Risk Factors For Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease is a condition that occurs when discs that separate the spinal bones break down. If you are suffering from degenerative disc disease, you are likely experiencing pain in the back that radiates to the buttocks and thighs. You may find that your pain worsens when you bend, twist, or lift and appears and disappears over time. The most common risk factors degenerative disc disease include:

  • Aging
    The normal aging of the spine can prompt this condition. When your disc deteriorates as you get older, it may no longer be able to function properly and results in back pain and/or pain that radiates through the body.
  • Genetic Factors
    Studies have proven that genetics play a role in degenerative disc disease. Your disc height and disc bulging are both influenced by genetics and can lead to this condition.
  • Occupation
    If you have a career that requires you to lift heavy objects or operate heavy machinery, you are more likely to develop degenerative disc disease than someone who does not.
  • Smoking
    If you smoke, you are at high risk for this condition because smoking damages the blood vessels that the disc counts on for nutrients. Additionally, smoking produces a significant amount of free radicals which can trigger further damage in your disc.

Preventing Degenerative Disc Disease

The good news is that there are a variety of measures that may help you prevent degenerative disc disease. If you are overweight, you should make every effort to lose the excess weight in order to remove some of the strain from your discs.

Quitting smoking and drinking in moderation will also improve the health of your spine and ensure your body gets all of the essential nutrients it needs. Lastly, leading an active lifestyle by exercising and participating in sports on a regular basis will make it easier for your discs to support movement and absorb impact.

Although maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, drinking moderately, and making it a priority to remain active does not guarantee that you will not develop degenerative disc disease, it will raise your chance of preventing or postponing this condition.

Contact Pacific Spine Specialists Today

If you believe you may be suffering from degenerative disc disease, you owe it to yourself to schedule an appointment at Pacific Spine Specialists today. We’ll evaluate your condition and provide you with an appropriate diagnosis and treatment plan that will help eliminate any pain or discomfort you are facing. Call us at 503-885-9391.