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Help With Slip Discs


What is a slipped disc?

This is when one of the discs of cartilage that separates the spinal bones starts to bulge under pressure, causing severe pain by impacting on a nerve.

What causes it?

A slipped disc can be the result of factors including:

  • Poor posture
  • Poor muscle control
  • Tight muscles
  • Generalised muscle weakness
  • Dehydration of vertebral discs with age
  • Direct trauma (i.e. car accident / sporting impact)

The first four factors on the list are elements that require attention to treat and prevent further disc problems. They are also factors that are very easily corrected with the support of the right professional.

Why do I need a fitness professional?

Due to the severity of a slipped disc a thorough individual analysis of the potential factors that have caused the herniation is necessary to decide what exercises are most appropriate for reducing pain and preventing further injury.

This analysis should be done in person, in a one-to-one situation, with visual and verbal cues and feedback from a qualified fitness instructor. You need to re-train your core musculature (deep abdominal muscles), which will involve a program being specifically designed for you with consideration for your pre-existing disc issue. A fitness professional will also ensure you are doing the exercises to the highest technical quality.

Look for a REPs Level 3 qualified instructor, preferably one who also holds a sports massage therapy qualification. If you are at a gym explain your circumstances and ask to speak to their most qualified trainers. If not, then look to find a free-lance specialist in your area. It may seem expensive to employ an instructor, but your long-term quality of life is well worth the cost!

What exercises can I do?

The key thing with any degeneration of the spine is to ensure the core muscles that stabilise the spine are as strong as possible. This means you don't overuse your lower back muscles in everyday life, which can aggravate and potentially accelerate spine degeneration.

Flexibility training can aid slipped discs, so aim to stretch regularly, doing activities that don't aggravate symptoms of pain.

Any type of seated resistance exercises, machine based, or lying on a bench with free weights should be fine because the spine is supported and won't go through any undue stress from the movement.

Avoid large amounts of impact exercise. Don't even consider going running if it causes discomfort (which is usually the case with a slipped disc!).

You are advised to seek medical advice before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle with an aim of weight loss. This website and the content provided should not be used by persons under 18, by pregnant or nursing women, or individuals with any type of health condition, except under the direct supervision of a qualified medical professional. The information contained in these articles, and elsewhere on this website, is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only, and is not intended to replace, and does not constitute legal, professional, medical or healthcare advice or diagnosis and may not be used for such purposes. Continue...

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