Degenerative disk disease (DDD), which could affect any one of us as we age, may be particularly problematic for people who are overweight. To understand why, take a step back and consider the construction and function of your spine.
The spine is made to help support the weight of your body. It’s designed to keep your weight balanced and evenly spread. For example, the vertebrae are positioned from smallest to largest: small in your neck (cervical spine) and greatest in your low back (lumbar spine). They grow in size because the lower parts of the back must support the most weight.
Your intervertebral discs—the cushions between your vertebrae—increase in size, also. Only because they need to absorb and adjust to the most weight, they are thickest in the lumbar spine.
The back must be functioning accordingly in order to ensure all of its structures are healthy. Nonetheless, in degenerative disc disease, their capability to properly operate are altered and often lost. Intervertebral discs gradually become less effective at absorbing and cushioning your motions. Joints, including the facet joints, may subsequently transform as they readjust to changes in the disc; and they may not move as easily, making it harder for your own body to take and distribute weight.
Extra weight puts additional stress on the back. In the event that you are overweight and have DDD, then you’re stressing and straining your vertebrae and discs much more. The excess weight might even accelerate the degenerative processes because the elements of your spine will need to work more to carry the additional weight—and the harder they work, the quicker they may wear out or degenerate.
A diagnosis of degenerative disc disorder might be the motivation you need to become more physically active to get rid of extra weight, stop smoking or make other lifestyle changes to benefit your back and overall health and wellness. Your doctor or alternative healthcare provider can offer helpful suggestions about lowering your body weight and enhancing your general well-being.
The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss options on the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .
Additional Topics: Weight Loss Eases Back Pain
Back pain and symptoms of sciatica can affect a majority of the population throughout their lifetime. Research studies have demonstrated that people who are overweight or obese experience more back complications than people with a healthy weight. A proper nutrition along with regular physical fitness can help with weight loss as well as help maintain a healthy weight to eliminate symptoms of back pain and sciatica. Chiropractic care is also another natural form of treatment which treats back pain and sciatica utilizing manual spinal adjustments and manipulations.
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The information herein on "Degenerative Disc Disease Caused by Obesity" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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