Anyone who is suffering with a Herniated Disc knows just how terrible and painful they can be. When a disc herniates, it can press against nerves in the spinal canal. This can lead to a few different nerve related symptoms, including muscle weakness, numbness, and of course severe pain. Most people will do just about anything to relieve that pain; this can mean something simple such as taking pain pills like ibuprofen, or often times by doing exercises to increase mobility and flexibility in the back. But, are the exercises you do the correct ones?
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While doing exercises for your back can often times be a great benefit and help relieve the pain from a Herniated Disc, there are some types that can actually have the opposite effect. Herniated Discs can become worse by performing the wrong types of exercise. The following three exercises are ones to avoid making your Herniated Disc worse:
- High-Impact Exercises
This type of exercise/movement involves striking your foot on the ground, thus creating a powerful, or high, impact. When this happens, the shock of the impact is absorbed by your foot, and then moves up the leg and into your lower back. This impact can make an already damaged disc even worse. Some of these high-impact exercises or movements include running, sprinting, jumping, or step aerobics.
- Twisting Exercises
The majority of Herniated Discs occur in the lower back of the spine, called the lumbar section. This also happens to be the area of the spine where we twist the most. Twisting can be tricky when you have a herniated disc, because the slightest wrong movement can worsen your herniated disc. Because of this, exercises or activities that involving twisting movements, such as martial arts or bowling, can be very difficult.
- Weightlifting Exercises
This exercise is a bit of a double-edged sword, because some weightlifting can be good for your back. The problem is that people often overdo it, or are just not careful and end up making their herniated disc worse. Sudden, jolting movements can cause a tremendous amount of shock to the spine, and these are the exercises to avoid. For example, any exercise that involves bending forward and then lifting can cause excessive shock to the spine. Instead, perform slow and carefully managed movements when weightlifting. Also remember to warm up first to help avoid injury. Another idea is to decrease the amount you lift and increase the repetitions you do. This lessens the amount of pressure on the back.
At the Illinois Back Institute we strive to educate everyone as much as possible about their back pain and sciatica, because it is proven that the more people know about their problem the more likely they are to eliminate it!
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