Many patients are surprised to learn that excess body weight is one of the leading bone spur causes in the neck and back. While just about everyone recognizes that obesity represents a significant health risk, most of the attention seems to be directed to issues like type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and stroke.
However, one of the most common side effects of being overweight is chronic neck or back pain, which can often be traced to the onset of bone spurs after many years of maintaining an unhealthy body weight. To learn more about the connection between body weight and bone spurs as well as the treatments available to relieve this debilitating condition, read the following article.
What does body weight have to do with bone spurs?
In a healthy spine, several parts work together to provide the flexibility required for the neck and back, while ensuring the overall stability of the spinal column. As you can probably imagine, the spine is under tremendous pressure, particularly in the neck and lower back, in part because these spinal segments must support the head and most of the body’s weight. When an individual is overweight, it increases strain on the spine, which can accelerate spinal deterioration.
One of the most common forms of spinal degeneration is known as facet disease or osteoarthritis of the spine. The facet joints are designed to connect adjacent vertebrae at hinge-like points that are coated in cartilage and encapsulated in a thick lubricating fluid. Facet disease occurs when the cartilage that lines adjacent vertebral bodies wears away, allowing for bone-on-bone contact, which directly causes the formation of bone spurs. These bone spurs can cause:
- Chronic local pain within the joint
- Inflammation of muscle tissue surrounding the joint
- Symptoms that radiate along a nerve when compression occurs
Bone spur treatment options
While the effects of bone spurs cannot be undone, there are many treatments that can help alleviate symptoms. USA Spine Care is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery and our outpatient procedures have helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from neck and back pain. To learn more, contact us today and request a free MRI review.*
Through the use of a small incision that is muscle sparing, our board-certified surgeons+ are able to relieve the pain and discomfort associated with spinal bone spurs. To find out if you are a potential candidate for our outpatient surgery, reach out to our team. We can help you rediscover your life from your condition and get you back to the activities you have been missing out on.