Spinal narrowing caused by excessive weight

One of the leading causes of spinal narrowing is carrying excessive body weight. That’s because the burden placed on the spinal column by additional body mass can accelerate the deterioration of spinal anatomy. For this reason, many people who are at risk for spine problems, who are beginning to experience symptoms or who have been diagnosed with spinal narrowing, are recommended to develop a weight management plan to improve the long-term health of their spines.

How excessive weight contributes to spinal narrowing

The spinal column is designed to support the weight of the body while allowing for basic neck and back movement. Over time and due to natural degenerative changes, the parts of the spine can begin to wear out, making them less able to withstand the stresses being placed upon them. This is entirely normal and accounts for the minor aches and pains that many of us feel as we grow older. Being overweight or obese adds to the pressure being placed on the joints and discs, accelerating the development of the conditions that can cause spinal narrowing, including:

  • Herniated or bulging discs that occur when degenerative spinal discs have to endure excess pressure
  • Osteoarthritis and the development of bone spurs that are the result of increased joint friction
  • Spondylolisthesis, which is slippage of vertebrae out of their normal place in the spinal column

Treatment options for spinal narrowing

Upon diagnosis of spinal narrowing, there are many treatment options that may be considered. If weight is believed to be a contributor, doctors will typically recommend undergoing a weight management program in addition to conservative treatments like medication and physical therapy. If, however, conservative treatment fails to deliver acceptable results after a period of time, surgery can become a serious option.

Before consenting to a highly invasive traditional open spine procedure, reach out to Laser Spine Institute to learn more about the benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery. Our procedures are performed by board-certified surgeons+ on an outpatient basis with a less than 1-inch incision, offering many advantages to our patients.

To learn more, contact our team today for a no-cost MRI or CT scan review* to determine if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures.