How Does a Collapsed Disc Occur?
A collapsed disc shrinks or deteriorates due to constant compression of the surrounding vertebrae. This is often the result of a degenerative spine. This is the natural deterioration process of the spine over time or due to a massive herniation, protrusion or extrusion. When this happens, the disc can no longer function as the stabilizer for the spine and can create problems.
Discs in the spine are natural shock absorbers that rest between the bony vertebrae. Discs have two main components, a tough outer layer and a soft gel-like center. When pressure occurs along the spinal columnc, the inner fluid of the disc presses against the tough outer layer. When this happens, the outer layer pushes the inner fluid into position, re-establishing the height and shape of the disc.
As spine degeneration occurs with age, daily activities will cause repeated pressure to be placed on the discs. Think of the outer layer of the disc as a rubber band; the first few times the inner disc material pushes on the outer wall, the elasticity in the wall moves the inner fluid back into place. However, the outer wall eventually loses elasticity.
A collapsed disc is actually a common term for spine conditions that affect the discs and cause them to become misshapen and to lose height. When the inner fluid presses against the wall and the wall can no longer push back, the disc will begin to flatten and expand, thus causing the shape and height to be lost. To learn about risks and collapsed disc treatments, read the following article.
Risk Factors of Collapsed Discs
Although it is not preventable, steps can be taken to slow the process. Spine health preservation measures are essentially the same as those for preserving general body health, such as:
- Not smoking or drinking
- Maintaining a healthy body weight
- Participating in low-impact exercise
- Taking care when lifting heavy objects
- Eating a well-balanced and nutritious diet
Following these recommendations can help reduce the wear placed on the spine, delaying or preventing the degenerative spine changes. This may cause herniated discs, bulging discs, disc thinning and other degenerative spine conditions.
Collapsed Disc Treatments
Prevention may not be possible for some patients, especially those who are already experiencing the effects of a degenerative spine. The symptoms caused by disc collapse are present only if a spinal nerve becomes compressed. Symptoms include pain, weakness, numbness, muscle spasms and tingling. Many patients gain relief from these symptoms with conservative treatments like pain medications, anti-inflammatories, physical therapy, heat massage, and chiropractic care.
However, some patients require more advanced treatment for spine pain. For these patients, treatment options like minimally invasive surgery at BEST Health System may be the best course of action to find pain relief. If this is the case for you, contact BEST to learn about the outpatient treatments we offer to relieve collapsed disc symptoms. Our minimally invasive surgeries offer safer and more effective methods of treatment compared to traditional open back surgery.
BEST Health System
At BEST Health System, we offer several minimally invasive surgeries to help treat patients with a collapsed or damaged disc. If you are interested in learning more about collapsed disc treatment options, contact our dedicated team today