Like other spine conditions, a wide range of factors, including age, genetics, weight and traumatic injury can cause a torn disc. Participation in sports can also cause a torn disc due to the high impacts and stressful repetitive movements involved in many athletic activities.
If symptoms develop for this condition, they can have a large effect on your life, taking you away from not only your favorite activities, but also affecting your relationships, work and even the ability to get a good night’s sleep. Learning more about the relationship between sports and torn discs, as well as treatment options, can help you and your doctor better develop a treatment plan that can help you find lasting relief.
How sports can harm the spine
Any motion that twists the spine beyond its normal range of motion or that applies excessive force to the spine can cause damage, including a torn disc. This includes high-impact sports such as:
These sports can often involve hits that force the spine into unnatural positions, which put pressure on the spinal discs that they weren’t designed to withstand. However, the damage isn’t just limited to traumatic hits. Torn discs can also result from the repetitive twisting involved in swinging a golf club or the jarring impact experienced during a gymnastics dismount, especially when they are compounded by years of participation.
Treatment for torn discs
If you experience a sports injury that causes a torn disc, your physician will likely advise you to begin a conservative treatment plan designed to relieve your symptoms. Medications, hot and cold compression, epidural steroid injections and physical therapy are some of the most frequently recommended approaches. Your doctor may refer you to a specialist to discuss surgical options if you haven’t experienced satisfactory relief from your symptoms within a few weeks or months. Traditional open spine surgery is highly invasive, involving a large incision, hospitalization and a long, often difficult, recovery time.
USA Spine Care offers a safer and effective alternative to traditional procedures with minimally invasive spine surgery.^ Our surgeons use a less than 1-inch incision to access the spine, resulting in an outpatient procedure with less risk of complication when compared to traditional open neck or back surgery.
For a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures, reach out to our team of Patient Empowerment Consultants today.
Browse Related Resources