A collapsed disc occurs when a spinal disc begins to lose height. While there are many contributors to this condition, it is most often related to the natural aging process.
As you age, the discs in your spine lose water content and can get thinner and weaker. The elasticity in the outer layer of the disc begins to wear down, making the disc more susceptible to flattening and expanding. Because discs are responsible for spacing and supporting the vertebrae, a collapsed disc can lead to increased friction between the vertebrae and potentially painful nerve compression.
Even though age is the main cause of a collapsed disc, there are other risk factors that can contribute to the development of this condition, including:
- Being overweight or obese, which adds to the pressure on the spinal column
- A sedentary lifestyle
- Poor posture
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- High-impact sports
Symptoms of a collapsed disc
A collapsed disc can result in symptoms if it causes spinal anatomy to put pressure on the spinal cord or a nerve root. These symptoms can be experienced both locally and radiating along the length of the affected nerve. Specific symptoms include:
Treatment for a collapsed disc
While you cannot prevent the aging process, there are ways to manage symptoms of degenerative disc conditions.
Very often, nonsurgical treatments like physical therapy, chiropractic care, pain medication, hot and/or cold therapy and others are very effective in easing the pain and other symptoms associated with spine conditions such as a disc. These treatments generally take several months to be fully effective against the pain and symptoms you are experiencing.
However, if you have not found relief after months of conservative treatment, your physician may recommend spine surgery. If you are considering your surgical options, research the minimally invasive spine surgery at USA Spine Care. Our procedures offer patients a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back surgery by offering a shorter recovery time and lower risk of infection or complication.^
We provide both minimally invasive decompression and minimally invasive stabilization procedures for patients dealing with degenerative spine conditions. Both procedures work to treat the condition by removing the pressure from the damaged disc on the pinched nerve. To learn more, contact USA Spine Care today.
We’re happy to provide a free MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.