Injury: A Potential Cause of Herniated Discs
The most common factor in the occurrence of herniated discs is aging, but there are other causes such as injury that can contribute to the development of disc tears. Whether sustained at work, during leisure activities or through an automobile accident, impacts that involve the spine can lead to damaged discs. These injuries may be acute, one-time events, or they may be repetitive and cumulative in nature.
Impact sports and damaged discs
Acute injuries tend to occur during high-speed impacts like car crashes, but they can also happen to participants in certain sports whose spines can be jarred by colliding with another body or through contact with the ground. A poorly timed landing in a gymnastics routine or a particularly hard tackle on the football field can lead to a herniated disc.
Chronic injury can lead to disc problems
Perhaps the more common herniated disc cause, however, is chronic injury. In lines of work that require manual labor, such as roofing, workers perform repeated motions that can strain the spine. These motions might include lifting loads with the back rather than with the legs or twisting the spine while lifting loads.
The progression of a herniated disc
No matter the root cause, the progression of herniated discs remains largely the same. A disc develops cracks in its outer fibrous ring, allowing the inner gelatinous core to push through and causing the disc to bulge. In some cases, the disc can even rupture. Either way, the abnormally shaped disc can cause complications when it impinges on the surrounding nerves. A pinched nerve in the spine can lead to pain at the site of impingement, as well as radiating pain, weakness and tingling that travel down the affected nerve root.
If you have herniated discs caused by injury or another cause, you may want to investigate your surgical treatment options. Contact Laser Spine Institute today for more information about our minimally invasive spine procedures.