What are the Causes of a Slipped Disc?


A disc is the cushioning layer that separates the vertebrae or bon rings of the spine. Discs consist of a tougher outer layer of connective tissue and a soft and pliable inner layer. When the circle of outer connective tissue breaks down, the soft inner layer starts swelling and ultimately pushes out applying pressure on the spinal nerves. Therefore, a slipped disc is a condition that occurs when a disk in the spine gets displaced from its normal position and presses on the nerve roots of the spinal cord. A slipped disc is often referred to as a protruded, herniated, or bulging disc.

There is no single explanation why the outer layer surrounding the spine discs tears. One obvious cause of slipped discs is aging. As people get older, the discs of their spinal cord lose their water content and consequently their elasticity. This loss of elasticity increases the risk of rupturing or splitting in the connective tissue surrounding the discs. However, herniated discs are not strictly associated with the elder population. There are other factors besides aging that may lead to increased pressure and strain on the spine and potentially cause discs to dislocate and protrude out.

Here are some potential causes of a slipped disc:

  • Performing jobs that require constant sitting and squatting may lead to wear and tear; one such activity is driving or working on a computer for long hours;
  • Herniation is often result from jobs that require heavy lifting, including weight-bearing sports;
  • A trauma or injury, such as a car accident or a fall may also  initiate disc bulging;
  • Being overweight puts a lot of pressure on the spine and may cause the discs to protrude out as well;
  • Mutation in gene coding for proteins involved in the regulation of the extracellular matrix has been demonstrated to contribute to lumbar disc herniation;
  • Bending awkwardly is one of the factors that can prompt a weaken disc to rupture;

A slipped disc usually develops progressively over the years and there are rare cases when a sudden movement has led to a bulging disc. In most cases, a person may go on with normal living, totally unaware of the wear and tear that is occurring inside the spine discs. Basically, many people don’t know that anything is wrong until the pain sets in.

A slipped disc is a comparatively common disorder and generally affects people between the ages of 30 and 40. The predominance of herniated discs between the ages of 30 and 40 is due to the fact that throughout this specific decade of one’s life, the discs tend to lose water or fluid, which makes them less resistant to pressure or stress. Yet, children and younger people can also experience a herniated disc. Although, slipped disc is more common in men than it is in women, the most exposed category of people is that of people who sit for longer periods of time. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, make sure to contact a medical professional to remedy the issue and get you back on your feet!

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