Riding Lawn Mowers Can Cause Lumbar Disc Protrusions. Discseel® Can Resolve Them.

lawn mowing and lumbar disc protrusions

Riding Lawn Mowers Can Cause Lumbar Disc Protrusions. Discseel® Can Resolve Them.

Seasonal landscape projects, particularly those involving riding lawn mowers, contribute to lumbar disc protrusions. While efficient for large-scale lawn maintenance, riding lawn mowers involve prolonged sitting, vibrations, and occasional jolts, all of which can place stress on the lumbar discs. To safeguard spinal health, it is crucial to delve into the mechanisms of degenerative disc disease and lumbar disc protrusions. It is also important to implement strategies, activity modifications, and proper equipment to minimize the negative impact on the lumbar spine during such landscape activities.

Understanding Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) and Discs Protrusions:

  1. Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD): DDD is a condition that typically develops with age but can also be exacerbated by repetitive stress or injury. In the lumbar spine, intervertebral discs act as shock absorbers and provide flexibility. Over time, these discs may lose water content and elasticity, leading to reduced disc height, instability, and increased pressure on adjacent structures. The prolonged sitting and vibrational forces associated with riding lawn mowers can contribute to microtrauma and accelerate the degenerative process, heightening the risk of DDD.
  2. Disc Protrusions: Disc protrusions are actually part of the degenerative disc disease process. Fissures (cracks) form in the wall of the disc and create an area of weakness in the disc wall. Pressure within the disc causes the wall to protrude (bulge). The protrusion can cause low back pain because the fissures themselves can generate pain. The protrusion can also cause leg pain if it compresses on the corresponding nerve root that neighbors the disc. Because discs lack an adequate blood supply, disc fissures can never heal on their own and they cannot be surgically sewn.

Factors Contributing to Lumbar Disc Protrusions During Riding a Lawn Mower:

  1. Prolonged Sitting: Extended periods of sitting on a riding lawn mower can place continuous pressure on the lumbar discs. This sustained compression may contribute to disc fissures, reduced disc height and increased vulnerability to degeneration over time.
  2. Vibrations and Jolts: Riding over uneven terrain can expose the spine to vibrations and jolts, potentially exacerbating the wear and tear on the intervertebral discs. The repetitive nature of these forces may contribute to lumbar strain and accelerate the progression of degenerative disc disease.
  3. Slumped Posture: Maintaining an awkward or slumped sitting posture while operating a riding lawn mower can lead to increased stress on the discs of the lumbar spine. Poor ergonomics may contribute to increased disc compression, muscle fatigue, strain, and heightened susceptibility to lumbar injuries.

Strategies to Minimize Lumbar Strain:

  1. Implement Proper Seating Ergonomics: Choose a riding lawn mower with adjustable and supportive seating. Ensure that the seat provides adequate lumbar support and is positioned at a height that allows for proper alignment of the spine.
  2. Take Regular Breaks: Schedule regular breaks during lawn mowing sessions to allow the spine to recover from prolonged sitting. Use breaks to stretch and move around, promoting blood circulation and reducing the risk of muscle stiffness.
  3. Use Vibration-Reducing Equipment: Consider mowers equipped with vibration-dampening features or add-ons. These can help minimize the transmission of vibrations to the spine, reducing the potential impact on lumbar health.
  4. Maintain Good Sitting Posture: Pay attention to body mechanics and maintain a proper sitting posture while operating the riding lawn mower. Avoid slouching or assuming awkward positions that could contribute to lumbar strain. Lumbar support can help these goals.
  5. Incorporate Core-Strengthening Exercises: Engage in regular core-strengthening exercises to provide additional support to the lumbar spine. A strong core helps stabilize the spine and reduce the risk of degenerative disc disease.

Compensations and Equipment:

  1. Use Seat Cushions with Lumbar Support: Consider using seat cushions with built-in lumbar support to enhance comfort and promote proper spinal alignment while operating the riding lawn mower.
  2. Install Shock Absorbers: Explore the possibility of installing shock absorbers or suspension systems on the mower to reduce the impact of jolts and vibrations on the lumbar spine.
  3. Periodic Maintenance Checks: Regularly inspect and maintain the mower to ensure that it is in optimal condition. Addressing issues such as uneven tire pressure or worn-out shocks can contribute to a smoother and less impactful ride.

While riding lawnmowers offer efficiency in maintaining expansive lawns, they can contribute to lumbar degenerative disc disease and disc protrusion symptoms due to prolonged sitting, vibrations, and jolts. Individuals can minimize the negative impact on their lumbar spine during landscape activities by understanding the mechanisms behind these conditions and implementing proper strategies, compensations, and equipment. Prioritizing spinal health ensures that the benefits of efficient lawn care can be enjoyed without compromising long-term well-being.

Some people may still experience pain from lumbar disc protrusions despite making these modifications. If so, then learn more about Discseel, which is a new non-surgical procedure available to resolve these frustrating disc protrusion symptoms. Find out if you are a Discseel candidate today by calling (614) 999-9899.

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I’m Boris Terebuh MD, Ohio’s first and most experienced Discseel® provider. I am also the Founder & Medical Director of the Regenerative Spine & Joint Center