Most of us will get a bulging disc during our lifetime. Single or multiple bulging discs are not uncommon, in later life especially, and most will cause no pain or symptoms whatsoever. Imagery showing bulging discs does not mean treatment is required.
If however the discs were to move a long way out of their original position or to become herniated and spread out to touch the nerves, this can cause sudden and extreme pain.
How often have your heard someone say “I had no pain at all and then one day I bent down to tie up my shoe, like I do every day, and it caused the most awful pain”. This hasn’t just happened. The bulging disc has possibly weakened over many years and then a specific movement has caused it to rupture.
Disc herniation is often caused by trauma. Trauma in the form of an accident is difficult to avoid however putting extra pressure on the disc through carrying extra weight, incorrect lifting or continuous bad posture without healthy movement over many years can be avoided.
Maintaining overall good health and movement will greatly assist in keeping your spine healthy and mobile.
Keeping up regular stretching and exercising will mean a healthier spine into your latter years with less chance of normal disc bulges causing you pain and requiring any sort of treatment.
5 basic ways to prevent a herniated disc
1 Take the weight off – aim to reduce body fat
2 Maintain a good posture and move often
3 Wear functional footwear (limit high heels)
4 Keep your spine moving with regular exercise
5 Avoid smoking
While it is impossible to completely avoid disc bulging or injury to any structure, there are various steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of injury. The above is a great starting point as they are simple and easy implement into your lifestyle, and have many other benefits beyond reducing your risk of injury!