Bulging Disc Prevention: 5 Need to Know Facts

May 7th 2016

While some people with bulging discs can find relief with various medical treatments, it is preferable by far to avoid the pain of a slipped or bulging disc altogether. By carefully managing your weight, quitting or not starting tobacco use, wearing the right kind of shoes and avoiding strain on your back at work and in bed, you can greatly reduce the risk of being laid up with a painful case of back pain.

Diet and Exercise Matter

Excess weight is one of the main contributing factors for your risk of developing a bulging disc. Regular exercise, combined with a healthy diet and some weight training to strengthen your back muscles, greatly reduces the risk that a disc will bulge or tear.

Proper Footwear Helps Prevent Injury

Wearing shoes with strong orthopedic support helps you keep your legs and back in alignment while you're walking. Good shoes also absorb much of the shock your spine experiences during jogging. Picking out the right shoes lowers the strain that often leads to a bulging disc. Look for footwear with firm arch support and thick, shock-absorbent soles to get the best effect.

Good Posture Reduces Risk

Many people sit hunched over at their desks for long periods, which puts undue strain on the spine. By sitting upright at all times, you ensure that most of your upper-body weight is evenly distributed throughout the spine, reducing torsion and strain on the tissues in your back.

Proper Back Support Is Important at Night

Inadequate back support at night contributes to the risk of back injury. By sleeping on a mattress that is too hard or too soft, you force your body into unnatural positions for up to eight hours each night. By switching to a more comfortable mattress, or by using pillows as supports, you can give your back better support while you sleep.

Smoking Increases Risk

Smoking is a major risk factor for developing a bulging spinal disc. Smoking interferes with the supply of oxygen your spinal discs need to absorb essential nutrients from your bloodstream. When this happens, the discs may become dry and brittle, which makes injury more likely to occur.


A bulging spinal disc has the potential to temporarily disable anyone who suffers from it. The condition, which can be extremely painful, occurs when one of the fibrous cartilage discs between the bones of your spine weakens or tears, pinching or compressing a nerve and causing pain, numbness and tingling. Bulging discs do not strike randomly, however, and many of the risk factors are under your control.

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