Pain often prevents us from getting enough exercise, and lack of exercise can worsen the pain by leading to stiffness, weakness, and deconditioning. Movement is necessary to keep the discs, muscles, ligaments, and joints healthy.
Physical activity allows diffusion of nutrients into the injured disc space and helps it stay healthy. Significant inactivity deprives the injured disc of the nutrition it needs, and this can lead to further degeneration and pain.
Additionally, activity and exercise maintain the exchange of fluids in spinal structures and reduce swelling that naturally occurs in the tissues surrounding an injured disc. This swelling can further irritate nerves that are already affected by herniated disc material, which is highly inflammatory.