Herniated discs are a prevalent spinal cord condition. It impacts up to 3% of Americans and can negatively impact daily life. Often caused by natural wear and tear or an acute injury, the condition comes with a number of unwanted symptoms. Most commonly, pain, numbness, and weakness in the affected area. This is because the condition is characterized by the displacement of the discs between your vertebrae. These discs provide the necessary cushion to support your spine. Managing a herniated disc involves a number of things, including exercise. Below, you will find what exercises to focus on and what herniated disc exercises to avoid.
Herniated Disc Exercises to Avoid
There are a number of exercises you can do to improve and manage symptoms associated with a herniated disc. However, there are also exercises that you should avoid entirely. Below are some of the common exercises to avoid with a herniated disc.
Certain Abdominal Exercises:
Sit-ups and crunches can help you tone your abdomen. However, those with a herniated disc should avoid the exercise. It puts way too much pressure on your spine and can cause more harm. It can also exacerbate your current symptoms.
Straight Leg Raises:
Laying on your spine and doing straight leg raises can be hard on your back. It can put too much pressure on your spine. Avoid this exercise if you have a herniated disc due to the negative impact it can have on your symptoms.
While squats are great for your legs and behind, they should be avoided if you have a herniated disc. During a square, your entire body weight shifts to your lower back. This places way too much stress on your lumbar spine and can aggravate your herniated disc.
The leg press is a great exercise, but not for those who have a herniated disc. The machine involves your legs coming very close to your chest. This ultimately rounds out your spine, which can put way too much strain on it. Avoid the leg press machine while you have a herniated disc.
Deadlifts can help strengthen your back and are a solid exercise. However, they should be avoided if you have a herniated disc. The exercise involves bending over, which can put too much pressure on your spine and discs. This is true even if you are not lifting a lot of weight.
Cycling or biking is a great way to improve your cardiovascular health and strengthen your legs. Avoid biking if you have a herniated disc, though. Having to hunch forward for long periods can negatively impact your spine if you have a herniated disc.
Approved Exercises With A Herniated Disc
There are a number of exercises you should avoid with a herniated disc. Exercise is an important part of managing your herniated disc symptoms. Consider the following alternative forms of exercise.
Low-impact cardio can be highly beneficial if you have a herniated disc. This includes walking, swimming, or water aerobics. Not only can these exercises burn calories, but they can also help improve muscle strength.
Yoga or Pilates:
While it’s important to avoid any yoga or pilates exercises that strain your back, a number of yoga and pilates exercises are highly beneficial. They can strengthen your core, improve flexibility, and reduce your herniated disc-related symptoms.
Treatment For Herniated Discs
If you are suffering from a herniated disc, it’s important to get treatment right away. Early intervention is key when it comes to addressing the issue. Schedule a consultation with a spinal specialist to get an accurate diagnosis. From there, they can provide you with an effective treatment plan. Contact Dr. Yashar at Yashar Neurosurgery for a consultation today!