Excess Body Weight Can Worsen Degenerative Scoliosis Causes

While excess body weight isn’t one of the foremost degenerative scoliosis causes, carrying extra pounds can tax the spine more than if the body was at a healthy weight. Degenerative scoliosis is generally tied to the occurrence of osteoarthritis, a joint disorder that is typically linked to growing older and seems to have a genetic component. When the cartilage lining the facet joints of the spine is worn away during osteoarthritis, these joints can no longer support the spine’s upright structure as they used to, possibly leading to spinal curvature.

How excess weight affects the spine

Excess body weight places more pressure on the spine as it moves, contributing to the wearing down of the cartilage on spinal joints. It can also increase the force placed on the intervertebral discs that cushion the spine, potentially contributing to the progression of degenerative disc disease — a condition that can in turn lead to degenerative scoliosis.

Other degenerative scoliosis risk factors

In general, degenerative scoliosis isn’t caused by weight alone. In fact, it is most closely related to the typical spinal deterioration that people experience as they age. However, other potential underlying causes include:

  • Conditions that contribute to nerve and muscle damage near the spine (including multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and others)
  • Osteoporosis, or the weakening of the bones
  • Damage to the spine during surgery
  • Damage to the spinal cord that has caused the loss of muscle function

Exploring treatment options

Whether your degenerative scoliosis was brought on by excess body weight or other causes, your physician will likely recommend conservative treatments to address your symptoms. If these approaches don’t help alleviate your discomfort, you may want to look into surgical treatment options, including the minimally invasive surgeries offered by Laser Spine Institute. Contact us today for more information about our effective outpatient alternatives to traditional open spine scoliosis surgery.