Your spinal column comprises individual vertebrae, of which each is protected by a cushion called a herniated or spinal disc. This disc prevents the friction of bones against one another. Usually, the outside of this disc is hard while the inside is softer. A herniated disc will occur when the soft inner material replaces the hard outer material. As a result, the vertebrae(including spinal joints) are not adequately cushioned, which results in pain and limited movement. In order to keep a herniated disc from getting worse, there are several activities to avoid and risk factors to be mindful of.

What Does A Herniated Disk Feel Like?

A herniated disk can occur in the back and abdominal muscles, among others, and can cause a wide range of symptoms depending on the individual. Additionally, it varies based on the severity of the hernia and where the disk is herniated.

A herniated disk can cause severe pain and lead to:

  • Severe Back pain or Neck pain

  • Shooting arm pain

  • Weakness, numbness, or tingling in the foot or leg pain.

  • Weakness, numbness, or tingling in one arm

If you have a herniated disc, stopping the pain should be your top priority. But what if you’re acting in a way that makes the pain worse or prevents the injury from healing properly? We have your back. This post discusses some activities to stay away from if you have a herniated disc.

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While pain relief medicines or muscle relaxants can be beneficial, a favorable prognosis and long-term effects can be achieved by avoiding these activities while you heal. When these activities are avoided, and treatment from a chiropractor or other medical expert is sought, you can relieve the pain associated with a herniated disc.

Activities to avoid when experiencing a herniated disc

Here is a list of some major activities to avoid while dealing with a herniated disc. Don’t forget to contact Dr. Daniel Possley, an Orthopedic Spine Surgeon, to schedule an appointment for further treatment.


Do you have chronic lower back pain? Going to the gym will do you more harm than good. This is because difficult exercise will inevitably make your herniated disc symptoms worse. This comprises, but is not limited to:

  • Sit-ups and pull-ups
  • Squats
  • Yoga and stretching
  • Running and jogging
  • Jumping rope

Any physically demanding activity will inevitably worsen your herniated disc symptoms. Even stretches are risky to perform since they put too much pressure and movement on your spine.

Doing laundry

Doing laundry involves a lot of strain on your lower back due to bending over to pick up clothes, lugging a big basket, and reaching for other items. If you can, delegate this task to a friend or relative until your back feels better. Many dry cleaners also provide regular laundry services.

Caring For Plants And Pets

It will be challenging for you to cease doing the things you do so effortlessly if you are a nurturer at heart. But for someone with herniated disc discomfort, tending to your pets and gardening requires too much physical strain. You can’t bend to put food in the dog bowls when hurting.

You cannot garden while you are receiving treatment for a herniated disc. Similar to feeding a pet, gardening necessitates an excessive amount of bending over or kneeling.  At all costs, you should refrain from digging up the earth in the garden with a shovel.

Shoveling snow or gardening

Snow shoveling and gardening sometimes necessitate heavy lifting, twisting, and forward bending, all of which can exacerbate your discs. These activities might make your disc discomfort worse rather than reduce it. If you have access to one, use a snowblower; otherwise, ask a neighbor, friend, or relative for assistance. Do your best to avoid bending down and stooping over repeatedly while gardening. Rather, maintain your position while changing your posture. The garden will have to wait an additional week if the experience is painful.


Your herniated disc may get irritated if you repeatedly vacuum the floor with a forward-lunging motion. Rather than stretching your arm and bending your back, stroll with the vacuum across the floor with your back straight. Imagine using your legs to carry out the task rather than your arms. Purchasing a robotic vacuum cleaner to carry out the task for you is another choice. You can program this gadget and forget about it.

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Prolonged Sitting

Prolonged sitting won’t help you when you have a herniated disc, just like too much bed rest won’t. This is because sitting places strain on the spinal discs, which is something you don’t want. The spine will still be subjected to some unnecessary pressure, even in the best ergonomic chairs. However, there are occasions when sitting is unavoidable. To relieve pressure on your herniated disc, use an ergonomic chair if you have to and adhere to these recommendations.

  • Maintain a flat-footed position with your thighs parallel to the ground.
  • Take regular breaks during which you stand up and stroll around for a while. The optimal time to do this is every 60 minutes or 30 minutes.
  • Keep your spine straight and your shoulders back. To put it another way, don’t slouch!
  • Maintain the natural curvature of your spine by placing a rolled-up towel or cushion on the small of your back.
  • When sitting, be sure your knees are not higher than your hips.

Having a herniated disc? Get the help of a professional Orthopedic Spine Surgeon in Colorado today!

If you reside in Colorado and believe you may have a herniated disk, make an appointment with spine specialist Dr. Daniel Possley right away for an accurate diagnosis and physical therapy. Dr. Daniel Possley treats patients’ backaches, spinal disorders, and associated issues.

Due to our extensive experience treating spinal cord-related health issues, we are confident in our ability to manage chronic pain conditions like muscle pulls and neck discomfort.

Contact us, and we can schedule your visit as soon as possible for our spine service treatments.