Six Exercises to Avoid with an Annular Tear | BEST

Exercises to Avoid when diagnosed with an annular tear

Upon diagnosis of an annular tear, the patient will be recommended for different forms of conservative therapy such as physical therapy or massage therapy. However, despite ongoing treatment, it is important that patients understand the process may take several months before they can return to their regular exercise routine. 

If patients ignore these recommendations and continue to participate in these physical activities, it is likely that their treatment will not be effective, and it can lead to further injury to the area. It is important that patients going through treatment for an annular tear avoid the following exercises:

  • Running: Running puts an excessive amount of pressure on the spine, and this repetitive movement could potentially cause an annular tear. Patients who have been diagnosed with an annular tear should avoid running or similar cardio-based exercises to prevent the tear from getting worse. 
  • Twisting exercises: Tennis and golf are two of the activities that require significant twisting of the spine. Individuals with undiagnosed back problems or patients with an annular tear should avoid these activities as they can aggravate an annular tear. 
  • Sit-ups and straight leg lift: While core exercises can help strengthen the muscles around the spine and help improve posture, patients with an annular tear should avoid exercises that put too much strain on the back, such as sit-ups and straight leg lifts. 
  • Barbell squats: Barbell squats put a strain on the back since it involved holding the weight above your head. If you are suffering from a spinal disc injury, such as an annular tear, it is important to avoid barbell squats. 
  • Clean and press: Similar to barbell squats, this exercise involves holding the weight above your head, which can worsen an annular tear. 
  • Deadlifts: Deadlifts require the strength of the back muscles to lift heavyweight, therefore, deadlifts should be avoided by individuals who are suffering from back pain, specifically annular tears. 

Alternative Exercises

If you have been diagnosed with an annular tear, there is no need to worry. Although painful, symptoms can often go away with small lifestyle changes. Instead of doing exercises that put stress on the back, consider these lower-impact exercises that can allow you to stay active throughout recovery. 

  • Walking
  • Biking
  • Swimming
  • Yoga

If any of these activities worsen your back pain, contact BEST Health System and connect with a doctor to get started on your road to recovery.