Canal stenosis causes include excess body weight

Spinal canal stenosis causes are wide-ranging and can include lifestyle factors like being overweight or obese. Canal stenosis refers to a narrowing of the central spinal canal, which protects the spinal cord as it travels from the brain to the rest of the body. Constriction of this area can lead to compression of the spinal cord or an exiting nerve root than can in turn cause debilitating symptoms.

Canal stenosis commonly develops gradually along with the spinal deterioration that occurs as part of the natural aging process. For example, the spinal discs, which separate and cushion the vertebrae, tend to become drier and more brittle with age. As the discs break down, they can herniate or rupture. Consequently, many canal stenosis causes stem from herniated disc material or bone spurs that crowd the already limited space within the spinal canal. Additional causes include bone spurs or an inflamed spinal joint.

How does weight contribute to canal stenosis?

Excess body weight is included among the canal stenosis causes because it can further stress the spinal anatomy and speed up natural degenerative changes. The spine provides structural support for the entire body and carries much of the body’s weight. Therefore when a person is overweight or obese, his or her spine is forced to take on an additional burden, which increases the risk of developing issues like canal stenosis.

Being overweight is also associated with a sedentary lifestyle. A lack of exercise can inhibit flexibility and weaken the core muscles in the back, pelvic region and thighs. To compensate, a person might develop poor posture, tilting the pelvis forward and curving the lower back. Poor posture can weaken the spine and cause further deterioration.

Finding relief from canal stenosis

After seeing a doctor for a proper diagnosis, those dealing with symptoms related to canal stenosis might be encouraged to achieve and maintain a healthy weight by starting a weight management program that includes better nutrition and regular exercise. Chronic pain stemming from canal stenosis causes, including excess body weight, can often be managed with these and other options like medication, physical therapy and epidural steroid injections. However, if the pain persists or worsens after weight loss and exhausting other conservative treatments, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about the benefits of our minimally invasive spine surgery.

We can help you find out if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures by offering a free MRI or CT scan review.*