How to Prevent Herniated Disc Injuries
Herniated discs are some of the most common causes of neck, back, and leg pain, affecting millions of people each year. While many instances of herniated discs can heal on their own with home treatment, it’s important to practice herniated disc prevention techniques to try and prevent them before they occur.
Today, we’re looking at how to prevent a herniated disc with a few simple tips that will become second nature in no time. Read on, and let’s keep you pain-free.
What Are Herniated Discs?
The first step towards how to prevent a herniated disc is to know what they are so you can recognize potential catalysts for injury. A herniated disc, also called a slipped disc or bulging disc, is an injury to your spine. This is why herniated disc pain may radiate from the neck all the way through to your legs.
Discs are the round cushions between the vertebrae of your spine that function as shock absorbers and buffers between bones, allowing you to move with ease. When these discs are torn, inflamed, or otherwise injured, you have a herniated disc.
How to Prevent a Herniated Disc
Learning how to prevent a herniated disc is as easy as introducing a few healthy habits into your lifestyle. While some causes of herniated discs, like the normal wear and tear of aging, cannot be completely avoided, practicing herniated disc prevention in your daily life may help reduce your risk even as you get older.
A few methods for how to prevent herniated disc injuries include:
- Exercising regularly
- Practicing good posture
- Lifting items properly
- Managing stress
- Taking good care of your spine
- Sleeping in the right positions
One of the best methods for how to prevent a herniated disc is to exercise regularly. While any exercise is good for your overall health, herniated disc prevention exercises include those that strengthen your back and abdomen muscles. These core muscles support your spine and improve mobility and flexibility, reducing your risk of herniated disc injuries along the way.
Beyond core exercises, thoroughly stretching before and after physical activity is important for herniated disc prevention. This prevents muscles from seizing up, which can lead to an increased risk of injury.
Practicing Good Posture
It should come as no surprise that next on our list of methods for how to prevent a herniated disc injury is practicing good posture. Your posture affects your entire body, making an aligned spine important no matter whether you’re sitting, standing, walking or running.
Poor posture puts excess strain on the neck and back muscles, causing muscle tension and adding pressure on your discs. Over time, sustained poor posture can have long-term negative effects on your health including herniated disc injuries, neck pain, or adult kyphosis.
Try to make a concerted effort to keep your spine in alignment by keeping your head up, shoulders back, and spine straight as you go throughout your day. You also want to make sure the furniture you’re using adequately supports your body to promote good posture. Using pieces like zero gravity chairs for good posture keep your spine in alignment while combining other techniques for how to prevent herniated disc injuries, as well. Though it may seem a little weird at first, practicing good posture will quickly become second nature and you won’t even have to think about it.
Lifting Items Properly
Continuing on our list of techniques for how to prevent a herniated disc is one of the most important: lifting properly. Too often, people subconsciously bend at the waist to pick up large, bulky, or heavy items. This means they’re engaging their back muscles to lift heavier objects instead of the more powerful leg muscles they should be using. The problem is worsened if they twist or turn while lifting, which is a prime cause of herniated discs to millions each year.
Instead of bending over and lifting with your back, lift items by bending your knees and standing up while keeping your back aligned. This uses the force from your legs for lifting and is an effective form of herniated disc prevention.
Managing Stress Levels
When it comes to how to prevent herniated disc injuries, there are more risks than just from physical activity and form. Stress can also play a role in spinal injury. When you’re experiencing stress, it can lead to tightened muscles and ligaments, increasing pressure on the spine.
There are many simple ways to ease the effects of daily stress. One popular method is meditation. Even a few minutes each day of meditation can have a positive impact on your overall mental health and wellbeing. Another method for managing stress levels is unwinding in your zero gravity chair, which combines multiple herniated disc prevention methods into one for an effective recovery and relaxation experience.
Taking Good Care of Your Spine
Ongoing methods for how to prevent a herniated disc include taking good care of your spine overall. There’s no way to overestimate the importance of spinal care for your overall health. Without proper spinal care, you may be exposed to negative health issues like herniated discs or sciatica symptoms. Getting a massage, exercising, and making sure you have effective recovery routines in place for after physical activity are paramount to taking good care of your spine in the long term.
Once more, zero gravity chairs show their value, as top models may provide additional bonus features such as massage and heat therapy. These features, paired with the zero gravity position, keep muscles loose and alleviate pressure from the spine. This home spinal decompression tool is a form of herniated disc prevention you’ll wish you’d have experienced sooner!
Sleeping in the Right Positions
Posture isn’t just for when you’re up and moving. Last, but not least, on our list of methods for how to prevent herniated disc injuries is learning how to sleep in positions that support your spine. Sleeping on your stomach puts added pressure on your spine and should be avoided. Instead, try sleeping on your back or on your side to support spinal alignment. Additionally, if you have an overly plush mattress, you may want to change it to a more firm option that provides better protection for your back and reduces your risk of a herniated disc.
Now that you have a thorough understanding of how to prevent a herniated disc, you can put these techniques into practice in your daily life. Each of these methods offers a form of herniated disc prevention that can fit seamlessly into the background of your daily activities but keep you living a pain-free life. Try them out and see the difference they make for yourself!
Already experiencing a herniated disc injury? Check out our guide on how to heal a herniated disc naturally for home remedy solutions.