Top Causes of a Slipped Disc

A slipped disc, also known as a pinched nerve or bulging disc, occurs when the outer ring of one of the spongy discs which cushion our spinal vertebrae becomes weak or tears and allows the softer inner portion of the disc to bulge out. There are many causes of slipped discs which range from aging-related problems to serious physical injuries to the spine.

Injuries

One of the most common reasons why individuals suffer from a slipped disc is because they suffer a physical injury to the spine. A serious injury can cause a small tear in the side exterior of a disc which can eventually allow the softer inside to slip out through the crack. More serious injuries can lead to completely tearing a disc open. Spinal injuries are very serious and you should contact a spine doctor right away if you experience one.

Aging

Aging related wear and tear on your spinal discs is one of the most common causes of slipped discs. As individuals age, their discs can become less flexible and begin to get dryer. This makes them less able to support the pressure created by an individual’s body weight, especially when they are standing up or lifting.

Increased Pressure On Spine

Certain behaviors which tend to increase the amount of pressure your spine is subjected to can cause a slipped disc or at least increase the risk of a slipped disc in the future. Some of these behaviors include frequently bending in an awkward or improper way, having a job that requires lots of lifting, playing sports that involve bearing heavy weight such as weightlifting, and having a job which requires lots of sitting and driving like a truck driver.

Risk Factors

There are many risk factors which can make it more likely to experience a slipped disc. These can include smoking, being overweight, and gender. Men between the ages of 30-50 are most likely to experience a herniated disc. Finally, having a sedentary lifestyle also increases the risk of a slipped disc because of a lack of regular exercise which normally would strengthen the muscles which support your spine.

If you are suffering from a slipped disc, speak with a spine doctor right away. In some severe cases, spine surgery may be necessary. Contact the Spine Institute of Dr. Marc A. Cohen in New Jersey by calling (973) 538-4444 to set up an appointment.