Exercise should be an integral part of your herniated disc treatment plan. Physical activity preserves the strength and integrity of the supportive muscles and structures around the injury, as well as opening up the injurious region to an influx of oxygen and healing nutrients resulting from increased circulation. While an initial period rest may be recommended or observed, getting moving again is a critical piece of your recovery.
- Focus on the core: conditioning the trunk muscles to act as stabilizers helps remove some of the burden of upper body weight from the spine, especially in the lumbar region.
- Losing weight: every ounce counts. The best way to prevent injury is to maintain a healthy body weight so that the spine is not carrying around excess pounds. The odds are already stacked against our spines; keeping weight down is one of the few things we can do to preserve our spines into old age.
- Refocus and redefine normal activity: don't think, "intense," but rather, "simple:" Low-impact aerobic exercise like walking and swimming should have priority rather than heavy weight lifting sessions and long runs.
A good target is 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Whether this means walking, swimming, yoga or pilates, is dependent upon the individual and their injury. At Holmes Chiropractic, we can help you devise a master plan for healing your herniated disc.
Dr. Randall Holmes, D.C.