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Bulging and herniated discs – How to manage them

As fitness professionals, programming for post Injury rehabilitation is a common and unfortunate part of our daily roles.  Making sure people recover and return to normal functionality is important to the team at Rushcutters Health, as we understand injuries do occur based on a number of different circumstances such as sports, age, or just simply completing daily tasks. 

Back pain, or in particular various levels of disc damage that have previously occurred in the spinal column are an area that we generally hear about. Spinal discs are a type of cartilaginous jelly like joint which act as a shock absorber for our spine and play an important role in keeping mobility through the spine. There are 23 of these in total. 

The main 2 issues that can potentially occur within the discs are that they can become compressed, often referred to the term bulging. This mostly occurs with age as degeneration in the spine occurs. Secondly if major damage is done such as a rupture in the disc due rapid sudden movements or repetitive loaded movements, this is often referred to as the term herniated and will require medical assistance initially before anything else. A couple of ways to avoid this type of injury, is to ensure correct lifting technique during exercise and DO NOT lift too heavy too soon. Appropriately warming up muscles around the spinal column with stretching also help, as does maintaining a healthy weight.

If symptoms of pain such as a dull feeling through the arms are ongoing it is important to seek medical assistance to identify the exact issue. Upon medical treatment of these injuries it is then important for the individual to continue with ongoing strengthening exercises that are gym based with an Exercise professional/Personal Trainer.  Properly screening and understanding mobility through the spine after injury is the first step to maintaining a healthy recovery. It is important to then set up a basic stretching and core strengthening program with progressions to make sure that further injury is prevented into the future.

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