Spine abnormalities are very likely in overweight children, says study
We are all aware that overweight or obese kids are at high risk for a lot of health conditions; some of which are Type 2 diabetes and heart ailments. A recent study shows that heavy kids are also prone to have severe back pain and spine abnormalities.
Experts from The Children's Hospital in Montefiore in New York City discovered that most of the adolescents experiencing disc abnormalities were obese or overweight. They conclude that a high body mass index can cause disc diseases.
To prevent this and many other ailments, prioritize health and good nutrition at home. "You are what you eat"–as cliche as it may sound–it is very true. An overweight child can develop issues such as early degeneration in the spine according to the study, which they presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).
The study had the MR images of 188 teens aged 12 to 20 who were complaining of back pain. They were imaged at the hospital over a four-year span. If the kids were exposed to trauma or other conditions that could result in back pain were not included in the study.
These images showed that over 50% of the patients had "some abnormality in the lower, or lumbar, spine"–most occurring within the discs. Often, a bulging or ruptured disc presses on nerves, causing the patient pain or weakness.
Dr. Judah G. Burns, the study’s lead author said: “We observed a trend toward increased spine abnormality with higher BMI. These results demonstrate a strong relationship between increased BMI in the pediatric population and the incidence of lumbar disc disease.”
So the next time your child complains of a back pain don't just assume that it's because of muscle spasm or sprain. It would be wise for you to consult a doctor to know if it's caused by the degeneration of the spine or a disc abnormality.