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The Relationship between Your Weight and Your Spine

Last updated 5 years ago

We are constantly reminded by our doctors, dieticians, nutritionists and personal trainers that maintaining a healthy weight is vital for our overall health and wellness. Indeed, being at a healthy weight can not only help you feel more confident about your physical appearance but also help your body function at its best. Being overweight, for example, can have a serious effect on your spine health in addition to your overall health. Carrying excess weight can lead to back pain, neck pain and even injury.

The Role of the Spine

Your spine is, quite literally, the backbone of your body. The spine, along with the various muscles and ligaments that support it, allows you to stand upright, walk, and move freely. In addition to supporting the body’s musculoskeletal structure, the vertebrae also protects the spinal cord and the nerves within that allow you to move, feel and experience the sensations of life.

The Effects of Body Weight on the Spine

Because of the location and function of the spine, it is subjected to a great deal of stress from weight-bearing and movement. While the spine is designed to bear a certain amount of weight, excess weight can begin to put undue strain on the joints and discs. Being overweight or obese can cause the spine to be pulled into an unnatural position as it tries to offset the weight strain; this, in turn, can considerably affect posture and general comfort.

If this strain occurs consistently for a long enough period of time, damage to the spinal structures can occur. Weight may also put pressure on the nerves in and around the spine, which can lead to severe pain. In fact, you could ultimately experience a complete degeneration of spinal discs from repeated wear. When this occurs, the only option for spine pain relief may be invasive surgery. Maintaining a healthy weight, then, can help you to avoid back pain or the surgical treatments that may be necessary to treat it.

To learn more about conservative treatments for back pain or about pain management, make an appointment with Kraus Back and Neck Institute today. The founder of KBNI, Dr. Gary Kraus is a leading Houston neurosurgeon specializing in spine health, spine surgery, and non-surgical spine treatments. Please visit us online or call us today at (888) 816-8954 to schedule a consultation.


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