There is no clear evidence that you can prevent herniated discs from occurring. However, there are some things you can do that may help prevent it.

Exercise. Regular low-impact aerobic exercises and activities - those that don't strain or jolt your back - can increase strength and endurance in your back and allow your muscles to function better. Walking, stationary bike riding, and swimming are good choices. Yoga can also help to stretch and strengthen muscles and improve posture. Talk with your doctor about which activities are best for you.

Lift smart. Avoid lifting objects that are too heavy for you. Bend your knees when lifting and pull in your stomach muscles for additional support. Move straight up and down maintaining a straight back.

Walk smart. Wear comfortable low heeled shoes. Avoid high heels.

Maintain a healthy weight. Excessive weight, especially around your waistline, strains your back.

Maintain a healthy diet rich in dairy products. Sufficient intake of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D helps promote bone growth.

If you smoke, quit. Smoking increases your risk of bone loss (osteoporosis) and reduces blood flow to the lower spine. Decreased circulation may increase the speed of disc degeneration and/or slow the healing of the discs.

Protect your back when sitting. Sit in a chair with good lumbar support and proper position and height for the task. Keep your knees and hips level. To avoid putting pressure and stress on the back, chairs should swivel. Make sure your work surface is at a comfortable height for you.

Stand smart. Keep your weight balanced on your feet and avoid slouching. Your back supports weight most easily when curvature is reduced. If you are required to stand for long periods of time, use a small stool on which to rest one foot at a time.

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