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4 Unexpected Ways to Herniate a Disc

4 Unexpected Ways to Herniate a Disc

Spinal discs are important as they play a crucial role in shock absorbing between the vertebrae and supporting your body with a range of movements in all directions. Disc herniations happen with leaking some of its inner material that aggravates a nerve, triggering back pain and possibly pain down the leg. In severe cases, a herniated disc compresses the spinal cord causing consistent pain with weakness or sensation changes in the body.

Disc herniation may occur when you lift something heavy or twist the lower back with motions that add extra stress on the discs.

However, there are unexpected scenarios which disc herniation can occur.

  • Sneezing
    A normal sneeze seems normal and not dangerous at all. However, with weakened disc due to injury/overloading/weak core, they are susceptible to herniation. The degeneration of disc can lose its rigidity and therefore a sudden strong force of sneezing can herniate a disc. A sneeze or a cough may cause disc material to push harder against a nerve, causing sudden bout of pain.
  • Tying your shoes
    Tying your shoes requires bending over the hips which can place extra pressure on the disc of your back. Bending over too fast at the wrong angle can create spinal issues you may have worse which includes herniating a disc. To avoid over bending or twisting, remaining standing and prop your foot on a chair or get down on a knee or squat while keeping your back upright.
  • Running
    If your spinal discs are degenerated, any form of exercise which places significant amount of strain on the spine should be avoided such as running as it cause compression of the spine, especially the lower back. Both the vertebrae and intervertebral disc experience extra pressure each time a runner’s foot impacts ground. This pounding movement can exacerbate an existing back problem such as disc herniation, degenerative disc disease and vertebral stress fractures.
  • Grocery shopping
    Walking in the shopping centre won’t cause a herniated disc, but bending over and picking heaving groceries sure can. When lifting something, make sure to kneel down and use the power of legs and hips instead lifting heavy groceries with your back. To avoid disc herniation, pack your items into more bags and resist the urge to pick up more than one bag at the same time. You can also use a trolley to move all the heavy groceries into your home or have your groceries home delivered.

Here are a few tips that may help to prevent disc herniation or improve your pain and also prevent the problem from returning.

Disc herniation tips:

  • Avoid bending over and twisting
  • Take frequent breaks from sitting
  • Spend time laying on your stomach
  • Walk frequently

At Lakeside Chiropractic, our experienced and holistic chiropractors can provide information and resources about disc herniation and how to prevent it from occurring. If you have any enquiries or would like to book an appointment, feel free to contact one of our friendly staff on 9300 0095 or visit our website at

May 23, 2022