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Tips for running with a bulging disc

If you enjoy running but have been diagnosed with a bulging disc, you may believe that you have to hang up your running shoes until you’ve fully healed. But, did you know that making simple modifications to your running routine can help you stay active during the recovery process?

Keeping on the move with a bulging disc

First and foremost, it’s important to consult with your physician before attempting any exercise with a bulging disc. He or she will be able to develop an appropriate treatment strategy based on your unique condition, symptoms and overall health. If your physician gives you the green light to keep running during your recovery, consider following these tips:

  1. Work on flexibility and strength. Elongating and strengthening the muscles that support the spine is key to protecting spinal discs as you run. Incorporate gentle strength training and stretching routines into your exercise regimen to help keep you healthy and strong.
  2. Take walking breaks. Breaking up runs with short intervals of walking will allow you to stay in shape while minimizing the strain placed on your spine and joints.
  3. Reprioritize. You may enjoy pushing yourself to run faster or longer distances, but right now, your top priority should be your recovery. Keep your runs short and take breaks if you feel pain. If your symptoms worsen, stop running.

Don’t be discouraged if your physician doesn’t want you to run as you recover from your bulging disc. There are plenty of gentler exercises you can try that will keep you active and may actually accelerate the healing process. For example, with your physician’s guidance, you can try low-impact activities like yoga, swimming, stationary cycling or Pilates.

Bulging disc treatment at USA Spine Care

Combining low-impact exercises with conservative treatments helps many patients overcome their bulging disc symptoms and get back on the move. However, some patients may require surgical care to relieve nerve compression or stabilize the spine. In these instances, USA Spine Care offers a minimally invasive alternative to traditional open neck or back operations. Our outpatient procedures are performed by board-certified surgeons+ and require a less than 1-inch incision. Contact our team to learn more about the benefits of our advanced approach to bulging disc surgery.

To discover if you are a candidate for minimally invasive surgery at USA Spine Care, ask us how to receive a free MRI review.*

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