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Questions and answers about sports

What is safer for your spinal disks: short, high-load sets or longer sets with less weight?

4 min read

Asked by: Lauren Forde

Can heavy lifting damage your spine?

How can lifting damage the lower back? The main risk of improper lifting is that it can cause a herniation of a disc in the lumbar spine (the lower back). Lifting a heavy (or even a not-so-heavy) object with a rounded lower back puts a tremendous amount of force on these discs.

Can heavy lifting cause bulging disc?

A bulging disc may also be caused by neck or back strain brought on by repetitive movements, lifting heavy objects, and poor posture. This condition can also be caused by trauma such as a blow to the back, although this is rare.

What movements make herniated discs worse?

Avoid the following exercises:

  • Sit-Ups. Sit-ups are difficult to perform correctly and are not recommended for those with a herniated disc due to the pressure that is put on the lower back. …
  • Squats. …
  • Cycling. …
  • Standing Hamstring Stretch. …
  • Deadlifts. …
  • High Impact Aerobic Activity. …
  • Leg Press. …
  • Straight Leg Raises.

How do you protect your back when lifting heavy objects?

Here are safeguards to keep in mind when you lift:

  1. Start in the best position. Before lifting, think through your task first. …
  2. Have a leg to stand on. Your leg muscles are some of the strongest muscles in your body — use them to lift the load. …
  3. Keep the load close at hand. …
  4. Stay Ahead of the Curve for a Healthy Back.

What exercise can damage your spine?

High impact exercises, such as jogging and high-impact aerobics, can put pressure on a disc and cause more injury. Also, avoid movements that cause twisting, such as golf, as it can up back pain pressure.

What should you not do for lower back pain?

And there are some things you should stop doing as a part of treating your back pain.

  1. Stop Slouching. …
  2. Stop Avoiding Exercise. …
  3. Stop Searching for a Miracle Cure. …
  4. Stop Lifting Heavy Things. …
  5. Stop Repetitive Bending. …
  6. Stop Looking for a Specific Diagnosis. …
  7. Stop Trying Passive Treatments. …
  8. Stop Listening to Back Pain Horror Stories.

What makes bulging discs worse?

The pain from a herniated disc usually is worse when you are active and gets better when you are resting. Coughing, sneezing, sitting, driving, and bending forward may make the pain worse. The pain gets worse when you make these movements because there is more pressure on the nerve.

Where does L5-S1 cause pain?

A herniated L5-S1 disc can press and impinge nerves and the spinal cord. This compression can lead to discomfort, aches and pains in the back, buttocks, hips, thighs, leg feet, or toes. It may also cause numbness, tingling and weakness in thighs, legs, knees, ankles, feet, or toes.

Which is worse bulging or herniated disk?

Herniated discs are considered more severe than bulging discs because they put significant pressure on nearby nerves, which can cause intense pain, inflammation and difficulties with movement.

Can you keep lifting with a herniated disc?

You can still lift with the disc bulge the Bulge. Itself. May have still been there. But it's not necessarily going to limit your ability to continue lifting if you learn proper stability.

Which part of the spine is most often damaged from incorrect lifting?

The most vulnerable areas of the spine are the lumbar (lower back), and the cervical (neck) regions. They are the most mobile, and susceptible to injury. The lower back is also the main weight bearing part of the spine.

Why shouldn’t you lift with your back?

Remember, your back is a muscle group, and one of the strongest muscle groups in the body at that. Muscles get sore when they are worked hard. Do not avoid “lifting with your back” out of fear of soreness. The only way to prevent back injuries is to train your back and your hip musculature.

Is weight training good for your spine?

It may seem counterintuitive, but weight lifting and strengthening exercises can actually help reduce back pain. However, the point isn’t to bulk up your muscles like a body builder—it’s to develop strength, especially back strength. The muscles in your back help keep your spine moving as it should.

How can I protect my lower back from lifting?

3. Safeguard your back while lifting

  1. Bend at your knees, not at your lower back; a completely flexed (forward bent) back can be highly susceptible to a ligament and/or disc injury.
  2. Pivot your feet and hips, rather than twisting your lower back.
  3. Hold the object close to your chest while straightening your spine.

Is it better to sit or lay down with lower back pain?

You should lie down to relieve the pain, but the goal should be not to return to sitting, but rather to regain your ability to stand and move. “The goal isn’t to get into the chair. The goal is to start moving. Walking is better than sitting,” he says.

How should you sit to avoid back pain?


  1. Sit as little as possible, and only for short periods of time (10 to 15 minutes).
  2. Sit with a back support (such as a rolled-up towel) at the curve of your back.
  3. Keep your hips and knees at a right angle. (Use a foot rest or stool if necessary.)