Home » Spine Conditions » Collapsed Disc » Seven tips for running when you have a collapsed disc
If you’ve been diagnosed with a collapsed disc in your spine, you’ve probably been told to avoid heavy lifting and high-impact sports, as they can aggravate symptoms associated with this condition. If you also happen to be an avid runner, this recommendation was probably met with at least some resistance. Depending on the severity of your injury (a “collapsed” disc is often more accurately described as a “collapsing” disc), you may still be able to participate in your favorite activity with a little preparation and a healthy amount of precaution.
Before engaging in any physical activity, always consult with your doctor first. If you’re cleared to run, these seven tips can help ensure you’re headed down the road to recovery rather than ruin.
- Run on a treadmill. One way to lessen jarring impacts when jogging is to exercise on a treadmill, which provides some cushioning and shock absorption.
- Get the right shoes. The more support and cushioning your running shoes provide, the better. Purchase shoes from a store whose employees can evaluate your stride and offer suggestions about which ones are right for your situation.
- Warm up properly. Light exercise for about 10 minutes will loosen muscles and increase blood flow. Stretch your back and hamstrings but avoid forward bends as they put too much stress on spinal discs.
- Land on the center of your foot. Pay attention to your running form. Try to avoid landing on your heels and rolling to the toes. Instead, land on the balls of your feet in a flatter, more efficient stride.
- Maintain good posture. Keep your shoulders rolled back and down and avoid letting your elbows drift outward when you swing your arms, as it will throw your stride out of alignment.
- Cool down properly after your run. After exercising, cool down slowly with a few minutes of vigorous walking and then stretch once more, focusing on your back.
- Strengthen you back muscles. Low impact exercise routines such as yoga and Pilates are good ways to tone and strengthen back muscles on the days you don’t run.
Following these suggestions may prevent running from aggravating your symptoms, but a collapsed disc will never regain its original shape. If you’ve been diagnosed with this condition and are still experiencing chronic pain despite months of conservative or alternative treatment options, you may be a candidate for minimally invasive surgery at USA Spine Care. Our board-certified surgeons+ have performed more than 100,000 procedures that have helped patients find lasting relief from a number of spine conditions, including collapsed discs. Contact a member of our team today to learn how you can receive a free MRI review* to help determine if our outpatient surgeries are right for you.
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