Saturday, September 30, 2023

4 Ways You Might Be Causing Damage to Your Spinal Discs

Health4 Ways You Might Be Causing Damage to Your Spinal Discs

Your spinal discs are a very important part of your body and pain in the spine can be very painful. Your spinal discs are also called intervertebral discs. They are a type of cushion between the bones of the spine that can absorb shock and also ensure that the spine is stable. If you are experiencing any sort of pain, you must visit a headache and spine center near you to rule out any possible causes. 

Here are some possible causes of pain that they may discuss with you:

Being Overweight 

When you are overweight, there is more stain on the spine. The discs have to bear more weight which also causes there to be strain and the spine cannot do its job properly. 

Being overweight can cause several different health problems including spinal disc issues so it’s important to lose weight when you can by eating properly and drinking enough water. 

If you have been trying to lose weight but can’t, consider seeing your doctor or a dietician as they can make a meal and exercise plan for you. They can also run some tests to see if an underlying health issue is making it harder for you to lose weight. 

Lack of Fitness and Lack of Exercise 

If you are not fit and do not exercise well, your spine is more prone to injury when you lift heavy things or do simple tasks. This is why it’s important to exercise regularly and stay fit so that you can avoid injury to not only the spine but other bones and parts of the body as well. 

Older Age 

As you age the discs in the spine get weak and are more prone to damage. Those with advanced age find that they have more back problems in general. They might want to see a chiropractor or their primary doctor more often to rule out disc problems. 

Poor Posture 

If you have poor posture, the spine is not as strong as it could be.  This means you can easily bulge or throw out a disc when you exercise or lift something heavy. 

Lifting Heavy Items 

You might have heard people say that they bulged or herniated a disc after helping someone move or after lifting something heavy at work. This is a common energy because the discs in the spinal cord can become dislodged when you lift something heavy and do not stand up properly. 

Other risk factors for spinal disc problems include diabetes and smoking cigarettes. Keep in mind that you can also have disc problems even without risk factors, so if you think you have bulged or damaged a disc, see your doctor right away. 

How Do I Know If I Have Disc Damage? 

The exact symptoms of disk damage will depend on which disc is damaged and how severe the damage is. Disc issues can also become more severe when you age and when you do intense physical activity that puts more strain on the back. 

The best way to know if you have disc damage is to see a spine specialist such as the ones that work at headache and spine centers. 

They can look at your back and examine it to see if the problem is with your discs or something else. 

Some of the most common symptoms of disk damage include:

  • Back pain 
  • A feeling of pins and needles or numbness that radiates down into the arms or legs 
  • More intense back pain when you strain, laugh, sneeze, or cough 
  • Increased back pain when you sit for a long time or when you do repetitive motions like bending down 

Types of Disc Damage 

There is more than one disc-related damage so you will need to see a doctor to determine what kind you have and what the best treatment going forward is. 

Here are some of the most common damages you can experience to your spinal discs. 

Disc Strain 

This happens when you put an excessive load on the back or when you overwork the back including the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. If the load you’re carrying for example is heavier than what the soft tissues can deal with, you can easily cause inflammation and irritation. 

Disc Protrusion 

Disc protrusion includes extruding discs, bulging discs, herniated discs, or prolapsed discs. Some people also called them a slipped disc but this term is not completely accurate because the whole disc cannot slip out since it’s held together by the ligaments and muscles in the spine. 

In disc protrusion, a small part of the disc has slipped out of place and has caused the outer part of the disc to become damaged and weak. This allows the jelly-like substance found in the spine to begin leaking out. 

Disc protrusion often causes referred numb pain and numbness or a feeling of pins and needles in the arms and legs. 

Most disc protrusions happen in the lower back and cause lower back pain. Disc protrusion becomes much more common as you get older. 

Degenerative Disc Disease 

As you age, your discs lose the water in them and they become thinner. This means there is increased friction and irritation between the bones of the spine. This can even cause there to be growth around the discs. 

This can cause pain especially when you have been sitting for a long time. Most people will experience back pain that is only minimally relieved when they take painkillers. 

How are Disc Problems Diagnosed? 

If your doctor thinks you have a disc problem, they will take your medical history to determine if you have any risk factors and see if you do any work that could cause injuries to the spinal cord. 

They will then do a physical exam and see if they can pinpoint the problem. They may prescribe a number of different treatments including pain relief medicine, massages, steroids, or heat treatment. 

Final Thoughts 

You can easily damage your spinal discs if you are overweight, have a job where you live heavy loads, or if you have poor posture. Old age and diabetes can also cause you to have problems with your spinal discs. 

If you think you have injured your spine, make sure to see your doctor and get a diagnosis and treatment plan. 

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