How to garden with a prolapsed disc

A prolapsed disc, also commonly called a slipped or ruptured disc, is a condition in which the spinal disc between vertebrae herniates, allowing the gel-like center of the disc to protrude into the spinal canal. The burst of spinal disc fluid can push on nearby nerve roots and the spinal cord itself, causing pain, tingling, numbness and weakness. This can make daily life extremely difficult as many people find that the activities they once enjoyed are now off limits, including gardening. Read on for tips on how to garden with this chronic condition as well as methods to find lasting relief from a prolapsed disc.

Helpful prolapsed disc tips

You don’t have to give up everything you once loved due to a prolapsed disc. There are many steps you can take that may allow you to continue to participate in activities like gardening depending on the severity of your symptoms. For instance:

  • Plan your day before you begin. It’s easy to just start digging once you’re out in your garden, but with a prolapsed disc, it’s important to be careful not to overexert yourself. Plan to do just one difficult activity per day and surround it with easier tasks. For example, if you have two strenuous tasks and four less intense ones, work on some easier ones to warm up. Then, go for the more intense activity and finish out the day on the remaining easier ones to recover. If you’re feeling up to the other difficult task at the end of the day, then consider it, but don’t be afraid to save it for another time.
  • Take breaks. In between tasks, short rests can make a big difference in how much you can get done. Taking a five-minute breather between planting and clipping could end up giving you an extra hour or two later in the day.
  • Stop before you’re in pain. Many people get so frustrated with their prolapsed disc that they end up pushing themselves through their pain and discomfort to finish their day. However, trying to work in an extra few hours could mean that you’ll end up having to take days off later. Rather than work through the pain, rest for a while and see if you feel any better. If you still experience symptoms, then call it a day to avoid further aggravating your condition.

Treatments for a prolapsed disc

In addition to simple planning, there are many conservative treatments for a prolapsed disc that can make gardening easier. These include:

  • Pain medications
  • Spinal steroid injections
  • Stretching exercises
  • Physical therapy
  • Hot and cold compresses
  • Chiropractic care

Even so, some people find that activities like gardening are simply too much to bear, and even the conservative treatments above aren’t enough to relieve their discomfort. For this group, surgery may be an option, and the minimally invasive procedures performed at Laser Spine Institute are a safer and effective alternative for them compared to the traditional open neck and back procedures often used.^ For more information on the procedures we perform for a prolapsed disc, contact Laser Spine Institute.

Laser Spine Institute is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery and has helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck or back pain. In order to treat a prolapsed disc, our highly skilled surgeons are able to remove part or all of the damaged disc to release pressure on the nerve root in the spinal canal. To find out if you are a potential candidate for one of our prolapsed disc surgeries, reach out to a member of our dedicated team today and ask for a free MRI review.*