Stay Fit with a Herniated Disc: Practical Tips!

8 Sep, 2023

Also known as a slipped disc, a herniated disc is typically the result of a rupture in the spinal discs’ outer layer, which forces the soft inside of the dish to slip out of position. If you have a cervical herniated disc, you may feel neck pain along with back pain, numbness, back pain, and weakness in your legs. While a herniated disc can be quite uncomfortable and painful, it’s important to stay active. You shouldn’t be running a marathon or lifting heavy weights, but you don’t have to confine yourself to bed and lead a sedentary lifestyle. With appropriate care, you can keep your body active and your limbs flexible through gentle exercises.

Some Exercises To Do With A Herniated Disc

You should always be careful and consult with your doctor before engaging in any physical activity if the pain gets worse, but low-impact activity should be fine. Some safe exercises with a herniated disc that can help to manage your back pain include:

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Yoga
  • Cycling
  • Back, neck, leg, and arm stretching

While completing these exercises, be aware of your body and do your best to not move in any sudden, jerking manner. Try to keep your spine in a neutral position, and be conscious of the way your body reacts to each type of stretch. If you feel increasing amounts of pain, stop immediately and consult with a medical provider. When you’re exercising with an intervertebral disc injury, it’s critical to not push yourself too hard to avoid further strain. Don’t do any activities that may cause further strain on your back, like lifting heavy objects.

Neck Exercises

When a disc in the cervical spine ruptures, you may experience neck as well as back pain. Try this gentle neck exercise sitting in a bed or chair: 

  • Sit upright and move the chin towards the chest
  • Stretch your neck so that your right ear is facing the right shoulder, and repeat on the other side. 
  • Do both sides a few times

Keep Active While You Recover

Even though it may feel extremely tempting to stay in bed when you have back pain, it’s important to make a routine for yourself so that you don’t wallow in bed and impact your mental health as well as your recovery. If it’s painful to move around too much, try to do stretches or simple exercises that you can do while stationary so that you don’t have to stand. If you find it difficult to stay motivated on your own, make it a group activity and go for a stroll or a swim with your friend. Regular exercise and staying active is essential to a healthy recovery; if you stay sedentary, it will not only take you longer to recover, but you raise your risk of being injured again in the future after you get back on your feet. 

Contact Us Today

Staying active while recovering from a herniated disc can be difficult, but even light stretching and moderate movement can help. If you’re looking for a spine specialist, call The Spine and Scoliosis Center to schedule an appointment today.


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