Most lumbar disc herniation is often gradual onset. Disc wear and tear is a common condition when people grow older. While the firm outer layer of the disc gets dehydrated over time, it develops a crack. When the disc becomes less flexible, the inner jelly-like layer is more prone to push through the crack with even a minor twist or a load. As a result, it causes the disc to herniate.
Besides gradual onset, disc herniation can also result from a traumatic event such as lifting a large and heavy object, a fall incident or a direct blow to the back.
Moreover, several risk factors may contribute to increasing the risk of disc herniation. First, excess body weight can increase the pressure in the lower back, causing extra stress to accumulate in the lumbar spine area. Thus, increasing the risk of disc herniation.
Also, repetitive movements such as pulling, lifting, bending or twisting with or without load are very demanding for the lower back joints and muscles. The nature of occupation will certainly impact people with back problems.
Other than that, disc herniation can be hereditary. If you have a family history of disc herniation, you are likely to have it too.
Smoking can decrease the oxygen supply to the disc, causing it to dehydrate and damage more quickly.
Long-duration sitting positions, plus the vibration from the car engine can increase pressure in the lower back area. Thus, frequent long hours of driving is another risk factor.
Last but not least, people with a sedentary lifestyle are prone to develop a herniated disc due to general weakness and poor support in the lower back area.