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Can obesity cause a collapsed disc?

Obesity is one of the known causes of a collapsed disc. While it is widely understood that carrying excess body weight is a general health risk — particularly in respect to cardiovascular and respiratory health —obesity can also have a negative effect on the health of the spine.

Why is excess body weight one of the major collapsed disc causes?

The spine provides structural support for the body and, in doing so, carries most of the body’s weight. Therefore, when an individual is overweight or obese, his or her spine is forced to take on an additional burden. This can compromise the structure of the spine and damage its components. Specifically, the additional stress can lead to or accelerate the breakdown and collapse of the spinal discs. For this reason, obesity ranks high among collapsed disc causes.

Additionally, overweight individuals tend to be less physically fit than their healthy-weight counterparts. Without sufficient exercise, the core muscles in the back, pelvic region and thighs can weaken. As a result, some of their normal weight load will shift onto the spine. This can lead to the development of poor posture as the spine struggles to support a weight load that it is not designed to handle. Poor posture can further stress spinal discs and cause even more deterioration.

How to overcome collapsed disc pain

If you’ve been diagnosed with a collapsed disc, your physician will likely encourage you to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight by exercising regularly and getting proper nutrition. Chronic neck or back pain stemming from collapsed disc causes such as obesity can often be managed with these and other conservative measures. However, if your pain persists or worsens after you lose weight, contact USA Spine Care. We can provide you with a no-cost MRI review* to help determine if you are a candidate for minimally invasive surgery to address your collapsed disc.

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