Can Weight Loss Alleviate Pain from a Herniated Disk?

Medically Reviewed by NJ Spine & Orthopedic on October 18, 2023
The diagnosis of a herniated disk may seem scary to many patients, but you should know that a herniated disk does not automatically lead to surgery. The talented doctors at NJ Spine & Orthopedic will often choose to explore non-surgical treatment before committing to surgery.
Many non-surgical treatments can heal a herniated disk, but one method that may surprise you is weight loss. While weight loss is often associated with people’s physical appearance goals, that is not the concern here. Excess weight can cause problems throughout your body and is a significant health issue. Shedding extra weight can help with your herniated disk and any other health concerns you may be experiencing.

Why Is Being a Healthy Weight Important?

Being a healthy weight has less to do with looks and much more to do with keeping your body working as it should. Being above your recommended weight could cause a herniated disk, and losing weight may be the key to your recovery. In addition, carrying extra weight can put a strain on your body because your disks are struggling to support it.

Since extra weight on your body can cause strain leading to health issues, changing your diet and exercise plan could help you avoid surgery. While a herniated disk can heal on its own, you should be consulting with a spine and orthopedic doctor about what treatment plan is best for you. While weight loss may not completely heal the disk, it may be a part of a comprehensive plan to help you recover. If you choose to lose weight in an attempt to alleviate the pain of your herniated disk and are experiencing pain, you should stop and consult with your doctor.

Weight Loss Is Beneficial for Overall Health

Losing weight is not only helpful to relieving pain in your spine. It is good for your overall health and wellness. Plus, getting healthy can become a lifestyle with positive long-term effects. In reference to a herniated disk, losing extra weight will relieve extra stress put on the disk supporting that weight which can lead to the issue resolving itself.

Weight loss does not have to mean losing fifty pounds. Losing even 5–10% of your total body weight can lead to overall health benefits. In addition to helping relieve pain from a herniated disk, weight loss can also lead to these health benefits:

  • Improved blood sugar
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improved cholesterol
  • Increased energy
  • Reduced stress
  • Improved immune health
  • Improved complexion
  • Reduced joint pain
  • Reduced perspiration
  • Improved hormonal balance

Weight loss can positively impact your life beyond reducing back pain. While you may begin your weight loss journey to help with this issue, you may find that healthy living is a path you choose to continue down long after your herniated disk has been healed.

Consult with New Jersey Spine & Orthopedic Doctors

If you have been diagnosed with a herniated disk and are hoping to heal from non-surgical treatment, weight loss may be what you need to begin the recovery process. However, if you continue to experience pain while attempting to lose weight, especially while working out, it is time to consult with spine and orthopedic doctors who can help you find the recovery method that is right for you.

NJ Spine & Orthopedic is a team of highly trained doctors equipped to help you with any back pain you are experiencing. Specializing in minimally invasive surgical techniques, our doctors are equipped to handle your specific needs with personalized care. Get a free expert review on a recent MRI by filling out our contact form or calling (866) 272-9271.

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