Does excess weight lead to spondylosis?

One of the leading spondylosis causes is carrying excessive body weight. When individuals are obese, or even a few pounds overweight, it can have a negative impact on their spinal anatomy and make them more susceptible to degenerative spine conditions earlier in life. That’s one of the reasons why doctors encourage their patients to maintain a healthy body weight. Not only does having excess body weight put a strain on the heart, lungs and other organs, it can also cause chronic back pain and other painful symptoms related to spinal degeneration. Read on to learn more about the impact excess weight has on the spine as well as the treatment options available to treat your spondylosis symptoms.

How the spinal anatomy supports excess weight

The spinal anatomy supports the weight of the body while still allowing for the full range of motion required of the neck and back. However, over time, the anatomical elements that support the spine have a tendency to wear, and one of the areas where these changes are most likely to occur is in the lumbar spine (lower back), which supports the weight of the vast majority of the body. When a person is overweight, the tension placed on this region of the spine is heightened, which can accelerate the strain put on the spine, causing the two main types of spondylosis, including degenerative disc disease and facet disease.

Degenerative disc disease describes the spinal discs weakening, losing height, bulging and rupturing as a result of excess weight being placed on the aging spine. Facet disease describes vertebral joints becoming arthritic as a result of the cartilage that lines the joints wearing away due to age and over-exertion, in turn leading to bone-on-bone friction and bone spurs. What’s more, individuals who are overweight tend to lead inactive lifestyles, which causes their core muscles to weaken. This can further increase the risk for spondylosis and other degenerative spine disorders because weakened muscles are not able to provide needed support to the spine.

Treatment options for weight-related spondylosis

Usually, when a person has been diagnosed with one of the more common spondylosis conditions, and his or her body weight is believed to be a contributing factor, a doctor will recommend a healthy, low-calorie diet and a commitment to regular low-impact exercise, such as swimming and biking. If this approach does not provide the results you require and your spine degeneration warrants surgical intervention, Laser Spine Institute might be able to help. Contact us today to learn about our various outpatient procedures, which have provided more than 75,000 patients with lasting relief from their chronic conditions.

Laser Spine Institute’s minimally invasive spine surgery is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck or back surgery.^ Our surgeons perform nerve decompression and stabilization procedures depending on the severity of the condition in order to alleviate the symptoms associated with weight-related spondylosis. This is done through the use of a less than 1-inch incision and muscle-sparing techniques, which result in less surgical blood loss and a reduced risk of infection.^

To find out if you are a potential candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery, reach out to our dedicated team today and ask for your no-cost MRI review.*