A bulging disc occurs when a large amount of pressure is put on a spinal disc causing it to rupture or tear. Some common causes are age, spinal stress, and improper lifting techniques. While a bulging disc is treatable, there are ways to prevent them from occurring in the first place.
Lower back pain exercises are a great way to prevent disc injuries. Regular exercise can strengthen and stabilize lower back muscles, which will prevent any injuries and pain. Strong abdominal muscles can adequately carry the weight of your body, which takes the pressure off your spine.
Stretching exercises, such as yoga and pilates, strengthen your spine and core. Maintaining a strong spine can help prevent bulging discs as well as other injuries from occurring. Visit a chiropractor to make sure you have the proper form while exercising, or else you will risk injury.
Swimming, stationary bicycling, and brisk walking are all great aerobic exercises that strengthen your back muscles without adding much stress.
If you plan on lifting weights, make sure you employ the proper technique to prevent injury. Bend at the knees, not the waist, and keep your back straight while using your leg muscles to support the weight.
2. Quit Smoking
Smoking is a contributing factor to bulging discs because it denies vital nutrients to the body, making it harder for certain areas to make repairs and sustain their health. Without the nutrients, your discs cannot repair themselves properly, and the outer layer deteriorates, leaking the fluid and causing bulging discs. The best way to prevent this is to stop smoking.
Smoking also causes symptoms such as coughing, which is detrimental to the spine. The sudden compression combined with the deteriorated disc can cause the discs to become damaged and the fluid to leak out.
3. Healthy Eating
Healthy eating has the opposite effect of smoking because it provides the nutrients necessary for a healthy spine. One of the most important aspects of healthy eating is to drink water. Water keeps the body hydrated and allows for good circulation. Good circulation lets blood flow wherever it needs to be in the body to make repairs and promote healing if you are injured.
Iron is also important to your diet as it strengthens the muscles which support the spine. One of the most common nutrients in blood cells is iron, and just like water, iron helps to make sure blood flows properly.
Calcium and vitamin C are also vital to the body. Calcium prevents the loss of bone mass from aging, while vitamin C develops collagen, which strengthens the spinal discs to prevent breakage. Both nutrients prevent injury as well as repair any existing problems.
Make sure you also maintain a healthy weight. Obesity adds extra stress onto the spine, making bulging discs more likely. Healthy eating habits not only prevent bulging discs but also keeps the rest of your body in great shape.
4. Proper Posture
Many people suffer from poor posture because of the nature of jobs in today’s lifestyle. People are spending long amounts of time in front of computers, which promotes slouching. Slouching compresses the spine and puts added stress on the spinal discs. Keep your shoulders back, the small of your back flat, and abdomen in. If you are sitting in front of a computer for long periods, make sure to get up from time to time to stretch and use your legs.
These small posture changes can help keep your spine healthy and prevent damage over time.
5. Avoid Stress
Mental stress can cause muscle tension, which can result in bulging discs. Stress is not always avoidable but should be avoided if at all possible. One issue with stress is that it compounds. Having an injury leads to stress as you cope with it, which only makes the injury worse. Try to remain relaxed to help the body deal with the injury. Employ stress coping strategies like deep breathing, walking, listening to music, or reading.
Bulging discs are easily treatable, but it is best to try and prevent them from occurring. These tips are all healthy and easy ways to help your spinal health. If you have any questions about your spinal health, please contact Michigan Chiropractic Specialists for an evaluation.