Redwood Orthopaedic Surgery Associates | Santa Rosa, CA

Exploring the 4 Most Common Causes of Lumbar Herniated Disc

lumbar herniated discYou know the drill. You wake up, and as you try to get up, you are immediately greeted by a laser-sharp arrow of pain that shoots down your lower back. Another day with your lumbar herniated disc. Carefree movements, with twists and turns focused only on the destination, have become arduous journeys of careful steps, each planned with calculated risks. And that’s just to get to your morning cup of coffee.

How Did This Happen: Lumber Herniated Disc Overview

Lumbar herniated discs are often the cause of lower back pain and discomfort in the sciatic nerve. They result from one of your intervertebral discs being out of place or degenerating over time. Because it occurs in the lower back area, called the lumbar spine region. When one of those discs moves, it gets in the way of the spinal cord, your body’s largest and most critical nerve. The spinal cord doesn’t take kindly to being touched, and it responds with a vengeance: cue the shooting pain. So how did this happen? A lumbar herniated disc typically results from one of these four causes:

1. Aging

Like it or not, natural wear and tear can lead to disc degeneration. Just like all the miles you put on your car wear down the tires, all your miles cause your intervertebral discs to lose their elasticity and hydration. As a result, they become less flexible and thus more prone to tearing, even with a minor strain or twisted movement.

2. Injury or Physical Strain

Heavy lifting, especially with improper lifting techniques, can put excess pressure on your lower back and lead to disc herniation. Sudden, abrupt, awkward movements can create a tear in the disc’s outer layer.

3. Lifestyle Factors

The most significant contributions to lumbar herniated discs come from obesity because of the additional stress of the weight on the lumbar region; smoking, which can accelerate the degeneration process due to the decreased flow of oxygen supply to the disc; and physical inactivity, which can make the discs more susceptible to herniation.

4. Occupational Hazards

Some careers take more of a toll on your body physically than others. The jobs that require repetitive lifting, bending, standing, or even driving for extended periods can increase the risk of a lumbar herniated disc.

Are You Ready to Explore Options to Treat Your Lumbar Herniated Disc?

If you are ready to discover options to alleviate your lumbar herniated disc, reach out to us at Redwood Orthopaedic Associates in Santa Rosa, CA, and Petaluma, CA. Call for an appointment today at 707-544-3400 or contact us here.

Posted in: Herniated Disc and Degeneration

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