Did you know that half of the United States population has experienced a herniated disc at some point? It’s a serious problem that can lead to long-term ramifications like paralysis if left untreated.
At Grand Island Chiropractic Center, we’re well-experienced in diagnosing and treating herniated discs. Timothy Dunugan, DC, and Brian Dunugan, DC, know how much this issue can affect your life and just how painful it can be.
What is a herniated disc?
Your spine is composed of alternating bone discs and softer, shock-absorbing discs that act as cushioning. These softer discs are composed of a solid outer layer encasing a jelly-like interior filling.
When you have a herniated disc, the jelly-like filling breaks through the outer encasement and damages your spinal cord nerves. When these nerves are damaged, you can experience chronic pain, numbness, and even potential paralysis. That’s why we’ve created this helpful guide to five ways you can avoid getting a herniated disc.
1. Don’t sleep on your stomach
When you sleep on your stomach, you place added stress on your lower back and spine. It’s better to sleep on your back or your side with added pillows to support your head and knees.
Having strong core muscles is important for stabilizing your spine and reducing your risk of developing a herniated disc. You’ll want to do low-impact workouts, like swimming, biking, and hiking, that don’t place added stress on your back and joints.
Regular exercise can also help you lose weight, which lowers your chances of developing a herniated disc.
3. Don’t place weight on your lower back when lifting
When lifting heavy objects, it’s easy to place added stress on your spine. Try squatting at your knees when lifting a heavy object. Know your limits and don’t strain your back by lifting an object that’s too heavy for you.
4. Maintain good posture
People with bad posture are more likely to develop a herniated disc. For best posture, imagine your head is being held up by a string. Stand tall and hold your shoulders back so they’re aligned with your hips.
5. Quit smoking
Tobacco products can seriously deteriorate your spinal health and make your spine more likely to develop herniated discs. If tobacco use is a problem for you, ask us for help and resources for quitting.
To learn more about how chiropractic care can help you maintain your spinal health, and to make an appointment with our Grand Island, Nebraska, office, call us or book an appointment online today.