Causes of Disc Degeneration

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Causes of Disc Degeneration

For people who are afflicted with severe back pain caused by a herniated disc, inquiring about the causes of disc degeneration is a typical question that merits attention to improve awareness about back problems and what to do about them.

Disc degeneration is just one of the many potential causes of a herniated disc leading to chronic back pain but it is important because it accounts for a large number of the cases. In this post, we will talk about disc degeneration in more detail with the hope that people with back problems can take proactive steps to mitigate the likelihood of them having chronic back pains due to this serious medical problem.

In simple terms, disc degeneration is defined as the natural loss of strength, flexibility, and function of the interlinked discs that make up the vertebra. This usually happens in older individuals. The vertebra serves a very important function because it encloses the spinal cord and the nerves, protecting them from damage and injuries. When the disc degenerates, the spinal cord is subjected to more risks of injury often resulting in a herniated disc. A herniated disc is a disc in this case is a disc that has degenerated enough that it is protruding out of its normal position and touching the adjoining nerves resulting in severe and recurring back pain.

One of the most obvious causes of disc degeneration is old age. As individuals age, the bones naturally become brittle and the muscles lose their elasticity. Also, lifestyle habits like poor posture can be exacerbated by inelastic muscles. If the muscles are not able to keep the disc in place using its natural elasticity, the discs are more likely to protrude resulting in back pain.

Another of the common causes of disc degeneration is lack of exercise. A sedentary lifestyle is often to blame for this situation. Too many people sit or lie down on their couches for extended periods during the day or spend too much time at work sitting down. This lack of dynamic movement from the back muscles leads to loss of function because the muscles are not regularly used. Exercise is helpful because it naturally strengthens the muscles helping it to support the back in the most anatomically correct way possible. The loss of back muscle function only hastens the onset of herniated discs.

Research has shown that if one regularly exercises, the natural effects of aging can be progressively mitigated by the exercise. However, someone who doesn’t exercise as much can suffer even at a young age as the muscles and the bones lose their natural properties.

In the end, avoiding the causes of disc degeneration implies that one has to exercise regularly. Even walking and/or daily stretching exercises can prove very useful in keeping back pain at bay. If you are experiencing regular but manageable back pain, talk to your doctor for advice on what exercises may help improve your current condition. Regular exercise might just be the thing that you need to stave off debilitating disc degeneration. Of course a healthy diet and keeping your weight down is also two great helps.