Tips to Prevent a Herniated Disc

Herniated Disc

A herniated disc can cause debilitating pain in the legs, back and feet and cause weakness. This can make it excruciatingly painful to enjoy life and carry out your daily duties.

If you are suffering from a herniated disc in Ramsey, there is hope at Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine. Kevin McElroy, DO, Steven Ferrer, MD, and the dedicated team at the facility are determined to help you obtain freedom from chronic pain due to herniated discs.

If you are lucky not to have experienced this pain, here are tips for a healthy spine to help keep herniated disc pain away.

How a disc slips

Your spine contains small bones known as vertebrae. In between these bones are small flat discs that help absorb shock to allow your spinal cord’s easy movement. Each of these discs contains a jelly-like substance, nucleus, while the outer surface, the annulus, is made of a solid flexible material.

When the annulus sustains a tear, this causes the nucleus to leak through, leading to a herniated, slipped, ruptured, or bulged disc. When you have a herniated disc, the nucleus presses against your spinal nerves, which can be painful and very uncomfortable.

How to reduce the risk of a slipped disc

Build up your core strength

Strengthening your core muscles helps improve stability and minimize the risk of disc rupture. Your doctor recommends weight lifting and aerobic exercises for strengthening your abdominal and other core muscles. You also lose weight when exercising, which helps lower the chances of ruptured discs.

Stop smoking

Smoking has adverse effects on your body including drying your skin and tissues such as the vertebrae discs and predisposing you to stroke and heart diseases. The use of tobacco contributes to disc degeneration, increasing the risk of rapture. Kevin McElroy, DO, and Steven Ferrer, MD, of Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine, provide treatment options to help you quit smoking.

Stand up straight

When you adopt a poor posture when standing, this causes pressure on your spine and can cause a herniated disc in the lower back. Slouching over a computer for an extended period is a leading cause of herniated disc. Ensure to keep your shoulders straight with your chest in front when standing and adopt ergonomic changes including the use of a standing desk at your workplace to help avoid slouching.

Lift with your legs

Avoid using your back muscles when lifting heavy objects. Instead, bend your legs so that your leg muscles absorb the weight. Seek help when lifting heavy loads to avoid straining your back muscles.

Don’t sleep on your stomach

It is also essential to adopt the correct posture when sleeping. Sleeping on your stomach subjects your spine to more stress. Sleep on your side or on your back to help distribute pressure along your spine. Also, ensure to sleep on a firm mattress.

Herniated discs can ruin the quality of your life. If you are experiencing back pain, contact your doctor at Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine to learn more about preventing the condition from deteriorating.