“I can’t squat because I have disc problems!” This is interesting because many people say this and have experienced pain when lifting but little do they know that most patients with back pain are generally inactive and even astronauts get a higher percentage of disc herniations than people on earth so load is good, not bad. Like most injuries, the symptoms often come on from doing too much too soon and so the body can’t deal with the demand. So, the load itself isn’t the problem per se. We already know that many asymptomatic people have disc degeneration, bulges and prolapses and they can squat fine. Also avoiding something won’t build tolerance towards it, in fact, it will make your body less likely to cope next time. So, what does the research say about how exercise affects the intervertebral discs?