Three common prolapsed disc causes

A prolapsed disc is another name for a herniated disc, which is a disc that has torn open and allowed the inner nucleus to protrude into the spinal canal. For many patients, a prolapsed disc is considered a degenerative spine condition. That means the disc has herniated as a result of the natural aging and weakening of the spine over the years.

Since this is a condition that occurs with time, there are many steps that can be taken to help prevent or slow the development of a prolapsed disc. Before you can take preventive measures against developing a prolapsed disc, use the information in the following article to understand the common causes of this condition.

Prolapsed disc cause one: age

Aging is impossible to avoid. With age comes the natural weakening of the discs and vertebrae of the spine, as well as the core muscles that help support the spine. As the discs wear down, the tough outer layer of the disc, called the annulus fibrosus, can begin to weaken and lose its elasticity. When the elasticity of the outer layer stretches, the disc has a difficult time holding its shape or snapping back into shape after moving and bending. Eventually, the annulus fibrosus becomes so weak and stretched that any slight pressure can tear it, causing a prolapsed disc.

Prolapsed disc cause two: weight

This prolapsed disc cause, on the other hand, can be avoided. One of the most common, controllable reasons for a damaged disc in the spine is weight gain, and that doesn’t necessarily just include obesity. Even small, steady weight gain over the years can increase pressure on the discs in the spine, making them more susceptible to damage. Since these discs are responsible for spacing and cushioning the vertebrae of the spine, excessive weight gain can result in an increased amount of pressure on the discs. This can ultimately lead to the tearing of the disc’s outer layer, which is classified as a prolapsed disc.

Prolapsed disc cause three: weak core muscles

Another potentially preventable cause of a prolapsed disc is weakened core muscles. This cause is closely tied to weight gain. The core muscles surrounding the spine help support and stabilize the spine, even taking pressure off the spine to decrease the risk of developing a degenerative spine condition. If these core muscles are weak, they cannot help support the spine. Therefore, the body’s weight rests solely on the spine, increasing the risk of a disc becoming damaged or prolapsed.

Treatments options for a prolapsed disc

In order to prevent or slow down the development of a prolapsed disc, your doctor may recommend a conservative treatment plan consisting of pain medication, anti-inflammatories, physical therapy, chiropractic care and epidural steroid injections. However, if your symptoms persist or progress even further after several weeks or months, then surgery may become an option.

If this is the case for you, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about the treatments we offer for patients diagnosed with a prolapsed disc. Laser Spine Institute is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery and has helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck or back pain. Our procedures offer a safer and effective alternative as well as a shorter recovery compared to traditional open spine surgery.^

By using a less than 1-inch incision and muscle-sparing techniques, our surgeons can perform a decompression procedure to remove the prolapsed portion of the disc in order to provide you with lasting relief. Reach out to our dedicated team today to learn more about the causes of a prolapsed disc and determine if you’re a candidate for one of our minimally invasive procedures through a no-cost MRI review.*