Common causes of a slipped disc
There are many contributing factors but the main underlying cause of a slipped disc is the natural aging process. As people get older, their spinal discs lose water content, becoming more brittle and less flexible. This makes the spine less able to withstand the stress of repeated twisting or bending motions, making a disc more likely to become damaged.
“Slipped disc” is actually a nonmedical term that some people use to describe conditions such as bulging or herniated spinal discs. By learning more about the causes of disc degeneration, you can work more closely with your doctor to better understand your condition and find the lasting relief you’re looking for.
Spinal trauma can also contribute to a slipped disc
Age-related degeneration is the most common reason people develop a slipped disc, but there are several other potential contributors. For example, sports collisions, automobile collisions and slip-and-fall accidents can all cause a disc to become damaged.
Spinal traumas such as these can, but do not always, cause issues right away. For example, people who sustain sports traumas as teenagers may be more likely to develop slipped discs or other spinal complications later on in life.
Risk factors for developing a slipped disc
In addition to a history of spinal trauma, there are several other risk factors that can increase a person’s risk of developing a slipped disc. People who smoke, work in occupations that require a significant amount of lifting or bending, carry excess body weight or maintain generally poor posture have an elevated risk of spinal disc complications. While there is no way to completely remove the risk of developing a slipped disc or another condition, making the necessary lifestyle changes to eliminate or minimize these factors can potentially slow down spinal degeneration.
Treatment for a slipped disc
Symptoms related to a slipped disc can be disruptive, but can often be managed through conservative measures such as medication, exercises, stretches and hot/cold therapy. If these or other treatments don’t relieve symptoms after weeks or months of treatment, surgery may become an option.
If you’ve been diagnosed with a slipped disc and would like help evaluating your surgical treatment options, contact Laser Spine Institute today. Our board-certified surgeons+ perform minimally invasive spine surgery that is an outpatient alternative to traditional open neck or back procedures.
Learn more by reaching out to our dedicated team of Spine Care Consultants today for no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.