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 move without impact, the discs often endure wear and tear over the years. This is particularly true in areas of high movement, such as the cervical spine (neck) and lumbar spine (lower back).
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. By carrying around excess body weight, the spine is burdened by an increase in pressure on the discs and vertebrae. This can 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
However, by staying in relatively good shape, maintaining good posture and properly stretching, the chances of ruptured discs are reduced — although never fully eradicated. Some additional preventative methods you can take 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
If the best ruptured disc prevention techniques have proven ineffective, and you are suffering from back or neck pain, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about our world-renowned minimally invasive, outpatient spine procedures.
We offer minimally invasive discectomy and stabilization procedures that remove the ruptured disc and replace it with an artificial disc and/or bone grafts from the patient’s own body. This allows the patient to experience a more natural range of motion after surgery, as opposed to traditional open back fusion that uses a metal cage and rods to stabilize the spine. In some cases, our surgeons will only have to remove a small portion of the damaged disc to relieve pain on the pinched nerve. This is called a minimally invasive decompression surgery.
For more information about the advantages of our minimally invasive discectomy and stabilization for a ruptured disc, contact Laser Spine Institute today.