Activities to Prevent with a Herniated Disc

Activities to Prevent with a Herniated Disc

Activities to Prevent with a Herniated Disc


A herniated disc, commonly known as a slipped or ruptured disc, can cause significant pain and discomfort, making everyday activities challenging. Understanding which activities to avoid is crucial for managing your condition and preventing further injury. If you're searching for an orthopedic surgeon in Deland, FL, contact Central Florida Bone & Joint Institute for expert guidance and treatment options.


What is a Herniated Disc?

Before we dive into the activities to avoid, it's essential to understand what a herniated disc is. The spine is composed of vertebrae, and between each vertebra lies a disc that acts as a cushion. These discs have a soft, gel-like center encased in a tougher exterior. A herniated disc occurs when some of the softer "jelly" pushes out through a tear in the tougher exterior.

Symptoms of a Herniated Disc

  • Pain: Often localized to the lower back, neck, or radiating down the arms and legs.
  • Numbness or tingling: Typically occurs in the body part served by the affected nerves.
  • Weakness: Muscles served by the affected nerves may weaken, affecting your ability to lift or hold items.

Activities to Avoid with a Herniated Disc

1. Heavy Lifting

Lifting heavy objects places significant strain on your spine, potentially exacerbating a herniated disc. When lifting is unavoidable, use proper techniques like bending at the knees and keeping the back straight to distribute weight evenly.

2. High-Impact Sports

Sports like football, basketball, and running can worsen a herniated disc due to the repetitive impact and twisting motions. Opt for low-impact activities such as swimming or walking instead.

3. Prolonged Sitting

Sitting for extended periods, especially in a slouched position, can compress the spine and aggravate symptoms. Take frequent breaks to stand, stretch, and walk around.

4. Twisting Movements

Activities that involve twisting, such as golf or certain dance moves, can put additional strain on your spine. Be mindful of your movements and try to keep your spine neutral.

5. High-Intensity Workouts

High-intensity workouts often involve rapid movements and heavy weights, both of which can be detrimental for someone with a herniated disc. Focus on gentle exercises like yoga or Pilates that promote spinal health.

6. Bending Forward

Bending forward, especially without bending your knees, places undue stress on the discs in your spine. Always bend at the knees and keep your back straight when picking something up from the floor.

Alternative Activities

While it's essential to avoid activities that can worsen a herniated disc, staying active is equally important for your overall health. Here are some safe activities to consider:

1. Walking

Walking is a low-impact exercise that helps improve circulation and promotes healing. Aim for short, frequent walks throughout the day.

2. Swimming

Swimming provides a full-body workout without placing stress on the spine. The buoyancy of water supports your body weight, reducing the impact on your back.

3. Stretching

Gentle stretching can help maintain flexibility and reduce muscle tension. Focus on stretches that elongate the spine and relieve pressure on the discs.

4. Strengthening Exercises

Core strengthening exercises can help support the spine and reduce the risk of further injury. Consult with a physical therapist for a tailored exercise program.

When to Seek Medical Help

If you experience severe pain, numbness, or weakness, it's crucial to seek medical attention promptly. An orthopedic surgeon can diagnose the severity of your condition and recommend appropriate treatment options.

Treatment Options

1. Physical Therapy

A physical therapist can provide exercises and techniques to alleviate pain and strengthen the muscles supporting your spine.

2. Medications

Over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications can help manage pain and reduce inflammation.

3. Injections

Corticosteroid injections can provide temporary relief by reducing inflammation around the affected nerves.

4. Surgery

In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the herniated portion of the disc and relieve pressure on the nerves.


Managing a herniated disc involves understanding which activities to avoid and incorporating safer alternatives into your routine. If you're looking for an orthopedic surgeon in Deland, FL, contact Central Florida Bone & Joint Institute today for more information. Our team of experts is dedicated to providing personalized care and effective treatment options to help you live a pain-free life.

Call to Action

Don't let a herniated disc control your life. Contact Central Florida Bone & Joint Institute to schedule a consultation and start your journey towards recovery today.