How to identify the various herniated disc causes

One of the best ways to avoid developing a herniated disc is to know the causes of the condition. While some of the most common causes of degenerative disc disease, like the natural aging process and congenital (birth) defects, are unavoidable, some lifestyle factors and certain daily activities can also greatly increase the likelihood that you will develop the condition.

Having a basic understanding of what a herniated disc is and what leads to the condition can help you avoid or limit the risk factors and reduce the chance of developing chronic neck or back pain.

Developing a herniated disc

A herniated disc is a degenerative spine condition that can develop in the neck or the back. When a disc in the spine becomes herniated or “ruptured,” the inner gel-like disc material seeps through the tear in the outer shell of the disc and into the spinal canal. This condition isn’t necessarily symptomatic, but when the inner disc material comes into contact with a nerve root or the spinal cord, symptoms such as local pain and muscle weakness can occur.

Identifying risk factors

The most common way for a herniated disc to develop is the aging process. As we grow older, years of wear and tear take a toll and the disc naturally begins to deteriorate, which can cause the tears in the outer disc wall to form. However, a number of other herniated disc causes also exist that can either accelerate this deterioration or directly lead to disc damage. Some examples include:

  • Participation in high-impact sports
  • Repetitive bending, twisting or lifting
  • Poor posture
  • Traumatic injuries
  • Poor lumbar support at the office
  • Obesity
  • Alcohol or tobacco abuse

While limiting these risks factors will not guarantee that you will never develop a herniated disc or other spine condition, it will help you prevent it by increasing your overall spine health.

Learn more

To learn more about the various herniated disc causes, visit your physician or a spine specialist. If you develop the condition and haven’t found relief from conservative treatments, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn how our minimally invasive decompression and stabilization procedures can help you find relief from your herniated disc pain.

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