Our chiropractic clinic in Stoke On Trent treats patients from all walks of life. In the past, this has included teachers, dancers, stay-at-home parents, builders, office workers, and sports people .
Some of these patients have come to us with a serious injury called a herniated disc. This injury occurs when an intervertebral disc ruptures, allowing the soft inner centre to protrude through the outer wall of the disc. The ruptured disc can place pressure on the nerves that exit the spinal cord, causing pain and a variety of other symptoms.
We always ask the patient if they were performing a certain activity before their symptoms became apparent. Some of the responses we hear are quite surprising and really highlight that a herniated disc can occur at any time.
In this post, our Stoke chiropractor shares some of the unexpected ways a herniated disc can occur before offering a few tips for avoiding herniated discs.
Unexpected Ways To Herniate A Disc
Tying Your Shoes
The simple act of bending over to tie your shoes can place a significant amount of strain on the lumbar region of the spine. This is the location where it is most likely for a herniated disc to occur.
Instead of bending over to tie your shoes, stand and place your foot on a seat. This will help you avoid excessive strain on the lower back. This short video shows how to tie your shoes this way.
Going To The Shops
Several of our patients have injured intervertebral discs in their lumbar spine while bending over to pick up a heavy bag of shopping. To avoid this occurring, pack your items into more bags and resist the urge to pick up more bags at the same time. You could also use a trolley to move groceries into your home or have your groceries home delivered.
Although we haven’t seen anyone at our chiropractic clinic in Stoke on Trent who has received a herniated disc from sneezing, it can happen. Sneezing can cause a violent movement which forces the body to hunch over. If your intervertebral discs are in very poor condition, this may cause a herniated disc.
If your spinal discs are degenerated, exercise can potentially cause a herniated disc. Any form of exercise which places a significant amount of strain on the lumbar spine should be avoided. If you already have a herniated or fragile spinal disc, avoid exercises which cause compression of the spine, like running.
Avoiding Herniated Discs
Given that you can herniate a disc doing almost anything you might be wondering how you can avoid this painful ailment. The key is prevention. Here are some tips for preventing a herniated disc:
Improve Your Posture
Posture is the way you hold your body while walking, standing, and sitting. If your posture is ‘bad’ you are often positioning yourself in an unnatural way where your joints, muscles and vertebrae are strained. Staying in this position for a prolonged period can lead to pain and results in a build up of pressure on these tissues.
Over time, poor posture can lead to back pain, joint degeneration, spinal dysfunction, rounded shoulders, poor digestion and several other issues. It can also increase your risk of disc herniation.
Stretch Your Back Regularly
If you spend most of the day sitting, your lower back may become quite compressed. This can take a toll on the intervertebral discs over time and make herniation more likely. Counteract this issue by stretching regularly throughout the day.
Maintain A Healthy Weight
Being overweight places more strain on the lower back, dramatically increasing the likelihood of a herniated disc. Talk to a dietician, physician, or chiropractor for some advice on eating a healthier diet.
Use Correct Lifting Techniques
Many of the patients who visit our chiropractic clinic in Stoke on Trent have a herniated disc that has occurred when they lifted a heavy or awkward object. In many cases, poor lifting technique was to blame. Read this guide on proper lifting technique.
Regular exercise helps you strengthen the muscles that support the spine. This can take some stress off the spinal discs and reduce the risk of an injury.
Visit A Chiropractor in Stoke on Trent Regularly
Seeing a chiropractor is the simplest way to ensure your musculoskeletal system is in great shape. They will identify any misalignments that are affecting your spine and can suggest exercises or treatments to improve your physical condition. Chiropractors will also be able to tell you if you have a heightened risk of a herniated disc and provide you with guidance on avoiding this painful condition.
If you are suffering pain or discomfort our chiropractors at City Chiropractic Clinic in Stoke are here to help. To book an appointment call our clinic on 01782 848 184 or you can book online on our website.