One of the main causes of degenerative disc disease is aging. As we age, our spine undergoes changes that affects its ability to manage the everyday stress we place on it. These changes can lead to degenerative disc disease. For example, our discs lose fluid as we age, making them less flexible, and the tough outer layer of the discs may tear or crack leaving the disc more prone to becoming herniated.
It is also thought that genetics may play a part in what causes degenerative disc disease. Without any fault of your own, you may be at greater risk for excessive joint or disc wear and tear because of this. If someone in your family developed degenerative disc disease early on in life, you are more likely to develop it as well.
Disc degeneration causes are also commonly linked to trauma or an injury. During a traumatic event such as a fall, for example, a disc may become herniated causing it to weaken, which in turn may speed up the degeneration process.
Repetitive motions while at work that are unhealthy for your spine are another of the many degenerative disc disease causes. Bending and lifting incorrectly places strain on the back and over time this can lead to damage in the disc speeding up the degenerative process. Other occupations that are considered at a large risk are truck drivers and jackhammer operators because of the excessive vibrations that affect the discs in our spine.
Finally, those who are obese or smoke cigarettes are more prone to degenerative disc disease because excessive weight increases the stress on the spine and smoking decreases the amount of water in the discs.
How Can I Prevent Disc Degeneration?
Healthy life style can encourage and maintain spinal health, and it is the key to slowing the natural degeneration process of aging and to preventing degenerative disc disease. You can learn more about preventing degenerative disc disease here.