Several things can increase your risk of developing a bulging disc. Some— like aging — are unavoidable. Others can be counteracted by making healthy lifestyle choices, both now and in the future.
Lifestyle choices that can accelerate spinal degeneration
Lifestyle-related bulging disc risk factors include:
- Being overweight
- Participating in contact sports
If any of these factors are applicable to you, you may want to talk with your physician about improving your spinal health. For instance, you may be encouraged to stop smoking, substitute low-impact exercises for high-impact activities and trim empty calories from your diet. These changes can help reduce stress on your spine.
What to do if you develop a bulging disc
Although certain modifications can help protect you from some effects of spinal degeneration, they can’t completely prevent you from developing a bulging disc. Some people are genetically predisposed to spine issues, and others experience traumatic injuries that damage their spines. It’s best to simply take reasonable measures to protect your health and deal with any issues as they arise.
Bulging discs often respond well to conservative treatments, such as over-the-counter medications and exercise. Injections and physical therapy can also provide meaningful symptom relief. There are also a variety of complementary therapies, such as acupuncture and massage therapy that you could integrate into your treatment plan on an as-needed basis.
Surgical treatment is not always necessary, but it can be beneficial for certain patients. At USA Spine Care, we perform minimally invasive bulging disc surgery on an outpatient basis. Our board-certified surgeons use muscle-sparing techniques. You can have us review* your MRI for free to determine if you’re a candidate. To learn more, contact us today.