Of the many causes that contribute to a ruptured disc, aging is probably the most common. While no one can reverse the natural aging process, there are steps you can take to improve the health of your spine, even if you have already been diagnosed with this condition.
The symptoms of a ruptured disc can have a severe effect on your quality of life, taking you away from your job, time with loved ones or being able to exercise or pursue a favorite hobby. Learning more about the link between age and spinal disc degeneration is a great first step in getting back to the life you deserve.
How does aging affect our spines?
The aging process affects just about every part of our bodies, and our spines are no exception. Over time the parts of the spine, including the discs, dry out and become less able to absorb the pressures of everyday movement. The discs in particular lose water and protein content, making them more likely to develop a crack or tear, which is what can in turn lead to rupture and herniation. While a ruptured disc isn’t always painful, it can lead to symptoms if displaced disc material puts pressure on the spinal nerves.
Since aging is not preventable, taking the following steps to improve your overall health — including the health of your spine — can be beneficial in preventing conditions like a ruptured disc:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Practice good posture
- Avoid tobacco products
- Get regular exercise
Even if you have been diagnosed with a ruptured disc, doctors will still recommend the above steps to potentially help with symptom relief along with a course of conservative treatment options. Common methods include pain medicine, physical therapy, rest, hot and cold compression and steroid injections.
Treatment for a ruptured disc
If you have tried a variety of nonsurgical treatments for your ruptured disc and have not experienced the relief you need, surgery could be an option. Before consenting to an invasive, traditional open spine surgery that requires overnight hospitalization, contact USA Spine Care. Our board-certified surgeons+ perform minimally invasive spine surgery on an outpatient basis which leads to a lower risk of complication when compared to traditional procedures.
To learn more, contact our dedicated team of Patient Empowerment Consultants for a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures.
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