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The Ultimate Back Pain Relief Tips Blog

Is It Possible to Keep Running With a Herniated Disc?

Posted by Dr. Jeff Winternheimer D.C. on Mon, Dec 30, 2013 @ 10:30 AM

running with a herniated discRunning is a great form of exercise to stay fit, but it might not be such a good idea to do it with a herniated disc. This form of physical activity can place a lot of strain on the discs in your back. When you’re already dealing with a disc problem, such as a herniated disc or bulging disc, running could lead to an increase in pain and discomfort. Wearing good running shoes that are designed to absorb shock can minimize this effect, but you could still end up making your condition worse.

Although running isn’t a good activity to do with a herniated disc, it’s still important to stay active. Spending too much time sitting or lying down can make your back feel worse. You need to work on making your back muscles stronger and keeping your spine flexible in order to reduce pain and stiffness. You can do this by going for walks or doing some basic stretching exercises. Avoid doing any type of exercise that involves having to jump or perform quick, sudden movements, since this can lead to too much strain on your discs and back muscles. Your doctor should be able to provide you with a list of stretches and other exercises that are safe for you to do with a herniated disc. 

If your back does not improve with a simple exercise routine, your doctor might encourage you to give physical therapy a try. During physical therapy, you’ll work on strengthening your back muscles and maintaining flexibility under the guidance of a trained therapist. You might be asked to perform exercises that feel uncomfortable, but your therapist will not expect you to do anything that will strain your back too much or cause additional damage. Depending on how severe your herniated disc is, you might have to attend several physical therapy sessions.

Once you start feeling relief, you’ll need to make sure that you reduce the risk of having back pain flare up again. This means staying physically active, but not doing things that strain your back. Ask your doctor about when it will be safe for you to take up running again. You should also be careful when lifting objects, and ask others to help you any time you have to pick up a heavy object. Maintaining a healthy weight can also help prevent pain from a herniated disc from occurring since carrying around extra pounds puts added strain on your back. 

If your herniated disc continues to bother you, alternative forms of treatment are available. Functional Disc Rehydration, which helps damaged discs become healthy again, is a safe treatment method that does not involve surgery or other invasive procedures. Other types of treatment include chiropractic spinal adjustments and acupuncture.

If you need additional information on treating a herniated disc, please contact the Illinois Back Institute. We’ve been providing back pain relief in Illinois for several years.

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Topics: back pain herniated disc, herniated disc, running with back pain