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Is weight loss an effective treatment for a degenerative spine?

A degenerative spine describes the different conditions that can occur as the components of the spine deteriorate from years of wear and tear. Some common degenerative spine conditions that may require treatment include:

  • Bulging or herniated discs
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Bone spurs
  • Spinal osteoarthritis
  • Foraminal stenosis
  • Spinal narrowing

Any of these conditions can cause a nerve root or the spinal cord to become compressed, resulting in symptoms such as localized pain, neck or back stiffness, radiating pain, muscle weakness, numbness and tingling. If you’ve been diagnosed with one of these spinal conditions and are experiencing these symptoms, you may be wondering if weight loss can help you find the relief you’re looking for.

Weight loss as a conservative treatment option for a degenerative spine

As a first step in treatment, your physician may recommend pain medications, exercise, physical therapy and other conservative options to help alleviate your symptoms. If applicable, your treatment plan may also include losing weight. While it may not be obvious, excess weight can actually be a contributing factor in causing the spine to deteriorate. For example, excess weight carried in the midsection may be the cause of your lower back pain. Extra weight may also cause the spine to tilt slightly or may stress a specific area of the spine, leading to a degenerative spine condition. In addition to improving your general health and wellbeing, losing weight can be helpful as a degenerative spine treatment, as it can reduce the amount of strain your spine endures. It may also help you stay active or complete physical therapy more easily, which can also help reduce strain on the spine.

Treatment at USA Spine Care

If losing weight and using other conservative treatment options are not enough to relieve your symptoms, you may want to find out if you’re a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery at USA Spine Care. Our outpatient procedures are often the clinically appropriate next step in treatment and offer patients a safer and effective alternative to traditional open surgery.^

Contact USA Spine Care today for more information on the minimally invasive degenerative spine treatment options we offer.

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