How do you prevent a herniated disc?


Quick Answer

While preventing a herniated disc is not always possible, Cleveland Clinic recommends using proper lifting techniques to reduce the chance of injury. Lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding prolonged sitting and stopping smoking, also help to prevent injury.

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How do you prevent a herniated disc?
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Full Answer

Proper lifting techniques help to prevent compression of discs that lead to lower back pain, according to WebMD. To lift, the person spreads his feet so that they are even with his shoulders, bends at the knees, and faces forward with the chest out and back straight. He lifts slowly by straightening the knees and hips while keeping the load as close to his body as possible. Once he lifts the load, he takes small steps, leading with the hips, to make any turns.

Excess body weight puts additional strain on the lower back, according to Mayo Clinic. The pressure of the excess weight increases the chances of rupturing a disc.

Good posture is as important when sitting as when standing or walking. Prolonged sitting increases the chance of a herniated disc. To reduce the effects of prolonged sitting, the Cleveland Clinic recommends taking stretch breaks.

Quitting smoking can also help to reduce the chances of a herniated disc. Nicotine reduces the ability of the discs to absorb proper nutrients, reports WebMD. Nicotine also causes the discs to become dry and brittle, increasing the chances of a herniated disc.

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