How to Prevent a Herniated Disc

A herniated disc can be a painful, long-term condition that ultimately affects what you’re able to do physically. The chronic pain of a herniated disc can also interfere with your emotional health and wellness.

A herniated disc is a condition where the protective discs that cushion your spinal vertebra become damaged by disease or trauma, forcing the soft disc center outward. This gel-like material can press on spinal nerves, triggering a radiating pain throughout your back, arms, shoulders, or legs.

As a chiropractor experienced in treating a herniated disc, Bryan Weddle, DC, understands how disruptive herniated disc pain and limitations can bear on your career and overall health. To reduce your risk for ending up with a herniated disc diagnosis, Dr. Weddle offers the following preventive tips to protect your spine health.

Lose excess weight

Being overweight or obese puts added pressure on the vertebrae in your back. Over time, this unnecessary pressure can cause your discs to weaken, ultimately destroying the protective nature of the disc.

To prevent a herniated disc issue or other chronic spine-related pain, it’s important that you make changes to your diet and exercise plan that help you lose weight gradually and safely. You also need to follow these guidelines for the rest of your life to make it easier to stay at a healthy weight for your age and body type.

Stay physically active

In addition to a good diet, you also need to stay physically active and get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. Not only will this activity keep you at a healthy weight, it can keep the muscles that support your spine strong and flexible.

With a strong spine, you can reduce your risk of damage to your discs, even as you get older. Regular chiropractic care can also ensure your spine is properly aligned and not causing damage to the protective discs. 

Pay attention to your posture

Maintaining a good posture is vital to spine health. It takes some practice, but you can become more attuned to your posture. Make sure that your posture is always proper, with your back straight and your abdomen pulled inward, even when you’re walking, sitting, or standing still.

You should also make sure that you’re not causing spinal complications while sleeping by selecting a supportive mattress and a high-quality pillow that will support both your upper (cervical) and lower (lumbar) spine.

Choose supportive footwear

You may not realize the impact your footwear has on your spinal health. If you’re wearing the wrong shoes or the incorrect shoe size during physical activity, you can be compromising your spine health and increasing your risk for a herniated disc.

Women should avoid wearing high-heeled or constrictive shoes that can throw the alignment of the spine out of balance. If you jog, run, or spend a lot of time on your feet while at work, choose supportive shoes that help absorb the shock of your movements.

Use proper techniques for heavy lifting

If you work in a manual labor job or are planning to spend time moving heavy furniture or using weights at the gym, make sure you’re protecting your spine health.

Proper lifting techniques prevent damage to your spine and the spinal discs. Generally, you should focus on keeping your back straight and bending at the knees to support the heavy load.

Dr. Weddle can also provide you with recommendations for supporting and protecting your spine if you work in a physically demanding job that requires frequent lifting.

While there are many ways to lower your risk for developing a herniated disc, if you suspect you have damaged spinal discs, seek treatment immediately. Dr. Weddle offers customized care for herniated disc pain using specialized chiropractic strategies, like spinal decompression and active release techniques to ease pain and prevent additional damage to your spine.

Schedule a herniated disc evaluation today at DMC Healthcare by phone or by using the convenient online booking system. 

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