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It always helps to know if you are more prone to getting a disease or disorder than others. You can learn to recognize the symptoms and be alert to them. Sometimes, there is even something you can do to prevent the problem. So, it is good to know the risk factors for herniated disc.
One of the risk factors for herniated disc is advancing age. The discs that cushion your spine begin to lose fluid before you even reach middle age. The discs will then begin to dry out and become fibrous. The older you get, the more vulnerable your spine is.
Some things you have no control over. Men, for example, have a higher risk factor for herniated disc than women do. A part of this may be due to the work men have traditionally done. However, a different reason is that their physical structure is such that their backs are more prone to daily pressure.
Anytime you have had a problem with your back in the past, it is much more likely that you will have one now or in the future. If you have had an injury to your back, that makes it weaker. A previous herniated disc is also a liability. Any kind of back surgery is a risk factor for herniated disc.
Work may be a source of risk factors for herniated disc. Anything that would be a source of wear or trauma to the back could be at fault. People usually think of lifting as the major culprit.
The truth is that there are many movements and situations in the workplace that are risk factors for herniated disc. “Putting your back into it” by pulling or pushing something can be harmful as well. Vibrations from riding on or driving heavy equipment can be very damaging to the back. The same goes for long periods of any driving.
When people think of repetitive movements, they usually think of carpal tunnel syndrome. However, big movements that are done over and over can be risk factors for herniated disc. If you bend a lot, stretch, or constantly have to turn and twist, you could be in for a good deal of pain.
The way you exercise can be a risk factor for herniated disc. For example, you can be in trouble if you never exercise and then suddenly decide to make up for lost time. Your muscles aren’t equipped for the sudden activity because you haven’t prepared them. This causes weakness which is also felt in the spine. Too much exercise can be a problem for anyone.
Pollutants can cause another risk factor for herniated disc. Inhaling any toxic substance in the air, including cigarette smoking, can cause damage to the ability of your spine to absorb nourishment. If this happens, your back will become weak and more vulnerable.
Your body shape has a lot to do with risk factors for herniated disc. If you carry a lot of weight in your stomach, it will pull down on your lower back and cause pressure. This is an ongoing thing that gets worse and worse over time. The only way to make it better is to lose the stomach weight.
If you have risk factors for herniated disc, you don’t have to run screaming to the doctor. It isn’t a cause for alarm. If you want to avoid the problem, though, there are things you can do, such as changing your job, or quitting smoking. All you can do is work with the factors that are in your control.