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Degenerative Disc Disease More Common in Obese Adults

Home > News > Degenerative Disc Disease More Common in Obese Adults
Posted: Feb 6, 2012 | by admin | 2 Comments

back pain, back injury, spine injury, spine pain, herniated disc, slipped disc, scoliosis, pinched nerve, back specialist, spine specialist, spine surgeon, back surgeon, The Spine Center of Hampton Roads, Mark KernerThere’s a new risk of obesity according to new research published in Arthritis & Rheumatism, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR). In a study  of over 2,500 participants, experts have found that the risk of lumbar spine disc degeneration is much higher among adults who are overweight or obese were significantly more likely to suffer from disc degeneration than those with a normal body mass index (BMI).

While, previous research has linked higher BMI to low back pain, a team of researchers at the University of Hong Kong in Hong Kong wanted to investigate “the association between elevated BMI and presence, extent, and severity of lumbar spine disc degeneration on MRI in adults.”

The findings confirmed that elevated BMI levels lead to “significant’ increases in the degree of disc degeneration. Study authors think that pressure on the disc from weight gain and inflammation from fat cells can accelerate disc degeneration.

Disc degeneration is a complex process involving structural and chemical changes of the disc, but specialists should take into account how elevated BMI levels contribute to disc degeneration.

Dr. Mark Kerner is a fellowship-trained spine surgeon who sees patients at The Spine Center‘s Meade Parkway location in Suffolk, Virginia and in Portsmouth, Virginia at the MAST One Building.

To make an appointment with Dr. Kerner or one of our spine specialists, please call 757.397.6930.

Source: Medical Xpress “Lumbar disc degeneration more likely in overweight and obese adults”


  1. Terry Mar 3, 2012

    i have a few bulging discs and had to have surgery. If your disc is degenerating you need to somehow strengthen the muscles around the disk. i dont know what kind of neck exercises are out there. also, avoid twisting your neck all the time which puts pressure on the disc. you need to support it while you sleep also. just little things like that go a long way.

    • VOSS Mar 5, 2012

      Strengthening your muscles with neck exercises and using the appropriate neck support is important. But if a patient is experiencing chronic neck pain or suspects that they are suffering from a disc condition, we recommend they make an appointment with their primary care physician or orthopaedic specialist to get it checked out.

      A physical evaluation with a specialist can ensure that you get the appropriate treatment for your individual condition.

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