Effect of obesity on the treatment outcomes for low back pain

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Effect of obesity on the treatment outcomes for low back pain

Low back pain (LBP) is one of the most common health problems faced throughout the world. It can be associated with various issues of the complex, interconnected network of spinal muscles, nerves, bones, discs or tendons in the lumbar spine. The study decribed here was performed to estimate the effect of obesity, as measured by body mass index (BMI), on treatment outcomes for LBP.

The data from the University of California, Los Angeles, and Friendly Hills Healthcare Network low back pain study (collected from 1995 to 2000) were used to execute a secondary data analysis of this randomized clinical trial on adults who sought care for LBP. The foremost predictor variable was BMI. To  estimate odds ratios adjusted for the effects of confounders, binary logistic regression modeling was done.

Using normal weight as the referent population, underweight and overweight populations did not display useful odds ratios for any of the outcome variables. The obese population depcied the odds ratios of 0.615 (0.379, 0.998) for improvement of disability and 0.550 (0.341, 0.889) for improvement of most severe back pain.

Hence, the results of this study encourage an association between obesity and less effective treatment outcomes estimated by disability (Roland-Morris scale) or pain (most severe pain NRS). Overweight and underweight populations do not emerge to have significantly variable outcomes as compared to population with normal weight.


Chiropr Man Therap. 2016 Dec 12;24:48.

Link to the source:


Original title of article:

The effect of obesity on treatment outcomes for low back pain


Stanley C. Ewald et al.

Chiropr Man Therap. 2016 Dec 12;24:48.
Exploratory, Low Back Pain, Spine, Randomized Clinical Trial, Roland-Morris scale, NRS
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