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How Can Sitting Lead to Reherniation? 


7.12 - Can Sitting Cause Reherniation

We live in a sedentary world where sitting has become the norm for many people. Whether it is due to desk jobs, long commutes, or leisure activities, prolonged sitting has become an integral part of our daily lives. However, sitting for extended periods may have detrimental effects on spinal health, including the risk of reherniation. This article explores the connection between sitting and reherniation and discusses preventive measures to maintain a healthy spine.

Understanding Reherniation

Reherniation refers to the recurrence of a herniated disc, a common spinal condition where the soft, gel-like center of a disc protrudes through a tear in its outer layer. This condition often causes pain, numbness, and weakness in the affected area, typically the neck or lower back. After undergoing discectomy or less invasive microdiscectomy surgery or receiving nonsurgical treatment for a herniated disc, patients may experience relief. However, reherniation can occur if certain factors, including excessive sitting, are not addressed.

Common Causes of Reherniation

Reherniation can occur for various reasons, such as:

  • Trauma or injury to the spine
  • Degeneration or wear and tear of the disc
  • Poor posture or body mechanics
  • Excessive or improper lifting or bending
  • Obesity or excess weight
  • Smoking or nicotine use
  • Infection or inflammation of the disc
The Impact of Sitting

Sitting can also contribute to reherniation, especially if you sit for long periods of time without changing your position or supporting your spine. Sitting for prolonged periods can exert significant stress on the spine, especially when combined with poor posture. Maintaining an incorrect posture while seated can lead to increased pressure on the spinal discs, including those that have previously been treated for herniation. The constant compression and lack of movement can weaken the surrounding muscles, making the spine more vulnerable to reherniation.

Preventing Reherniation

Fortunately, there are several measures you can take to reduce the risk of reherniation associated with prolonged sitting:

  • Practice good posture – Maintain proper alignment by sitting with your back straight and shoulders relaxed. Use an ergonomic chair that supports the natural curve of your spine.
  • Take frequent breaks – Stand up and move around every 30 minutes to alleviate pressure on the spine and promote blood circulation. Consider using a standing desk or an adjustable desk converter.
  • Engage in regular exercise – Strengthening your core and back muscles by performing exercises like yoga, Pilates, or various lower back pain exercises can provide stability to the spine and reduce the risk of reherniation.
  • Use lumbar support – Place a cushion or a rolled-up towel at the small of your back to maintain the natural curve and provide additional support.
  • Maintain a healthy weight – Excess weight places additional stress on the spine, making it more prone to reherniation. Adopting a balanced diet and engaging in regular physical activity can help you manage your weight and reduce your reherniation risk.

Understanding the connection between sitting and reherniation empowers patients to take proactive steps to prevent complications. Remember, a few simple changes in your sitting habits can go a long way toward preventing herniation and enjoying a pain-free, active lifestyle.

Even though discectomy surgery is a common and generally quite successful procedure, a hole is frequently left in the outer wall of the disc. In fact, patients with these large holes in their discs are more than twice as likely to reherniate. Reherniations often require additional surgery or even fusions. Fortunately, there is a new treatment specifically designed to close the large holes that are often left in spinal discs after discectomy surgery. Barricaid is a bone-anchored device proven to reduce reherniations, and 95 percent of Barricaid patients did not undergo a reoperation due to reherniation in a 2-year study timeframe. This treatment is done immediately following the discectomy—during the same operation—and does not require any additional incisions or time in the hospital. 

If you have any questions about the Barricaid treatment, ask your doctor or contact us at 844-288-7474.


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