Disc extrusion causes include weight management

Disc extrusion, also known as disc herniation, is when the inner material of a spinal disc pushes through the tougher outer layer. It can lead to painful debilitating symptoms by causing compression of spinal nerves, affecting work, your free time and sleep.

While this is primarily an age-related condition, there are other factors that can contribute, including being overweight. The good news is that unlike aging, maintaining a healthy weight is something most people have some amount of control over. By learning more about how extra weight causes spine conditions like disc extrusion, it can help you become more focused in a plan for weight management and a healthier lifestyle.

How extra weight affects the spine

Every day, your spine supports the weight of your body as you walk, sit, bend and twist. The discs that rest between the vertebrae help absorb the stress of these movements. Carrying additional body weight increases the pressure placed on the discs, as well as other connective parts like the joints, tendons and ligaments. This extra strain can cause the discs to wear out faster than they normally would, leading to conditions like degenerative disc disease, bulging discs and disc extrusion.

Whether you have been diagnosed with an extruded disc or are trying to prevent one, there are several steps you can take to improve your spine health through weight management. It is important to always consult with your doctor to make sure your plan is compatible with your current state of health. Here are some commonly recommended ways to lose weight:

  • Restrict overall calories and carbohydrate intake
  • Eat nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains
  • Get regular, low-impact cardiovascular exercise
  • Engage in stretching and strengthening exercises to develop a stronger core

Treatment for an extruded disc

Disc extrusion can usually be treated through a course of conservative nonsurgical treatment such as medication, physical therapy, rest, posture improvement and epidural steroid injections. Should these approaches not help to improve your pain or other issues, surgery may be advised.

Laser Spine Institute has helped more than 75,000 patients since 2005 with a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck or back procedures.^ Our surgeons use muscle-sparing techniques to perform minimally invasive spine surgery on an outpatient basis that offers a reduced risk of complication compared to traditional surgery.

Contact us today for more information and to request a no-cost review of your MRI or CT scan* that can determine if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures.