Herniated disc causes related to sports
While the most common cause of a herniated disc is the natural aging process of the spine, sometimes a sport-related injury can cause damage to a disc. In some cases, participation in a sport that requires repetitive twisting and bending can increase the stress placed on the spine, leading to an early development of a herniated disc and other degenerative spine conditions.
Because of the impact and/or repetitive motions required in many physical activities, sports such as hockey, football, soccer, field hockey, gymnastics, baseball and even golf can lead to eventual disc herniation. For this reason, you should always practice proper form and posture during a sporting activity and consult a physician if you are experiencing chronic back pain or soreness.
Help reduce the risk of a herniated disc caused by sports
What does this mean for people who participate in sports? In addition to learning the skill set that ensures success on the field, rink, court or golf course, athletes should take the following tips into consideration:
- A brief warmup session ensures that muscles are relaxed, joints are loose and blood is circulating.
- Proper weight training ensures that the muscles of the core, neck and back can do their part to support the spine.
- Taking breaks is important because most injuries occur when athletes are tired and have reached their physical limit.
If neck or back pain flares up during the course of a game or match, stop playing and apply ice as soon as possible to counteract any swelling. If the symptoms worsen, see a physician for a diagnosis.
Other factors that contribute to a herniated disc
Are men and women who lead active, athletic lifestyles from a young age more likely to develop a herniated disc or other degenerative spine condition? Possibly — especially if those sports were played at an intense level during their teenage years. But it’s not necessarily a given that a young athlete will develop a herniated disc later in life. Other herniated disc causes and contributing factors include inherited traits, overall health and whether the proper techniques and mechanics are employed during the course of playing or practicing a sport.
If symptoms of a herniated disc prevent you from participating in your favorite sports over a period of weeks or months, contact Laser Spine Institute to ask about whether your condition can be addressed with one of our minimally invasive, outpatient surgeries. Our procedures offer a shorter recovery time^ than traditional open back surgery so you can get back to the field, court or rink sooner than athletes who choose traditional surgery.
For more moderate disc damage, we offer a minimally invasive decompression surgery that removes a small portion of the herniated disc to relieve pressure on the pinched nerve root that is causing your pain. However, if the herniated disc damage is more severe, our surgeons will remove the disc entirely and replace it with an artificial disc and/or bone grafts to help stabilize the spine and reduce pain. Because we use an artificial disc instead of a metal cage and rods (as used during traditional fusion), our patients experience a more natural range of motion after surgery, which can help you get back to your game with similar agility as before your surgery.
To learn more about the advantages of our minimally invasive decompression and stabilization surgery for a herniated disc, contact Laser Spine Institute today. Our spine care experts can review your MRI report or CT scan and help you get back in the game.