Beating the back ache: How to prevent a slipped disc
We are busy, active people. Sometimes we are young and our bodies can do anything – or so we think. Other times, we are only young in our minds. We tend to reiterate cliché sayings such as “you are only as old as you feel,” and, for the most part, believe the sentiment. Especially when our brain overpowers our brawn and we lift, twist or turn incorrectly, and we are a left with an aching back – courtesy of a slipped disc, also called herniated or bulging disc.
A slipped disc can leave you flat on your back, making you feel 107 years old. We can safely assume that most people never want to experience the pain and symptoms associated with a slipped disc. But, what can you do to avoid encountering a slipped disc? In essence, be careful. To clarify, here is a list of tips to help you remain slipped disc-free:
- Use lifting logic. We cannot all be Superman or Superwoman – lifting heavy objects may be your kryptonite. We are not advocating that you adopt the mentality of an Egyptian prince or princess and order lowly subjects to do all the heavy lifting. Rather, evaluate the situation prior to picking up heavy objects. When lifting objects, big or small, always lift from your knees and never from your back. Make sure you enlist help (or multiple helpers) for large items.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Working to keep a healthy weight is crucial to back health. Extra weight adds extra stress to your spine, which has the potential to increase your odds of encountering a slipped a disc. Make healthy food choices and remember to exercise regularly.
- Practice proper posture. Walking around with a book on your head may seem childish, but the action would teach you how to walk with perfect posture. You should also practice proper posture while sitting and sleeping to help prevent a slipped disc.
- Solid shoe support. Sorry, guys, this tip is for the girls. We recommend avoiding wearing high-heels if you want to prevent a slipped disc. High heels alter your walking posture and pattern and lessen your stability, which may cause you to fall or twist unexpectedly and potentially damage your spine. If you opt to wear high heels, watch where you walk.
- Stretch your spine. For those who sit or stand for extended periods of time, make sure you schedule the time to stretch out those muscles every once in a while. A lack of stretching may lead to tight muscles, which limits your mobility. The stretches can be simple. There is no need to start doing Pilates or yoga in the middle of your office. Just make sure to roll your head from side to side every so often to keep your muscles limber.
These daily improvements may help you stave off a slipped disc and improve your overall spine health. If you think you have a slipped disc, seek out our primary care physician for a consultation.