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How can I prevent a herniated disc?

Prevention of a disc herniation may be a goal that a healthy lifestyle may influence. Proper ergonomics are also quite important in prevention and control of a disc herniation or back pain issue. You may want to consider the following tips

  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Maintain a healthy weight because excess weight puts pressure on the lower back.
  • Don't smoke or quit if you do. Smoking impairs blood flow which deprives spinal tissues or nutrition and oxygen.
  • Stay active. Consult with your doctor for the best ideas for you.
  • Warm up before physical activity be it gardening or exercising or walking. 
  • Avoid long periods of bed rest and inactivity.
  • Do not sit! Sitting increases the pressure up to 11 times higher than when you lie flat.
    • If you do have to sit, try to not sit longer than 15-30 minutes without getting up and stretching the spine and walking.
  • Consider your work. Be sure its demands do not stress your spine. Make sure the work area design is ergonomically appropriate to avoid irritation.
  • Exercise regularly to keep the muscles of your back, legs, and stomach strong. Try to balance aerobic, flexibility and strength exercises throughout the week. 
  • Focus on your posture. For example,
    • when walking, stand up straight with your shoulders back, abdomen in, and the small of your back flat.
    • when sitting, sit with your feet flat on the floor or elevated. 
  • Consider your mattress for sleeping. It doesn't have to be a certain firmness. It needs to be supportive.
    • Sleep on a firm enough mattress that minimizes any curve in your spine.
    • Sleep on your side or back, not your stomach.
  • Wear comfortable, supportive, low-heeled shoes.
  • Be careful when lifting.
    • Do not bend at the waist.
    • Bend your knees.
    • Keep your legs strong, and use them to support the load.
    • Always keep the weight being lifted close to you body, not lifting with the arms outstretched as this stresses the discs in the low back.
  • Consider supplementing your diet with cartilage, bone, and immunity building nutritional supplements.

Contact Chiropractic Spine Sports And Rehabilitation to discuss your back condition and its pain prevention and control.

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"This information and website content is not intended to diagnose, guarantee results, or recommend specific treatment or activity. It is designed to educate and inform only. Please consult your physician for a thorough examination leading to a diagnosis and well-planned treatment strategy. See more details on the DISCLAIMER page. Content is reviewed by Dr. James M. Cox I."