How does excess body weight lead to a protruded disc?

One of the potential causes of disc protrusion is carrying excess body weight. Because extra body weight increases the amount of stress that’s placed on the spine, people who are overweight or obese are more likely to experience a protruding or herniated disc than those at a medically recommended weight.

Fortunately weight is a factor that can be controlled by making the appropriate lifestyle changes. By learning more about how body weight contributes to the development of spine conditions like disc protrusion, you can have a better understanding of the importance of weight management as a contributor to spine health.

Ways to maintain a healthy weight

Spinal discs sit between the vertebrae in the spinal column, acting as shock absorbers and allowing the spine to bend and flex. Absorbing pressure from the upper body puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the discs, which is why they are so prone to age-related degeneration. Any extra weight placed on these discs can lead to an acceleration of these forces, leading to a higher risk of developing a disc protrusion.

To better manage weight and potentially improve the health of your spine, most doctors will recommend taking the following steps:

  • Eating a nutrient-rich diet, including recommended servings of fruits and vegetables
  • Reducing calories and portion sizes
  • Participating in regular low-impact exercise to strengthen muscles and improve heart health
  • Routinely stretching the abdominal and back muscles that support the spine

While weight management is an important preventive step, there are other risk factors in the development of disc protrusion, including age, injury, posture and genetics.

Treatment for disc protrusion

While conservative treatment options for disc protrusion, such as medication, physical therapy and massage, help many patients find pain relief and a return to regular activity, they don’t work for everyone. If you are considering surgery after exhausting conservative treatment but don’t want to undergo a highly invasive traditional open spine surgery, reach out to Laser Spine Institute.

Our minimally invasive spine surgery is a safer and effective alternative to traditional procedures, offering a shorter recovery time for our patients.^

To learn more, contact us today for a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you may be a candidate for one of our minimally invasive procedures.