Bulging disc causes — participation in sports

Although primarily an age-related condition, one of the more common bulging disc causes is a lifestyle that includes frequent participation in sports. That’s because sports have a tendency to accelerate wear and tear in the neck and back, which can often lead to bulging discs and other degenerative spine conditions. Generally speaking, any activity that puts additional strain on the neck and back can make a person more prone to developing spine problems later in life, and participation in sports — especially high-impact sports — is a common contributor. This isn’t to say that sports need to be avoided entirely to decrease the likelihood of later bulging disc problems, but there are steps you can take to better protect the health of your spine.

High-impact sports and the development of bulging discs

The sports that most often lead to development of bulging discs and other issues tend to be those that are hardest on the body. That’s because the spinal discs that normally cushion the spine can become worn through repeated use or injury, and many sports require exaggerated spinal angles and motions that can be difficult on the neck and back. Specifically, sports that require bending, twisting, physical exertion and potentially jarring hits can lead to wear and tear on the anatomy that normally support the spine. Some common examples of high-impact sports include:

  • Football
  • Hockey
  • Rugby
  • Soccer
  • Running

Furthermore, activities like baseball and golfing can lead to neck and back problems because they require repeated twisting that can take a toll on the discs that normally cushion the spine. Athletes should practice proper technique and posture, keep a strong body, engage in stretching and wear necessary safety equipment.

Steps for prevention and treatment

While being active can lead to spinal deterioration, it’s also important to avoid having an overly sedentary lifestyle. Being too inactive can lead to loss of strength in supporting muscles and is also associated with being overweight. These factors can work together to add to the pressure being placed on the spine and speed up the development of conditions like bulging discs. If the condition is diagnosed, the good news is it can often be successfully managed through treatments like physical therapy, massage, hot/cold therapy, spinal injections and over-the-counter medication.

However, if you have been diagnosed with a bulging disc and are considering surgery after weeks and months of conservative treatment, contact Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive spine surgery has helped more than 75,000 patients find relief since 2005 with a streamlined outpatient experience.

To find out if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures, ask for your no-cost MRI or CT scan review today.*

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