Disc extrusion causes — participation in sports

Participation in sports that involve high impacts and repetitive twisting movements is a leading cause of disc extrusion. This condition, also called a herniated disc, occurs when the nucleus of a spinal disc pushes through a weakened or torn outer layer. Other causes and contributors to disc extrusion include age-related degeneration, obesity, poor posture and tobacco use.

While sports do place extra strain on spinal anatomy, there are still precautions you can take to minimize impact. It is also important to recognize the benefits that physical activity can have for your overall health, including the spine. Sports and exercises that focus on stretching and strengthening, such as yoga, tai chi and Pilates, can even help patients strengthen the muscles around their spine, helping to reduce neck or back pain.

Preventing sports-related disc extrusion

These are some of the sports that can potentially lead to developing a spine condition such as an extruded disc:

  • Football
  • Lacrosse
  • Rugby
  • Hockey
  • Boxing
  • Baseball
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Mixed martial arts

Not everyone who participates in one of these sports will become injured or experience an extruded disc. However, people who spend many years involved with high-impact activities may sustain repeated stress to their spine leading to accelerated degeneration of the discs, joints and other parts. If you do participate in sports, using proper safety equipment, having good posture and technique as well as being in the right physical condition for your activity are some of the ways you can prevent this condition from developing.

Treating an extruded disc

Extruded discs and other spine conditions are often first treated with conservative options when someone is experiencing pain and other symptoms. Speak with your doctor about what specific methods may be right for you, but rest, medication, physical therapy, hot and cold compresses and steroid injections are often recommended. Surgery to treat an extruded disc is usually seen as a last-resort treatment due to the risks and difficulties that can be involved.

If you have been recommended for surgery but have concerns about the muscle disruption, overnight hospitalization and long recovery time of traditional open spine surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive spine surgery offers our patients less risk of complication and a shorter recovery time compared to traditional procedures.^

To find out if you are a candidate for a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure at Laser Spine Institute, reach out to our dedicated team today for a no-cost MRI review.*