Bulging Disc Causes — Participation in Sports

One of the most 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 susceptible to developing spine problems later in life, and participation in sports – especially high-impact sports – is a common culprit. This isn’t to say that sports should be avoided entirely to decrease the likelihood of later bulging disc problems, but it is important to protect your spine from degeneration as much as you can.

High-impact sports

The sports that most often lead to bulging disc problems tend to be those that are hardest on the body. That’s because the intervertebral 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 anatomical elements 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 exaggerated body motions that can take a toll on the intervertebral discs that normally cushion the spine.

More information

One of the inherent conundrums of spine health is that, while being active can lead to spinal deterioration, so too can living a sedentary lifestyle. Those who are more sedentary have a higher chance of being overweight, which makes them more susceptible to bulging discs because the burden of supporting excess body weight takes a toll on the neck and back. Furthermore, people who have a healthy weight but are relatively inactive also can develop bulging discs because of a lack of muscle development in the neck or back, which can strain the rest of the spinal column.

The point is not to steer athletes away from their activities, but to urge discretion, proper stretching and a commitment to good spine health. If you have been diagnosed with a bulging disc and are researching treatment options with a mind to getting back on the playing field as quickly as possible, contact Laser Spine Institute. We’ll be pleased to tell you about the minimally invasive spine procedures we proudly offer at our well-equipped outpatient surgery centers across the country.

Browse Related Resources