Herniated discs cause discomfort and can get in the way of living a normal life. Your spine has vertebrae with cushioned discs between them. When discs become herniated, they bulge out and put pressure on your spinal cord. The pain can be unbearable, so many people turn to non-surgical herniated disc treatment.
Why Discs Become Herniated?
As you age, your spinal discs lose their pliability. When a disc weakens, it can tear, then create problems in your spinal column. The tear can lead to bulging and herniation. Having an inactive lifestyle, smoking, and being overweight can increase the risk of herniated discs. Sometimes, people tear discs when lifting heavy objects or when twisting or bending repeatedly or suddenly.
Five Tips to Manage Herniated Disc Pain
If you have a herniated disc, these tips will help reduce your pain. Speak with your healthcare provider for more help with your herniated disc.
1. Avoid sleeping on your stomach
When you sleep on your stomach, you put added pressure on your spine. Sleeping on your stomach flattens the curve of your spine, and creates more pain from the bulging disc. You also have to turn your head, which can put additional pressure on your neck and cervical spine. The best sleeping position is on your side to alleviate stress on your discs and spine.
2. Avoid wearing high-heel shoes
Wearing high-heel shoes puts pressure on your spine, because it slightly changes the curve. If you have a herniated disc, the best shoes for back pain are running shoes, as they help your back maintain its natural curve while providing natural cushioning while walking.
3. Lift objects using your knees and hips
You can hurt your low back by lifting from a bent position. Instead of lifting from your low back, bend your knees and lift using the strength in your knees, hips, and quadricep muscles. When you lift this way, keep your back straight and upright to prevent injury and pain from previous herniated discs.
4. Elevate your feet on a stool when sitting
If your knees are below your hips when you sit, you could feel pain in your low back. Rather than suffering through that pain, put your feet on a stool to elevate your knees above your hips while sitting. When you elevate your knees, you help your spine maintain its natural curve, which helps the vertebrae stay in the correct position so discs don’t bulge and cause pain.
5. Use a stool to elevate one foot while standing
Standing for long periods can cause back pain. Placing one foot on a footstool can relieve some discomfort if you are standing in one place for a while. Bending the knee relieves pressure caused by the herniated disc. Switch feet occasionally to give your spine the relief it needs.
Give your body what it needs to live comfortably with a herniated disc. Maintaining a healthy weight and having a strong core helps prevent herniated discs and can provide relief if your disc is already bulging.