Slipped disc - Prevention 

Preventing a slipped disc 

Weight

Being overweight can put extra strain and pressure on your back.

Therefore, maintaining a healthy weight will help to ease the pressure.

Use the healthy weight calculator to find out whether you are a healthy weight for your height.

To avoid back pain and help prevent getting a slipped disc, you should keep mobile, exercise regularly, maintain good posture and lift heavy objects correctly.

Read more about preventing back pain.

Exercise

Regular exercise can slow down the age-related deterioration of the discs in your back. It can also help keep your supporting back muscles strong and supple.

Before and after any workout or sports activity, you should warm up and cool down properly. Your warm up and cool down should incorporate stretching exercises.

If you are recovering from a slipped disc, avoid high impact activities, such as running and aerobics.

Read more about how to warm up before exercising and how to stretch after exercising.

Lifting

It is very important when lifting that you use the correct technique. When lifting heavy objects you should:

  • think before you lift and make sure you can manage the weight
  • slightly bend your back, hips and knees at the start of the lift
  • keep the load close to your waist
  • avoid twisting your back or leaning sideways
  • keep your head up and look ahead as you carry the load

Read more about how to lift safely.

Sitting

When sitting or driving for long periods make sure that your seat is comfortable and supportive. If possible, take regular breaks to stretch and walk around.

If your job involves using a computer, take regular breaks away from the computer screen. Make sure that the computer screen is at eye level and directly in front of you so that you do not have to twist or bend to see it.

Sit in a comfortable position with enough space to move around, and do not stay in the same position for too long.

Your employer should give you information about working with computers and provide advice about the best way to sit and position your equipment.

Read more about how to sit correctly.

Posture

Always try to keep good posture. Walk or stand with your head and shoulders slightly back.

When sitting at a desk, make sure that your chair is the correct height for the desk. Your feet should be able to rest flat on the floor with your knees bent at 90 degrees.


Page last reviewed: 03/04/2012

Next review due: 03/04/2014

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