How Do You Exercise With a Herniated Disc in the Neck?

When suffering from a herniated disk in the cervical spine, there are exercises that can further exacerbate this injury. Affected individuals should avoid any heavy lifting, overhead exercises requiring extension or rotation of the neck, and any activities that cause vibration or rapid compression of the spine, reports Spine-Health.

Activities must be limited when a disk in the cervical spine is herniated so that the nerve root is not further irritated, reports Spine-Health. Heavy lifting over 50 pounds is not recommended due to the compressive effects on the spine and the risk of further injury due to strain. Activities that require constant neck extension or rotation can further irritate the nerve due to the increased pressure. Other prohibited activities, such as boating or jogging, involve rapid compression or vibration of the spine, which also exacerbate the herniation in the spine. Yoga poses involving headstands should be avoided as well, adds Prevention.

While this limits the activities possible for individuals suffering from a herniated cervical disk, there are still multiple options for exercise. Low-impact activities such as walking or cycling are recommended by Prevention. Yoga and Pilates are acceptable alternatives to high-intensity weightlifting, as long as they do not involve headstands.