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Unfortunately for most, many people who suffer from a herniated disk are likely to do so again in the future. Even after the disc has healed, there is a lot of risk for re-injury or another herniated disc due to the vulnerability of the disc and those around it. Fortunately, there are many things that you can do to manage your risk of getting a herniated disc.
Exercise should become your very best friend when you are trying to prevent a herniated disc from recurring. Back exercises will strengthen the muscles in the back, which will then provide more support for the spine. When this support is given, the discs between the vertebrae of the spine receive less pressure, and your risk of getting another herniated disc will go down drastically.
There are many exercises to choose from. You will probably wish to use more than one back strengthening exercise each day, and incorporate them into a complete work out. Exercise of any type will always reduce your risk for any type of health condition. If you are unsure which exercises are right for you, you may wish to contact your physician.
In many cases, herniated disc patients are treated for their symptoms and healing is promoted through physical therapy. In these physical therapy sessions you will learn many back exercises that ease pain and strengthen back muscles as well as strengthening the spine itself. You can easily take these exercises with you when your physical therapy is complete, making sure that you continue them daily to reduce your risk of a recurrence of the herniated disc.
Much of the risk from a herniated disc comes from how you lift. If you have young children that you pick up often or work in a career such as construction, warehouse, or fire department, you have a much higher risk of getting another herniated disc. The easiest way to reduce this risk is to refrain from the activity that caused the herniated disc to begin with. In many cases, however, this is not possible.
For those that cannot simply stop lifting heavy object, people, or children, you may need to alter your lifting habits to reduce your risk of a recurrence of the herniated disc. When you are lifting something heavy from the floor, always squat down, keeping your back straight. Lift with your knees, not your back, and you will reduce your risk of a herniated disc.
If you are picking up something from a table or other surface it can be more difficult to avoid lifting with your back. Keep your back straight, and lift the object with your arm strength. Avoid bending backwards as you grasp or struggle with the load. You can further reduce your risk by wearing a back brace to keep the back straight while you are lifting.
There are a few other things that you can do to reduce your risk of another herniated disc. You can increase exercise, and decrease or cease smoking. Strengthen leg and arm muscles to avoid lifting with your back, and strengthen back muscles to support the spine. Wear a brace whenever doing heavy lifting, and follow good lifting habits, and you will greatly lower your risk of a repeat herniated disc.