Herniated Disk; What Are the Risk Factors?

Herniated Disk; What Are the Risk Factors?

Disc herniation refers to a defect on the discs that are between your vertebrae. A spinal disc contains an outer layer known as the annulus and an inner nucleus. Disc herniation occurs when the nucleus slips outside the annulus. When this happens, the disk may compress the nerve and other soft tissues in the spine. Most people in Reston with disc herniation do not have any symptoms, but a small portion of the population develops some symptoms. The most common symptom is pain.

The pain depends on the area where the disc herniation occurs. If the condition affects part of the spine on the neck, it may develop in the shoulder or arm. You may experience pain on the buttocks, thighs, and legs if the disc herniation affects the lower parts of the spine. The pain can be sharp or burning, and it may occur together with the weakness of the upper or lower limbs. The people who have no symptoms of a herniated disc in Reston do not require treatment, but symptomatic disc herniation should get treatment. This article explains the causes of disc herniation.

  • Old Age

The most typical cause of herniation of the spinal discs is disc degeneration which is a wear and tear change that occurs in old age. As you get old, even minor twists and movements can rupture your discs because they become less flexible. The process of disc herniation can be faster if you make the wrong use of your spine and overwork it.

  • Occupation

Another risk factor of disc herniation is the type of work that you do.  If you have a job that mainly involves doing physical work with your spine, you are at a higher risk of developing back problems, including disc herniation. Some activities that can increase your risk of getting disc herniation are repetitive pulling, twisting, and pushing with pressure on your back. You can also get disc herniation due to a poor lifting position, like using the back muscles to lift heavy weights instead of bearing weight on the thighs and legs.

  • Obesity

Obesity also increases the risk of disc herniation. When you are obese, the extra weight puts pressure on your vertebrae, and therefore you are at a higher risk of developing disc herniation. Obesity is a risk factor that you can avoid by managing your weight. You can manage your weight by eating healthy and through regular exercise. If you are unable to lose weight, you can seek help from a specialist.

  • Smoking

If you smoke, you are at a higher risk of developing disc herniation than people who do not smoke. Smoking constricts the blood vessels that supply the bones with oxygen and nutrients. This constriction decreases the amount of oxygen that reaches the discs, and this makes disc herniation faster. You can avoid this problem by quitting smoking. Some people have a genetic predisposition to get disc herniation, and their situation may set in at an earlier age than others.

In summary, disc herniation is a health problem that mainly occurs in old age, but it can happen earlier in some people. Some of the triggers of disc herniation include occupations that involve carrying a lot of weight on the back and obesity. Smoking also increases the risk of disc herniation. Some people have a genetic predisposition to disc herniation.

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