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Five common causes of disc extrusion

A disc extrusion, which is a term for a herniated disc, can have an extremely negative impact on your quality of life — affecting relationships, work, sleep and favorite hobbies. Symptoms of this condition range from local pain and irritation, to shooting pains and pins-and-needles sensations in the upper or lower body. These symptoms generally are caused by extruded disc material putting pressure on the spinal cord or an exiting nerve root.

There are many different factors that can cause disc extrusion; and whether you have been diagnosed with this condition or you are trying to prevent it, it can be helpful to better understand them.

Disc extrusion causes and contributors

Although the development of spine conditions like disc extrusion is complex, here are some of the most common causes:

  1. Aging. By far the single biggest underlying contributor to disc problems is the natural degeneration of the spinal discs due to age-related factors like loss of water and protein content. This makes the discs less elastic and more likely to develop a tear and push out inner disc material.
  2. Carrying extra body weight. Although not a direct cause, being overweight or obese adds to the stress being placed on the spine and can accelerate natural deterioration.
  3. Injury. Both traumatic injuries like a fall or an automobile accident as well as repetitive motion injuries can cause an already weakened disc to develop into an extrusion.
  4. Posture. Poor posture and improper lifting technique can cause an uneven load to be placed on the discs, which can speed up the degenerative process.
  5. Smoking. Smoking decreases circulation while putting toxins into the bloodstream, which can be very harmful for the discs since they already receive a limited blood supply.

Disc extrusion treatment

Everyone is different and it can be difficult or even impossible to pinpoint a single cause of disc extrusion. However, upon diagnosis this condition is usually treated similarly to other spine conditions like spinal arthritis or a bulging disc. In a large number of cases, people with this condition are able to effectively relieve their symptoms by following a course of doctor-recommended conservative treatment options like physical therapy, over-the-counter medications, low-impact exercise and spinal injections.

To learn more about your treatment options, particularly if you are considering surgery after attempting weeks and months of conservative therapy, contact USA Spine Care. Since 2005 we have helped thousands of people with our minimally invasive spine surgery that offers a shorter recovery time and less risk of complication than traditional procedures.^

Ask for your free MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for minimally invasive outpatient spine surgery at USA Spine Care.

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