Spinal Ligaments – What Causes Them To Thicken?

Spinal ligament thickening is a condition that occurs when the spinal ligaments that support and surround the spinal column become thicker than normal. This condition can lead to significant discomfort and pain for those who experience it. It is important to note that while the thickening of spinal ligaments can be a contributing factor to certain spinal conditions, it is not always the sole cause. Other factors such as herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease can also contribute to spinal pain and discomfort.

Causes of Spinal Ligaments Thickening


One of the most common causes of spinal ligaments thickening is injury. This can occur from trauma, such as a car accident or fall, or from repetitive stress on the ligaments. When ligaments are injured, they can become inflamed and swollen, which can lead to thickening over time.


Being overweight can put stress on the spine and its supporting structures. This stress can lead to scar tissue formation in the spinal ligaments, which will cause them to thicken. This can result in decreased mobility, limited range of motion, and pain. If left untreated, this can lead to further complications, such as nerve compression and reduced blood flow to the affected area.

Age-related changes

As we age, our bodies undergo a number of changes that can contribute to spinal ligament thickening. Ligaments may become less flexible and lose some of their elasticity over time. Additionally, wear and tear on the spine from years of use can cause the ligaments to thicken.

Ligaments Spinal Cord

Treatments for Spinal Ligaments Thickening

Conservative treatments

Conservative treatments can be effective in relieving symptoms of spinal ligament thickening. This may include physical therapy, stretching and strengthening exercises, and over-the-counter pain medications.


Injections of corticosteroids may be recommended to reduce inflammation and swelling around the affected ligaments. These injections can provide temporary relief of symptoms, but are not a long-term solution.


In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to relieve symptoms of spinal ligament thickening. This may involve removing part of the thickened ligament or fusing the affected vertebrae together. Surgery is typically considered a last resort after conservative treatments have been exhausted.


There are some steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of injury and other contributing factors. 

  • Maintaining good posture while sitting and standing
  • Engaging in regular exercise to improve spinal flexibility and strength
  • Wearing appropriate protective gear when engaging in sports or other activities that may pose a risk of injury

These practices will only slow the spinal ligaments from thickening. This is something that naturally happens as life progresses. Your spine moves countless times throughout the day, and the natural wear and tear will contribute to the thickening. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good idea to try and prevent it in any way possible.

Spinal Ligament Injury

Still Have Questions About Spinal Ligaments Thickening?

With over 20 years of experience in treating spinal conditions, I am passionate about educating patients and providing personalized treatment plans that reduce pain, improve mobility, and enhance overall quality of life. 

At The Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care, we place a strong emphasis on preventive care and minimally invasive surgeries and are committed to clear communication and personalized attention for each patient. Our objective is to collaborate with our patients to create a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses their specific needs and goals.

If you’re experiencing spinal issues that are affecting your quality of life, please don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule a consultation. My team and I are dedicated to providing top-quality care and support and possess extensive experience in spinal ligaments thickening. With our personalized approach to care and focus on patient education, we are confident in our ability to offer you the best possible care for your spinal condition and help you lead a fulfilling life.

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