While this is primarily an age-related condition, participation in certain sports is a common contributing cause of prolapsed discs. While not everyone who plays sports will develop disc problems, there is a correlation between participating in activities that add to stress on the spine and conditions like a prolapsed disc. By understanding the risks and working to reduce the burdens placed on your neck and back, you can reduce the likelihood that you’ll develop spine problems later in life.
How sports can accelerate natural degeneration
A natural byproduct of growing older is the breakdown of parts that support the spine. Over the years, wear and tear causes:
- Spinal discs to lose elasticity
- Spinal joints to become arthritic
- Nerve pathways to narrow
- The spinal column to become misaligned
- Muscles to weaken
- Bone spurs to form
This natural deterioration can be further accelerated by a variety of risk factors and environmental causes, with participation in certain sports a leading contributing factor. While just about any sport that places strain on the neck or back can be potentially problematic, high-impact sports are particularly troubling due to the potential for jarring blows to the spine. While hockey, football and rugby are frequently associated with disc and spine injuries in the short-term, these sports and others like golf and baseball can have long-lasting impacts as well. Years of bending, twisting and blows to the spine can further weaken its anatomy and make a person even more at-risk for disc degeneration that can lead to conditions like a prolapsed disc.
Treatment options for a prolapsed disc
All of this isn’t to say that sports should be avoided. In fact, leading an active lifestyle is a great way to promote spine health. However, it is important that you understand the potential risks of participating in sports and do what you can to reduce strain on your neck and back, avoid injury and take care of yourself. For information about treating prolapsed discs and other degenerative spine conditions, contact USA Spine Care today. For patients with a prolapsed disc who have exhausted conservative treatments, our minimally invasive spine surgery is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine surgery.^
Our caring team will be happy to help you receive a free review of your MRI or CT scan* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.
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