Milwaukee Board Certified Chiropractic Orthopedist and Herniated Disc Doctor writes: We hear this question a lot? Especially when people first come in. Some think that they are having a problem because they didn't exercise enough and want to start working-out right away. Some think they have been over-exercising and want to just stop all activity and lie around for a couple weeks.
When you start to feel better you become dangerous to yourself. You feel like getting back to doing the things that got you here in the first place.
The key is to avoid the extremes of both. Not too much, not too little. After fifteen minutes of immobility the tissue starts to stiffen up and you are more likely to re-injure yourself. After fifteen minutes of activity muscles may begin to fatigue and lose the ability to respond the the nerve trigger as rapidly as necessary and you may re-injure yourself by overloading the ligaments.
If you are wanting to rest, alternate between positions every fifteen minutes or so. Stand for a while, sit for a while, as you tolerate. It is best to not remain doing any single activity or posture for long periods especially when you are really sore.
The things that will stress your spine the most are poor sitting posture and long periods of sitting, and the BLT. No, not the sandwich, but Bending Lifting and Twisting and especially combinations of those.
Just remember too little activity is just as damaging as too much.