Learning more about herniated discs and how to prevent them
Herniated disc prevention
A herniated disc is a disc in the spine that becomes misshapen and torn due to constant pressure from the surrounding vertebrae.
Because this condition is most commonly caused by spinal pressure, herniated disc prevention methods focus on reducing the pressure on the spine through simple lifestyle changes and daily choices. This can be something as simple as shedding a couple of pounds or stretching properly before a round of golf, but it can also be more involved, like quitting smoking or correcting your posture.
A herniated disc is one of the most common causes of neck and back pain for adults. While these prevention tips do not guarantee this condition will be avoided altogether, making daily changes to increase your spine health may at least help postpone the development of this degenerative disease in your spine.
What is a herniated disc?
Understanding how to avoid a herniated disc requires a closer look at what a herniated disc actually is.
The flexibility and mobility of the spine can be directly traced to small pads that rest between the vertebrae in the spine.
These spongy discs act like shock absorbers for the body and bear the brunt of the jarring and impact from daily activity, such as bending, twisting, lifting or running.
However, these discs are also prone to deterioration over time as a result of regular wear and tear. The discs can become thinned, protruded or even ruptured (or herniated), which can lead to painful nerve compression if the inner disc fluid comes into contact with a nerve root or the spinal cord.
Herniated disc prevention options
The largest contributing risk factor of a herniated disc is something that lies outside of our control — getting older. However, there are a few things that can be controlled outside of the natural aging process to reduce the stress placed on the spine and better your chances of avoiding disc problems.
These simple lifestyle changes can help you improve your overall spine health:
- Improve your posture
- Quit smoking
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Stretch properly
- Exercise regularly
If you have developed a herniated disc despite your best efforts to prevent the condition, reach out to Laser Spine Institute. We offer minimally invasive spine procedures to treat all types of herniated discs.
Because our procedures take a minimally invasive approach to the spine, our patients can experience a shorter recovery time and a lower risk of complication, making our procedures a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine surgery.^