Can Rapid Weight Loss Cause Back Pain?

It is well-established that being overweight or obese increases one’s chance of experiencing lower back pain. With that in mind, it makes sense to view weight loss as a back pain treatment. Rapid weight loss, however, can cause back pain in a number of ways.


Rapid weight loss diets often revolve around the principle of ketosis, where the body burns its fat due to a decrease in the supply of sugars it receives to burn. Low-carbohydrate diets fall into this category. When cutting out grains and fruits, you will miss out on some of the nutrients you usually receive. The whole body is affected by malnutrition; muscles will not be able to function properly and may spasm or weaken, causing them to become easily strained.

If your diet restricts certain food groups, you should be taking supplements to ensure your body is getting the nutrients it needs. Look for diets like Ideal Protein that take measures to compensate for nutrient loss.


Low-carbohydrate diets like Atkins and Zone are diuretic diets; they increase water loss to drop weight quickly. If uninformed or uninstructed, it is easy to become dehydrated while following one of these diets.

The body is made up of about 70% water. Spinal discs rely on water to maintain height and their ability to absorb shock. Dehydration reduces the fluids available to spinal discs, which could lead to speedy disc degeneration, bulging or herniation. Muscles also need fluids in order to receive and absorb electrolytes. When dehydrated, muscles begin to cramp.

If you want to follow a low-carb diet, make sure your plan involves instructions on water intake.

Loss Of Muscle Tone

Some people pursuing rapid weight loss plans with low-caloric intake are instructed to avoid strenuous activities such as exercise for a while, since the body is adjusting to less fuel. Being sedentary can cause rapid loss of muscle tone. The muscles of the lower back and abdomen are meant to work together to support the upper body and the spine’s alignment. As these muscles soften, posture may suffer. Various muscles throughout the back, neck and shoulders become sore and strained due to bad posture.


Some people’s weight loss plans involve high-intensity, regular exercise to help burn fat. If you’re taking in less calories and burning more of them, you may be putting your health at risk.

Your body needs calories for energy and repair. If you’re working your muscles extra hard and giving them less fuel to work with, you’re more susceptible to strains. Also, not resting long enough for muscles to heal is a cause of back pain among dieters. Intense workouts should not be done on a daily basis.


Though an exact reason for this is not know, diets that are very low in fat and/or calories can disrupt the functioning of the gallbladder. This organ assists the liver in the digestion of fats. It is thought that a limited supply of fat prevents the gallbladder from contracting and releasing its bile regularly, which could lead to the development of stones as substances in the bile stagnate and harden.

Gallstones and bile retention cause the gallbladder to inflame. Since it is located in close approximation to the muscles of the lower back and abdomen on the right side, inflammation of the organ can cause radiating pain in the back and stomach.

Warning: If Weight Loss is Unexplained

If you are losing weight without dieting and have back pain, this could be a sign of a serious medical condition. Cancerous spinal tumors can cause weight loss, changes in appetite, fatigue, back pain, vomiting, fever and/or neurological problems. If you are losing weight unexpectedly, seek medical attention.

For some people, losing weight quickly is a necessity. For others, it is a choice. Achieving a healthy weight is a goal that should be pursued for the good of your back and for your quality and length of life. Be wary of crash diets. Seek out plans that pay attention to nutritional requirements and hydration. If you experience back pain on a rapid weight loss diet, it could be a sign that your body is either not getting what it needs or that you are working out too hard.

Don’t let back pain get in the way of your weight loss goal. Picking the right diet will ensure you are quickly and safely losing weight. If possible, consult with a trusted health professional about your dieting plan.

Source by Sean Burton

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