Ruptured disc prevention
A ruptured disc, also known as a herniated disc, is a disc in the spine that tears open as a result of constant pressure from the surrounding vertebrae. Because discs are meant to support the vertebrae of the spine and allow them to bend and flex, the discs often endure wear and tear over the years. This is particularly true in areas of high movement, such as the cervical (upper) spine and lumbar (lower) spine.
While a ruptured disc often occurs over time as a result of the natural aging process, there are some preventative measures that can help increase the health of the spine and possibly prevent or postpone the development of a ruptured disc.
Prevention steps to increase spine health
The best way to prevent a ruptured disc is to live a healthy lifestyle. One of the key roles of the spine is to support most of the body’s weight. Anything that adds to the weight or increases pressure on the discs, such as carrying extra weight or practicing poor posture, can increase pressure on the discs and vertebrae. This can potentially result in a variety of symptoms, including:
- Soreness or stiffness in the back or neck
- Pain that radiates along a nerve
- Numbness or tingling in the extremities
- Diminished reflexes
- Muscle weakness
By taking steps to reduce pressure on the spine and keep the discs and other connective tissue healthy, you can decrease the chances of developing a ruptured disc. Commonly recommended steps include:
- Stop smoking
- Stay active
- Maintain a healthy body weight
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day
- Stretch daily
Your options for ruptured disc treatment
Patients diagnosed with a ruptured disc should follow their doctor’s recommendation for conservative treatment, while continuing to take the steps mentioned above to promote spine health. If surgery does become a consideration after pursuing recommended conservative treatments, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about our minimally invasive outpatient spine surgery.
We provide a wide range of minimally invasive decompression and minimally invasive stabilization procedures that can treat a ruptured disc on an outpatient basis. Our muscle-sparing techniques allow for an outpatient procedure that offers a reduced risk of complication compared to traditional open spine surgery.
Find out if you are a potential candidate asking for your free MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.