How sports participation can lead to degenerative spine conditions

Degenerative spine conditions include any condition in which elements of the spine gradually break down over time, potentially causing symptoms. Almost by definition, degenerative spine is related to changes caused by aging, but there are many other factors that also contribute, such as injury from high-impact or repetitive motion sports.

While it is almost impossible to get a serious athlete to stop participating in a sport he or she is passionate about, there are steps anyone can take to reduce the impact it is having on the spine. The following information can make you more aware of the health of your spine and can be beneficial in both the prevention and treatment of degenerative spine conditions.

Sports-related injury and degenerative spine

Imagine a gymnast completing a floor routine and the amount of pressure the flips and tumbles are placing on the spine. Now imagine how many times that gymnast practices the routine before taking part in a competition. With so many repetitions of these taxing movements, the moving parts of the spine, such as the discs and joints, can become injured and wear out prematurely.

Here are some of the other sports that can lead to a degenerative spine:

  • Football
  • Baseball
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Wrestling

Preventing and treating degenerative spine conditions

Of course, participating in these sports and activities doesn’t automatically lead to early spinal degeneration, especially if you take proper preventive measures. This includes using safety equipment, engaging in good form and getting needed rest and recovery.

For those diagnosed with a degenerative spine condition, there are also effective treatment options available. Conservative approaches recommended by your doctor include medication, physical therapy, massage, exercise and epidural steroid injections. Surgery can become an option if a full course of treatment does not bring the relief needed for a return to normal activity. If you have concerns about the risks and difficulties of traditional open spine surgery, reach out to Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive spine surgery is a safer and effective alternative, offering our patients an outpatient experience and a shorter recovery time compared to traditional procedures.^

You can receive a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for our procedures by contacting our dedicated team today.