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Do Some People Have a Higher Risk of Herniated Discs?


A herniated spinal disc has the potential to affect anyone of any age. At the same time, there are risk factors that can make some people more prone to herniated discs than others. To give you a better idea of whether or not you may be more susceptible to developing disc-related issues, here’s a closer look at common risk factors and who may be more likely to develop herniated discs.


According to
Mayo Clinic, weight is one of the risk factors associated with herniated discs. Excess weight puts added stress on various parts of the spine and its supporting discs. This added stress could contribute to disc herniation or slippage.

Genetic Factors

There's data suggesting a hereditary tendency for disc herniation, according to
Spine Health. One study referenced by the same source suggests people with family histories of herniated discs in the lower back area are more susceptible to developing similar issues.


Age affects susceptibility to disc herniation, but it's not older people who are affected most by this problem. In fact, herniated spinal discs rarely cause disruptive symptoms after the age of 80. People between the ages of 35 and 50 are actually more prone to herniated discs because their discs are more flexible.

A Sedentary Lifestyle

A lack of regular physical activity also has the potential to affect spinal discs and contribute to herniation. What happens in this case is that spine-supporting muscles become weaker. When this occurs, the direct pressure from your daily movements is transferred to your spine and its discs, which can cause issues such as
lower back pain. Exercises such as stretching, walking, and swimming can strengthen the spine-supporting muscles and reduce the risk of herniated discs.

Certain Occupations

People with certain jobs are also more prone to herniated discs. This is more likely to be the case with occupations involving heavy lifting, repetitive movements, and excessive twisting or bending. In this instance, the regular pressure placed on spinal discs and specific parts of the spine increases the risk of disc damage.


The various chemicals in cigarette smoke affect blood vessels, which also impacts circulation. If there's not as much nutrient-rich blood getting to spinal discs, there's an increased risk of herniation due to a depleted oxygen supply. Reduced circulation also contributes to a higher rate of tissue deterioration.

Prolonged Sitting & Driving

People who need to sit for longer periods, as is often the case if you have to drive frequently, are more susceptible to spinal disc issues. This also applies to prolonged periods of sitting in other situations, such as what may be necessary while working.

Reducing Your Risk of a Herniated Disc

There's no guarantee you won't develop disc problems at some point. However, you can take some steps to reduce your odds of having disc-related discomfort that significantly affects your daily life. These include:

• Eating green leafy veggies and other foods that naturally ease inflammation
• Getting regular exercise
• Watching your posture
• Drinking more water
• Talking to your doctor about minor spine issues instead of putting off taking this step
• Using a lumbar support belt if you regularly lift heavy items or make repetitive movements

If you have a herniated disc that isn't responding to conservative treatment, a discectomy may be the best option. Although discectomy surgery is generally a very successful procedure, a hole is left in the outer wall of the disc. Patients with a large hole in the outer ring of the disc are more than twice as likely to reherniate after surgery. A new treatment, Barricaid, which is a bone-anchored device proven to reduce reherniations, was specifically designed to close the large hole often left in the spinal disc after a
microdiscectomy. In a large-scale study, 95 percent of Barricaid patients didn’t undergo a reoperation due to reherniation in the 2-year study timeframe. This treatment is done immediately following the discectomy—during the same operation—and doesn’t require any additional incisions or time in the hospital. 

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

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