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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 35-40

A cross-sectional study on the association between obesity and changes in the dimensions of the lumbar vertebral column

Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, National University, Khartoum, Sudan

Correspondence Address:
Sally Ahmed Magzoub
Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, National University, Khartoum
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DOI: 10.4103/1858-5000.185228

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Aim: Obesity is considered a major public health problem and is becoming very common among the population. Impacts of obesity include increased load and weight bearing on the vertebral column, possibly causing alterations in its structure to maintain stability and subsequent disabling lower back pain (LBP). The present study aimed at investigating the association of overweight and obesity with alterations in the lumbar vertebral column as well as LBP. Methodology: Thirty female attendants of the clinic were interviewed with the Roland Disability Questionnaire and specific angles were measured on their lateral lumbosacral X-rays. Results: Changes in the lumbar vertebral column in both the control and study groups were found, but the association of obesity was only significant with vertebral body height of L2, L3, and L5 as well as the back pain disability score. Discussion: The results obtained from this study were comparable and in line with what has been found from previous studies in this field, namely an association between obesity and disabling LBP. While changes in the lumbar angles could not exclusively be correlated with a higher body mass index, changes in the lumbar vertebral height were found to be significantly correlated. Conclusion: Obesity in Sudanese females attending the physiotherapy clinic in Ribat National University Hospital has been proven to be associated with disabling back pain and specific radiographic changes in the lumbar vertebral column. Obesity and its risks on the vertebral column is an association that leaves room for a wide range of studies that should be conducted on a larger scale for more applicable results.

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