Exercises to Be Avoided With a Degenerative Disc

x-ray image
Doctor pointing to a spinal X-ray (Image: Devonyu/iStock/Getty Images)

Discs in the spinal cord serve as cushions between the vertebrae. With age, the cartilage in the body changes and can become weaker, discs dry out and shrink, small tears occur or bone spurs grow. These changes are tied to degenerative disc disease. Physical therapy can ease back pain and help you return to full mobility, but some exercises can aggravate this condition and cause pain or injury.

Contact Sports

If you are suffering with a degenerative disc, any blow from an opponent or contact that causes muscle strain can cause further damage to the disc. Learn professional methods on how to absorb impact properly. Avoid all contact sports until you have training, regained muscular strength and a doctor’s approval.

Golf

Hitting balls on the driving range can cause excess muscle strain and ligament damage by stretching or rotating the back structure out of shape. An improper or jerky golf swing can cause serious back injury, cautions the University of Maryland Medical Center. While walking on the golf course is good for basic fitness, the force created by your golf swing can cause pain and injury.

Weightlifting Exercises

Any lifting or bending exercise can put stress on the back, especially if it not done using the correct form and posture. Dead lifts and squats are not recommended if you have a degenerative disc. Dead lifts, especially if using heavy weights, aggravate pain by putting greater stress on the discs. In addition, they can overstretch the hamstrings and lower back muscles.

Squats put excessive rotational force on the lumbar spine and can cause injury if you suffer from degenerative disc disease or have other lower back injuries.

Sit-Ups

Avoid sit-ups or any other exercise where you bend forward or twist at the waist. Sit-ups can put pressure on your spine and increase your risk of a compression fracture, according to MayoClinic.com.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2018 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.