How may we help you?

Home » Spine Conditions » Slipped Disc » Slipped disc causes — participation in certain sports

Slipped disc causes — participation in certain sports

Among the many causes of slipped discs in the spinal column, participation in sports is a leading contributor. Athletes and enthusiasts who engage in high-impact or repetitive activities can be more at risk for injury and for earlier development of age-related conditions. Sports like football, gymnastics, golf, running, tennis, skiing or basketball, all cause a high degree of stress due to continual twisting, turning and other required movements, as well as occasional bodily impact.

While there is no way to completely prevent a slipped disc, even if you stayed away from sports altogether, there are steps you can take to engage in sports as safely as possible. The following information can help you continue to participate in the activities you love while potentially lowering your risk of having spine problems now or in the future.

How participation in sports causes a slipped disc

The spine is constructed to support the weight of the upper body and protect the spinal cord while being flexible enough for everyday movement, like athletic activities. The spinal discs which cushion the vertebrae and absorb shock are especially prone to age-related wear and injury. Sports are major contributors to disc issues because the high-speed impacts and repeated twisting and bending only adds to the stress placed on them.

Also called a herniated disc, a slipped disc can be caused by sports when excessive pressure is exerted on the disc’s outer wall, pushing it outside of its normal boundaries and possibly causing it to rupture, which can allow some of the disc’s inner core material to be pushed out. If displaced disc material compresses a nerve root or the spinal cord itself, painful symptoms can develop.

Although sports do raise the risk of developing a slipped disc, there are steps you can take to engage in your chosen activity as safely as possible. Most trainers and sports doctors would recommend the following:

  • Use good posture and form
  • Wear proper safety equipment
  • Be in good physical condition
  • Get needed rest and recovery
  • Treat even minor injuries seriously


If you have been diagnosed with a slipped disc or other spinal disc condition, treatment will often begin with conservative options like over-the-counter medications, physical therapy, ice packs, heating pads and periods of rest. Surgery may become an option if weeks or months of these and other treatments don’t provide the relief necessary for a return to normal activity.

Reach out to USA Spine Care to learn more about our minimally invasive spine surgery as a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine procedures.^ We use muscle-sparing techniques, like a less than 1-inch incision, that allow for an outpatient procedure.

Contact our dedicated team of Patient Empowerment Consultants today for a no-cost MRI review* to find you are a potential candidate for one of our minimally invasive procedures.

Browse Related Resources

TOP Call Now Button