ovaries I am dropping weight without trying anything new. My back has gotten to the point of severe pain I have lost the function of my right leg and the weight I have lost came off my legs and tummy not my rump! I am one of those medical quandaries I fall asleep if I drink caffeine type of people. My back on the L5-S1 nerve the disk has fallen 3/4 of it is in my spinal canal area then L4-L5 has a nickel size bulge impinging on all nerves in my spine then I also have L3-L4 that has a minimal bulge. I’m 35 and trying to find a Dr that will do surgery but who is willing to do fusion so I can get back to work. I was 27 when I first got injured. So what I’m saying is I feel your pain
I have lost 30lb in the last few months and has I continue to lose weight my lower back starts hurting then goes around my hips to my legs . I have been told that when you start gaining weight threw out the years your spin will adjust to it then when you start lossing the weight it takes to for your spin to adjust back. I don’t know how true this is but really would like to find an answer.
I am also having same problem after losing weight… what is the solution for this??
Dr Rice says
Quickly losing a reasonable amount of weight can cause a dramatic shift in the center of gravity. The same thing can happen during delivery of a child. In both cases, your center of gravity shifts too quickly for your body to accommodate the change.
I would agree that weight can cause a shift in the center of gravity. But…
If weight loss causes these individuals pain then why didn’t the weight gain do the same? Both were gained/lost gradually compared to child birth. Loosing 10 pounds after delivery due to baby, placenta and umbilical fluids in 1 day vs. 10 pounds of fat in 10-3 weeks (1-3 pounds a week) is quite different. So…
What is it about wight loss that is painful?
I have a theory on my own problem, I sleep on my side and was using my belly as support, now I don’t have a belly so my body is twisting into that same position with nothing there, I’m going to try putting a cushion where my belly fat used to be see if that helps.
At least I’m not the only one.
Same problem with me and attempting weight loss while still doing back therapy exercises. I’ve had problems for years due to myofascial problems….where muscles shorten and the only relief I get is from trigger point therapy, massaging trigger points with trigger point balls. When therapist begin stretching exercises before undoing the muscle knots it only makes matters worse. But now the aches are extending with fear of bending or moving too quickly causing muscles to sprain….again. I’ve heard the theory that with fatty tissue you hold water which cushions the nerves in the muscles….and fat also gives off hormones that can also ease strain pain. Funny but when my ankles swell which means holding more water my back doesn’t hurt quite as much but doctors of course don’t like water retention. Also when muscles are the ones having to burn the fat during weight loss instead of carbs you have a lot more inflammation of the muscles. In the “old” days such pain was addressed with anti-depression medication because it had an effect on the pain centers of the brain, but then people got addicted. Suppose while losing the weight the muscles shouldn’t be strained too much or they just react and tighten which effects vertebrae and other joints.
Katherine A. says
Thanks, Kris. This exactly addresses my issue: pain in hips from rapid weight loss—they feel super-hard and have always been too tight.
Me too. I’ve been losing about ten pounds a month for the past six months on a ketogenic diet, and am experiencing worsening back pain. Ugh.
I have the same problem, I lost 140 pounds after giving birth to my twin daughters 3 years ago, I have seen many doctors, a physiatrist, and been to several rounds of PT. just about all of them say that it is due to core strength. When you lose weight, your core muscles are still stretched out. You need to work on strengthening theses muscles to reduce the overall pain.. Not erase it, just reduce it!
Holy crap balls I jist found this sight and I too have lost almost 50lbs due to IC diease, FM, and Degeneragtive Disc Disease in my whole spine but much much worse in my lower back! I too have noticed my pain in my lower back is much worse now since my weight loss and yes my butt used to be plump and now it is bony….I used to be a size 14 and am now a size 6! When I applied for SS Disabilty they of couse denied me and also said that if I wasnt active my muscles would show some atropy…..well they did not know I had lost almost 50lbs in less than 2 years due to pain amd loss of appetite, then I found a more recent MRI on my Lspine that showed feom the L4 down My parispinous muscles were ateophy and replaced with fat! but of course they conveintly failed to SEE that MRI! Hmmmm!!! Well anyways, my back pain os muchbworse as well since the weight loss and I really just don’t get it! Has anyone here gotten amy answers to this yet???
I always sit with a lumbar support and back joy every where I go car, couch, or chair.
Striving for less pain says
Always had a on going issue with the back upper,mid ,lower it was just the ways life pans ,over 6 foot work as a mechanic for the better part of 30 + years,so these minor back ache from time to time a nag but life goes on,stopped turning the wrenches and stayed active,minor low impact workouts walking ,hiking,and mild stretching ,however lbs went on,190 went up to 220,decided to drop it down,my work station is horrible,and have tried to make it better,diet wise or lifestyle wise stopped with the bread,no butter or margarine ,cut out fast foods,no meat,little chicken here and there,love my coffee,oatmeal,nuts of various varieties and fruit and veg ,very little sugar,and so on ,in 3 months lost 22 lbs and my low right side,back and upper thigh hurts like hell ,on a scale of 1 to 10 I wll give it a 8 at worst but a constant 2-3 all day,my wife say ever since you lost the weight you have complaint,yesterday had a back adjustment all moved as they say well,but in bed last night it went from ache to painless at times,what to do? Maybe too low protein intake?…..Muscle and bone shift….underlying inflammation of injury exposed due to the loss of mass in back area?
My intentional weight loss resulted in lower pack pain, when I realized the reason, I was stunned. With a 50lb loss, my feet shrank. No more fat to fill my shoes. This resulted in a loss of arch support. The fat had actually been filling in my arch gap, and supporting my back. Once I inserted arch supports into my shoes, the back pain went away. TaDahhhh! Try it.
Wow. So many comments and I don’t have the time to read through right now for answers. I’ve lost about 25 lbs in the last few months and I’ve have an increase in back pain as well. Perhaps I’m in denial about an underlying structural cause. I have hurt my back a few times though I never thought too badly. I tell myself it’s because I need to limber up more. Stretch. Pay attention to my posture. When I was fat(ter) I was more slouched than I am now. My overall back muscles are getting used to holding my body and weight differently than before and if I just sit up straight and stretch regularly my body will adjust to the new posture and composition and the pain will subside after a time. Also, if I maybe even do some strength training for my back specifically I can hurry along the healing process. Maybe my problems are my own and don’t apply to others, but these, and similar, are the things I tell myself so I don’t worry overly much regarding whether these back pains will be with me forever.
This happened to me. I lost a ton of weight by using portion control and eating Greek yoghurt as the last meal of the evening, and what I have learned is twofold: one, while putting on fat is easy and fat goes on uniformly all over, then redistributes itself to trouble areas, weight loss is NOT uniform. The weight can come off in unexpected ways and in unexpected places, in unpredictable order. I found out my fat came off old injury spots faster than otherwise. For me it was my left thigh, which with the left knee was badly injured in a car accident two decades ago. My left thigh dropped an enormous, unexpected amount of weight I could actually see the difference of in photographs. As a result the thigh muscle dropped from place because there was no protective fat layer to cinch it in place any longer. The pain was INCREDIBLE.
The second thing though is how I solved it. This solution is not permanent but it will work for a few days at a time. It’s also geographically limited. I live in Los Angeles, and I felt suddenly very drawn to go to the beach. I did, and I walked on the sand.
Walking around on soft sand sounds easy, but when done barefoot it can be very punishing and will demand a lot physically. I walked for about an hour today on the beach in Santa Monica and was pleasantly surprised to find the thigh pain not only shifted down into my knee and shin at first but eventually went away. Hours later, the pain is minimal. I recommend going to the beach if you can.
If there is no beach near your area, there will definitely be a children’s playground and it will have sand instead of earth. Walk barefoot round in it an hour or so. It’s worked for me, and it may work for you. Good luck, weight loss champions… I see this terrible pain as the final obstacle between me and my dream body.
PUSH PAST THE PAIN AND GO GET THAT BODY.
Victor G says
I know the topic here is back pain. I still think is related.
Following just a few lost pounds, I’ve got ankle and knee pain…
Making me wonder if mass shifting is really the issue (at least in my case is not).
After regaining those pounds, the pain is gone. As it happened years ago when I tried to lose extra weight.
Has anyone gotten this?
I found this thread after googling back pain after weight loss. I have anklyosing spondylitis in my back. It’s a fancy word for an autoimmune arthritis of the spine. My back is absolutely killing me after losing a ton of weight. I’m following my physical therapists advice doing the strengthening exercises and nothing is helping, I’m using very strong pain meds too and no relief. What’s very strange to me as my neurologist and osteopath thought losing weight would help they’re both shocked at how much worse my back has gotten. Later this month I’m going on for double the usual steroid and Botox injections in my spinal and cranial nerves to help ease the migraines caused by the inflation in my thoracic and cervical spine. I did find earlier comments on this article helpful, the ones in particular that recommend using a pillow under your rump to replace the built in cushion I had before weight loss. Oddly enough my lower back is find it’s my hips my thoracic spine and my cervical spine. No muscle pain just awful pain in my bones and between each affected vertebrae
I have confirmrmed that if you have a torn disc and as you lose weight the disc become less compressed. torn discs are suppose to heal but mine have not (it’s been over 3yrs) your disc are constantly producing a liquid and when that liquid starts to leak in you spinal column it will cause more back pain. not only in the place your injured disc is but addition pain in you upper to lower spin will begin to hurt as well. beast answer I’ve received in the last twenty years. what helps other then light exercise and healthy diet is a balanced combination of ultrum, Vicodin, and lyrica. I never believed in taking medication for many obvious reasons but because of the pain I caved. hope some of this helps someone.
its now Aug 2016, I don’t see any answers here but I’m adding to this blog…I too am having severe back pain since dropping 45lbs since November 2015. I thought the weight loss would help with all the pain but instead its making it worse. This is horrible did anyone get any answers???
Mark ferguson says
I weighed 156kg or about 25 plus stone. I lost weight via bariactric surgery. I had a gastric by pass and in total I have lost and kept off 50kg. After loosing 40kg I was admitted to A&E for suspectedge stroke and heart attack due to severe pain and confusion. I was on a cardiologist ward for 10 days I I insisted that my spine was looked at. They refused, my mum has crumbling spine and so does my brother. After 11 days a range mri it was discovered the nerve roots to my left arm / hand ect were being crushed by spurs that had grown over time. I think this was not a problem because I had a 24 Inch neck which was holding my spine straight. I has since has q disk removed and a fusion but now suffer from tremors down the complete left side of my body which can be made worse by pressing the middle over my back so I believe I have a similar thing going on the. So far I have been told it is in my head and I do it myself even though I do it while I’m sleeping. I think that now my spine has straightened because of the weight loss I have many spur that grew when the spine was curved and are now pressing on the nerves. I take gabapentine which is an anti epileptic drug, naproxen, diazapam, tramadol, oramorph. Plus a few more I cannot remember. I have an appointment tomorrow with my urologist to see was the next plan is. I am worried he will say it’s in my mind and I go mad. I let u know what happens
I just found this site – enough information here that someone should do a serious medical study on this issue. I have an old back injury – two vertebrae are partially fused. I’m slowly losing weight, the plan is to go from 210lbs to 172lbs (I’m 6’1″ – so not terribly overweight.) I’ve just at 199lbs and my back is killing me by the evening. Pain is a fatigued burn in mid back near and above my injury. In the last few years every time I’ve tried to lose weight, about the time I hit this point I give up and just gain it back to get rid of the pain. My doctor just looks at me like I’m nuts when I’ve mentioned it but this thread is giving me incentive to try and get past it. I’m taking a yoga class and increasing my exercise, trying various pain killers, and might try getting a regular massage. Other than time, any other recommendations?
So far i lost 66 pounds cuz my weight was kiling me…
anyways i understand that no one really has an anwer a confirmed one i mean but my question is will the pain ever go away ? in a year or some time ?
Barbara Rolfes says
WOW,i was told I had dwgenerative disc problems in the low back years ago,but didn’t have pain until I lost weight startung in june. Now has anyone also had trouble holding their urine? I read that is more common in woman. Thanks everyone. Barbara
Experiencing some of the same thing, though I’ve also been off of my NSAIDs as I’m trying to see if I can control inflammation through a low-starch Paleo diet (I test positive for HLA B27). Have been losing weight as a result of the diet. I feel as if I don’t have as much padding when I sit or lie in bed anymore, and that that’s causing me more pain in my back, shoulders, and neck. Plus I think my alignment and joint movements have to be shifting some as I lose weight. I don’t know whether this will dissipate naturally, but I can’t help but believe that stretching and strengthening through exercise will help.
Hi everyone – I’ve just begun to experience the same issues. I’ve lost 126 pounds and still have 70 or so to go, and just within the last few weeks I’ve started to have sort of a “burning” muscle ache/pain in my upper back/neck area – sort of in the area between my shoulder blades. It can get pretty intense if I’m standing/walking for a little while especially. I see that many people here say that the pain eventually goes away as your body adjusts – my question is, has anyone found relief via any sort of medication in the meantime while we are waiting for our body to adjust? Thanks!
Not sure how to respond. The first few posts I read were like “that’s me” I don’t remember typing that, but I may as well have written it myself. It is overwhelmingly good to know that there are so many people like me. Not “good” per se because what we are going through are some pretty unpleasant experiences, – but now I know “I’m not alone, It isn’t my imagination, and I’m not being a hypochondriac. We all sound like doctors when discussing our backs. I too have studied and wanted to understand the cause and not just the effect. I’m in my 40’s now, but have been dealing with my back and hips since the age of 6. (backed over with a car) – age 12, (hit by car riding bike) Needless to say, three hip surgeries and a permanent back injury later and I’m still here. It has been a tough week for me. Came to a conclusion with my back – (try and live with it) but, surgery is such a risk, I’m not willing to roll the dice on it. No doctor wants to say “you must operate” – it is left to me to decide and I’d risk too much on a wing and a prayer. I’m dealing now with the weight loss described above and pain – you all made me feel like I’m not alone in this, for that: Thank you. None of us seem to be in happy situations with our backs, but I feel less alone and that means a lot.
I’ve lost 170 lbs over the year I 1st was hit be a drunk driver then I was talking Abilify a depression med it gave me diabetes so a little later I coughed lost consciousness and fell back on my back and head so I hurt my spine I been to a lot of different doctors and they all treat me like a junkie all of them do but the neurologist I have a hemigoma and disc Extrusion with a mass effect and I have ice pick headaches/cough headaches feels like someone stabbing your brain of any help would be appreciated or ideas and the other thing I never asked for drugs so the reason is I told the truth about my sister drug overdose and my major depression disorder and PTSD and how I lost my son to cancer but thanks for any help
Almost the same here but I wasn’t trying to lose the weight . I’ve had lower back pain for years now , been to the Dr , n Specialist , had the shots n burning of the nerves thing and Physical Thearpy , I’m still dealing with the pain . What I can’t seem to understand is my weight keeps dropping every time I see the Dr . I’m 2-4 pounds lighter . I was 220 2014 now at 52 I’m at 185
I eat normally but I notice I don’t eat as much. Dr says my weight loss is good for my back but I’m wondering when is my loss going to stop and is it the pain meds that may be causing it , My employment requires a lot of physical duties lifting, climbing n carrying etc… or maybe it’s just normal weight loss with ageing and physical work?
I found out the steroids shots are shutting down my adrenal glands and I still don’t know why I’m losing so much weight I still get treated like a junkie they checked me for cancer no cancer so for did a bone scan came out good so just stuck in the dark I seen a surgeon he said it would heal itself in a few days to a few weeks lol I said it’s been t YEARS wtf and this guy was Billy Graham surgeon I guess that’s why he died well good luck to all and hopefully everyone get answers because I haven’
Amy Mik says
My chiropractor told me about ten years ago that while everyone seems to know that back pain gets worse when we gain weight, it can also be exacerbated by weight loss. He said that the spine and muscles and tendons in the back are continually adjusting to how hard or how little they have to work. They over adjust because of muscle memory. He said to keep it stretched and it should get better over time.
I am 59 yo, have been having lower back pains / stiffness, have been losing weight slowly over the last 2 years, but when I increased my weight loss recently ( on purpose), I started to have very sharp pains specially on my right side, which has always been my weaker side. I would just caution everyone to consider kidney infection, kidney disease, kidney stones, or possibly unhealthy eating that is affecting the kidneys, as this is something that I have been suspecting, and can cause sharp back pains, and might be serious. I don’t think I have an infection, but it feels like maybe kidney stones. I ate healthy foods, but possibly limited foods to too small an array (too much of certain foods), but have started eating a more balanced healthy diet, and am feeling better. But, with that said, I also have experienced back spasms, and it also occurred to me that with the weight lost, my abdomen has shrunken, and the muscle “wall” of the abdomen might not be as tight/toned (Like it was stretched out of shape before) as it was and is therefore not providing the same tight support or structure as I had previously when it was wrapped around the middle belly fat. Like how a plastic bag will lose its shape when the contents are lessened… So therefore, maybe my muscles are having to work harder to support my frame and this is too much for them to deal with currently. I notice it specially when sitting in an office chair and working on a computer, I end up very stiff, sore and with sharp pains and spasms that wrap around my side. Sometimes not feeling that bad but waking up in the morning feeling like I have a “charlie horse” in my hip, which is I think the most painful thing I have experienced. So, not like the sciatica or pinched nerve exactly, and am exploring the problem, looking at all possibilities.
The original post I think lost its meaning here. I think it started with losing weight unexpectedly and with no reason. I understand no matter how you lost the weight you feel pain. The question I have as I think the original poster did was how did I lose so much weight so fast doing nothing, and why am I in more pain now. I have AS and I was taking Enbrel. I was given Methotrexate to get that last bit of joint pain and not soon after I started losing weight. No concerns at first I always fluctuated 5 pounds up or down over time but I started to feel really weak in my buttocks with tailbone ache and low back ache. I felt tense also in my buttocks. Months later I am in constant ache and tension with abdominal weakness. I am no more inactive then I would normally be in winter. I have gone from 213 to 185 in about 6 months and I’m a man. I am getting blood work done soon and making an appointment with my family dr as my Rheumatologist and Pain Management Dr have no big concerns which is so typical anymore of some Dr’s they just don’t see the anxiety we have and don’t seem worried about a very big issue. I have read AS can do this to you out of the blue when it flares as you will get worse over time. The Enbrel is not working anymore and I do have a herniated disc at L2. I will throw in I had a Vasectomy about 8 years ago and my health was great at that time. So age 42 to now 50. My 84 year old parents can get around better than me some days and I’m barely hanging on to my job that I need 3 more years to get full benefits at retirement. I am struggling and it’s wearing on my wife who has been a godsend to me. I agree that there is enough messages here to warrant a study. People don’t just lose weight and become chronic pain sufferers or have their chronic pain exasperated as in my case. I have had Abdominal surgery, both knee meniscus repaired, left hip required, left ankle repaired two surgeries to remove several lipomas and a nasal surgery to remove a mucocele that stunned a muscle in my right eye leaving my eye looking inwards for 6 months. I’m tired I sleep little and exercise only makes it worse. I pray for all of you and keep hoping some dr will finally figure it out.
hi, I want to check if my comment will post
Hi, thanks to all of these post I was able to find some peace in my head
I was assuming that I was really sick, that I had something else, always thinking negative, but after I saw all your post I feel more relieved.
I lost 13 lbs. from January 24 to February 25 more less , I did a detox based on fruits and vegetables only ( vegan style), starting March 10, I started having this thoracic pain, mid and upper pain, tingling, back stabbing every where, I went to so many doctors and nothing , some say that the diet has nothing to do with it, but I doubt it
I even did X-rays on my lungs thinking is that, yesterday I went to another general doctor and prescribed me antiflammatory pills along with muscle relaxers, I hope this ends soon.
thank you all for all your post
I’m doing a detox reboot and have lost 12 pounds in 11 days. I’ve been having back spasms over the past few days and so now I am sitting a work with electrode’s attached to my back with a little portable device and it is helping tremendously. (My husband bought it on Amazon!! ) It is a much better alternative to the muscle relaxants that I’ve had before. I do believe that losing weight also meant I lost the balance and that is why my spine is readjusting and probably causing the spasms. Someone wrote previously that building up the center core (tummy) muscles might resolve it so I plan to try that. Who knew that losing weight could have a negative,
David Roberts says
Well, Like so many of the posts on here, I am so relieved to find out I am not alone in this. Lost 15kg on a low carb diet mainly to control blood sugar and the weight loss came as a bonus. But along with the weight loss came this intense stabbing back pain while standing for more than just a few minutes or sitting at a computer. Along with this came leg spasms and foot tingling and numbness, I thought this was neuropathy from the diabetes. Its been 10 months since I started the diet and my weight loss seems to have stabilized now no matter how much I eat. Still get some back pain and foot probs but it seems to be getting better now my weight loss is stable, Thanks to all who have posted here, it has put my mind at rest and encouraged me to stick to the low carb way of life. Has anyone else experienced the tingling and numb feet along with the back pain?
Wow these have been amazing to read i have recently lost 1st 10 1/2 pound and have had so much back pain it was making me ill doctors thought it was heart burn as in more over weight people it can come through to the back they put me on tablets that were not helping and then took them of me a week later and they said it could be a bad back of the weight that i have lost not cushioning the back and to monitor the pain. which i have been doing but it it hard as i am still loosing weight which is fantastic. These comments have helped me understand more
I looked this up because it has happened to me with my DDD (bulging discs and a moderately herniated disc at lower spine). I have only lost five very stubborn pounds, but I am already slim, and the minute I hit 121 pounds (happened three times) my lower back problems get exacerbated and inflamed. I thought it was crazy but now I know that I am not. When my lower back gets inflamed, I even start to feel physically ill. So I was thinking about it, and although I eat VERY healthfully (lots of fruits and veggies daily/only organic produce, nuts, seeds, etc.) AND I take supplements daily (calcium/vitamin d3/magesium, glucosamine/chondroiton/MSM, lots of vitamin C throughout the day, multivitamin, B12, B vitamin supplement), I think, infact I have a strong gut feeling that my body is telling me that I am not giving it enough nutrition! When I was just five pounds heavier throughout the last year (since my last horrible flare up which consequently was at a lower weight), I almost thought that I was healed–that is how good I felt!
It is expensive and I sometimes cannot afford it, but when I supplement my weight loss diet (which really isn’t all that much a diet, but healthful and careful eating) WITH organic kale/mixed veggie/ginger juices or organic cold pressed green juices, I seem to be MUCH better…despite the veggies and fruits I consume daily.
I have read miraculous stories about juicing, and I am thinking that maybe that is the puzzle piece I have been neglecting…
This is just some food for thought because we are all brainstorming.
After reading all these posts, I:
-Bought a back brace – worked instantly! and helped me rise out of chairs and off floor (grandkids) without much pain. I wore the brace to bed as I have had a lot of pain every time I turned/rolled. It helped that too.
-Took Motrin, but Advil or Ibuprofen are the same thing and help for inflammation.
-Slept with an extra thick pillow where my tummy used to be.
I had been going to a chiropractor, which helped for a day, but I went back to intense (can’t move) pain and visiting chiro got expensive so I googled internet and found this post.
I am soooooooo happy to be feeling good wearing my brace that I haven’t even taken ibuprofen the last few days. Next step is taking my brace off for a few hours and seeing how it goes.
Losing weight is wonderful, but the back pain is not. My husband commented that my back brace looked like a corset (sexy) so those of you who prefer to look like a Kardashian in a corset might go get one of those instead! LOL
Good luck all.
Babak Kafshcci says
I have also experinced the direct relationship between weight loss and back pain or neck pain. Of couse,as you all know there,s always an underlying cause .I recently was losing weight because docs said it was good for relieving backpain which I was trying to cope with.After about forty days or so when I was turning my head while lying on the floor my neck made a cracking sound and all of a sudden I felt pain in my neck and arms.When I think about it the only thing that comes to my mind is that because of weight loss the muscles in my neck got weak and the turning of my neck triggered the neckpain caused by some bulging discs which were later on diagnosed.
andy murray says
After reading through this thread feel a bit better, I like most it seems have lost 56lb in around 4 months just by eating properly and bit more exercise but like many of you have had back ache ,hips aching whilst in bed and aching shoulders , glad not just imagining it , so much for feeling better when losing weight!! 🙂
I’ve been experiencing this same thing after losing weight! I read several posts here saying it can take a year before the body adjusts – so far it’s been 8 months – I don’t know if I can take it for another 4 months! I’ve been to physical therapy and massage therapy, and yoga, and any improvement was short term. The major pain is right around my shoulder blade, and it doesn’t feel too bad until I start working in the kitchen, chopping veggies, peeling potatoes, and just generally doing kitchen things. It starts to throb like nobody’s business and I just want to cry!
At this point I’m almost wishing that I hadn’t bothered losing the weight (55lbs). “You’ll feel better” they said…I wasn’t in pain when I was overweight, and I am in horrible pain now – I DON”T feel better!
Anyway, I just wanted to chime in that I’m in your club LOL
As I watch the days on the calendar waiting for that 1 year anniversary and pray like heck that this pain goes away! I just want to feel normal again, and it’s sucking the joy right out of losing weight!
I lost 20 pounds (on purpose) in 3 months and just started noticing lower back pain. I thought it might be from poor posture while sitting ( but I have always had poor posture while sitting). Now I realize that it is the weight loss. My solution is to find posture positions where my back doesnt hurt and try to maintain those with my abdominal muscles. I can believe that the pain is from very slight changes in my posture due to weight loss. Weight loss has brought my blood pressure back to normal (no meds). My pain is mild and goes away when I adjust my posture. I think it was worth loosing the weight and will continue looking for ways to fix the back pain.
I know exactly what you mean ! I looked this up because this is the way I’m feeing . Thank you for this post I thought I was going crazy.
I as well have had been suggested to that loosing weight would help my lower, mid back, and hip pain….. As well as low intensity exercise and stretching….. So I started dieting, working on eliminating things that overwhelmed and stressed me out because stress make my weight jump up dramatically. So I did yoga for a short period but it made my back hurt in a new spot which became constant. now everything hurts even more after loosing 37 pounds between December and now which is beginning of May. I hoped for sure the weight loss and stress relief would help the pain but it hurt now more than ever!!!! I’m atleast happy knowing I’m not the only weirdo out here ….. I too have flip flopped with the weight but unfortunately for my case there never was relief putting the weight back on……..when the pain is there its bad and gets gradually worse unless I take pain killers and lay down which even that doesn’t completely alleviate the pain….. Been struggling with back pain since I was 16 and 110lbs all the way to 26 and 180 I’ve decided since the pain is just going to be iight as well get skinny Hopefully one of us gets some answers or gets pointed in a productive direction for finding out what’s wrong with us
Many years ago, I lost 112 pounds over the course of a year. One would think my back would be celebrating, but I had the worst back pain I had ever experienced. It went on for months and months with no relief over time, numb left leg and vibrating pain, mucho pain medication, until finally a neurologist said that I had a ruptured disc in my back, and it was pressing against my nerves. He said that he was going to schedule me for surgery in one week unless his last ditch effort worked, which was a normal course of steroids. Now keep in mind, steroids work by reducing inflammation. WITHIN 24 HOURS the pain was gone, completely!! It flairs here and there, and a short course of steroids always does the trick. There are all kinds of ways to reduce inflammation, but steroids are apparently the most effective on an immediate basis. There must be something to the release of inflammatory substances from adipose cells (like PUFA’s/linoleic acid?) when you are burning fat.