How to avoid a herniated disc in your neck

A herniated disc in the neck is often caused by age-related changes to the cervical (upper) spine, which are largely unavoidable. However, there are external factors that can contribute to or accelerate the onset of this condition. By having a basic understanding of the activities and lifestyle choices that can lead to a herniated disc, you can take the necessary steps to avoid or limit the most common risk factors.

Causes of neck pain

Neck pain is extremely common and is often traced to a minor strain or sprain to the muscles or ligaments in the neck. But if pain continues for more than a week and is accompanied by other symptoms like tingling or numbness in the extremities, it becomes more likely that a spine condition, such as a herniated disc, is the underlying cause. Since degenerative spine conditions can be so debilitating, it is common to want to prevent the onset or reoccurrence of a condition.

While disc deterioration in the neck is most frequently caused by the regular wear and tear that comes with age, a number of other factors can lead to this painful condition, including:

  • Poor posture
  • Improper lifting techniques
  • Traumatic injury
  • Participation in high-impact sports like football or hockey
  • Lack of stretching before manual labor
  • Repetitive activities like bending or twisting
  • Lack of neck support while sleeping
  • Tobacco use or excessive alcohol consumption

Treatment options for a herniated disc in your neck

The good news about a herniated disc in your neck is that even if you are unable to avoid this condition, it is often treatable with a course of doctor-recommended conservative options. Stretching exercises, physical therapy, massage, ice packs, heating pads and medication are usually recommended and help patients return to normal activity in many situations.

Laser Spine Institute

Should pain persist after several weeks or months of conservative treatment, herniated disc surgery may be considered as an option. If this is your situation, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about the advantages of our minimally invasive spine surgery. By using muscle-sparing techniques, our board-certified surgeons+ are able to perform these procedures on an outpatient basis and with less risk of complication compared to traditional open neck surgery performed in hospital.

To learn more, contact our dedicated team of Spine Care Consultants today and ask for a no-cost review of your MRI* to help determine if you are a candidate for one of our procedures.

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