Developing a bulging disc in the lower back is common among many adults. In fact, the lower back is one of the most common places for degenerative spine conditions to develop. This is because the lower back undergoes the most wear and tear of all the sections of the spine, leaving it vulnerable to spinal damage.
While natural deterioration is not the only reason for the development of a bulging disc in the lower back, it is the most common — and understanding why may allow you to take preventative steps to promote future spine health.
Why does aging cause a bulging disc in the lower back?
The lumbar spine (lower back) is responsible for supporting and stabilizing the majority of the body’s weight. Over the years, the components of the lumbar spine experience constant twisting and bending, and may be required to support more weight if excess weight is gained or the core muscle weaken with inactivity.
In a healthy spine and core, there is not a lot of excess body weight compressing the spine, while core muscles are strong to help support part of the body’s weight. As these two things reverse — the body gains weight and the core weakens — more pressure is added to the spine and deterioration can develop.
When a disc in the lower back becomes compressed, it may begin to flatten and bulge outward into the spinal canal. This is considered a bulging disc and may result in symptoms of severe pain and discomfort.
Preventing a bulging disc in the lower back
You cannot change how age affects your spinal health, but you can begin to make healthy life choices to help prevent future development a bulging disc in your back.
Daily choices to maintain good spine health can produce positive results in the long term. Read through this list of healthy choices and see if any can be applied to your current lifestyle:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Eat a balanced, nutritious diet
- Perform low-impact, core strengthening exercises regularly
- Stay hydrated
- Limit alcohol or tobacco use
Talk to your doctor about ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle that fits your medical history and current fitness level. It’s never too late to support your spine health and wellness.