Our Ealing Chiropractor Shares 9 Activities To Avoid If You Have a Herniated Disc

As one of the busiest chiropractors in Ealing our chiropractic team at The Spine & Joint Centre treat a significant number of patients who are suffering back pain. One of the causes of back pain that some of patients visit us with is a herniated disc. People may often refer to this as suffering from a “slipped disc”. However, the disc has not actually slipped, rather the term refers to disc damage such as a tear, bulge or prolapse.

In this post, our Ealing chiropractor shares a few of the more surprising lifestyle factors which should be avoided if you have a herniated disc.



Activities To Avoid If You Have a Herniated Disc

Excessive Sitting

When you are sitting, the spinal column is compressed, which places additional pressure on the intervertebral discs. This can be very painful if you have a herniated disc.

If you do have to sit for long periods while at work, use an ergonomic chair that provides plenty of lumbar support. If you only have access to a low quality chair, consider using a rolled up towel for lumbar support. It is also a good idea to break up your time in the chair with stretches and short walks.



Yoga is a wonderful form of exercise that can improve joint health and strengthen the muscles that support the spine. However, if one of your spinal discs is already ruptured, you should be very cautious when it comes to yoga.

Many yoga poses place significant strain on the lower back. If you have a herniated disc, this can lead to inflammation and pain. In extreme cases, practicing yoga can even worsen your herniation.


Horse Riding, Mountain Biking, and Other ‘Bumpy’ Activities

Any situation where you are in a seat and being bumped around should be avoided at all costs. That rules out activities like horse riding, mountain biking, riding a lawn mower over bumpy terrain, driving long distances over bumpy roads, and so on.

Your intervertebral discs will already be compressed from being seated and the additional impact of being bounced around can really traumatise your herniated disc. If you are keen to continue exercising, chat to a chiropractor to learn which activities will be safe to perform when you have a herniated disc.


Lifting Weights

Lifting weights is a great way to build muscular strength and improve general fitness. However, some weight lifting exercises are potentially dangerous if you have a herniated disc.

You should avoid any movement that compresses or twists the spine. Activities where the spine is kept in a neutral position, like curls and bench press should be safe. However, even then, care should be taken when moving weights around as your back is extremely vulnerable when you have a herniated disc.


Soft couches

Although you might think spending time on a soft couch might help you back heal, it can actually be very damaging. Plush furniture doesn’t offer much support for the lumbar region of your back, which is a problem if you have a herniated disc in this area.


Bending Exercises

Any other form of exercise which forces you to curve the lower back or to perform twisting motions should also be avoided. This includes common actives like crunches and burpees. Again, a chiropractor can help you to develop a safe exercise routine.



Gardening is a wonderful pastime which is great for your physical health and general wellbeing. However, there are several movements commonly performed while gardening which can be dangerous if you have a herniated disc.

Avoid activities like bending over to plant or weed, lifting heavy bags of soil, using a shovel, and lifting heavy buckets. Stick to light gardening duties while you are recovering from your herniated disc.


Sleeping In A Flexed Position

Even the way you sleep can affect a herniated disc. Avoid sleeping in any position which flexes or twists the spine excessively. Instead, try to lay in a way that keeps your spine in a neutral position. Pillows can sometimes be useful for maintaining a sleeping position that is comfortable.



Vacuuming and other household chores that involve a lot of bending and twisting should be avoided. Having a herniated disc is a great excuse for not cleaning the house for a few days!


Visiting our Ealing Chiropractors For Help

There are many problems that have similar patterns to a ‘slipped’ or herniated disc. If you are suffering back pain, it’s important to have your condition diagnosed properly before any treatment is started.

Following a detailed consultation and examination, your chiropractor will be able to diagnose your problem and recommend a course of action to help you. If treatment is indicated, your chiropractor will begin treatment with often gentle, specific adjustments. This effective drug-free treatment is generally painless.

Following treatment your chiropractor may recommend some things you can do to help your condition which may include specific exercises and lifestyle changes.

Our aim at our chiropractic clinic is to get our patients out of pain as quickly as possible and with the minimum of discomfort.

To book an appointment at The Spine & Joint Centre in Ealing call us on 020 8900 9004 or 020 8900 9005.



The Spine and Joint CentreFrom the Team at The Spine and Joint Centre

Experienced Ealing and Harrow Chiropractors and Osteopaths that care for You
Serving the local communities of North West London
Including Ealing, Harrow, Wembley and Sudbury