Slipped disc risk factors

Slipped disc risk factors refer to the activities that increase the likelihood a person will develop this condition. A common, nonmedical term often used by patients to describe conditions such as a bulging or herniated disc, a slipped disc can be a painful condition that seriously affects every aspect of your life. This condition can become painful when displaced disc material compresses a nerve root or the spinal cord.

High-risk activities

As a person ages, it is only natural for the spinal anatomy to gradually deteriorate. The discs between vertebrae slowly lose elasticity and become brittle and weak. Eventually, this deterioration can lead to a range of conditions that cause the spinal discs to narrow the nerve pathways in the spine and cause painful compression. Although no one can slow down the natural aging process, there are a number of slipped disc risk factors that increase the chance of developing spine problems, particularly in the lower back and neck, which should be avoided, such as:

  • Repetitive activities that involve bending or twisting
  • High-impact sports
  • Smoking
  • Carrying excess body weight
  • Poor posture
  • Being overly sedentary

Slipped disc symptoms

A person experiencing a slipped disc can develop a variety of symptoms depending on the location of the disc in the spine. For example, a herniated disc in the cervical (upper) spine can lead to shoulder weakness and arm pain, while a disc problem in the lumbar (lower) spine may compress the sciatic nerve and cause significant pain in a leg. Other common symptoms of slipped discs include numbness or tingling in the extremities, local pain at the site of compression and mobility problems.

Treatment for a slipped disc

Upon diagnosis of most conditions commonly referred to as a slipped disc, doctors will begin with a course of conservative treatment. Typical methods include pain medication, physical therapy, rest, exercise, spinal injections and lifestyle changes to address the above risk factors.

However, if you are suffering from a slipped disc and conservative treatments haven’t provided you with the relief you desire, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about our minimally invasive spine surgery. Since 2005 our outpatient procedures have helped more than 75,000 patients dealing with neck or back pain at our state-of-the-art centers across the United States.

Ask for your free MRI or CT scan review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.