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Safe Exercises & Stretches for Herniated Disc

by Jaydee Vykoukal, PT, DPT October 16, 2019 0 Comments

Herniated disc exercise

Performing the right exercises and stretches for a herniated disc is an effective way to find relief and reduce lower back pain without surgery. To start, learning movements that appropriately target the location of your disc herniation is key. Work with your doctor to properly identify where your herniated disc is located, then use these exercises and stretches to build a daily routine suited for you.

    Is it ok to Exercise with a Herniated Disc?

    When combined with physical therapy and other treatments, back exercises are cost effective and can be an important part of the recovery process. While it may be tempting to lie in bed after a back injury, staying immobile could actually slow recovery and harm the back over the long-term. Choosing the right selection of stretches and exercises will build muscles around the vertebrae, increasing stability and flexibility.

    Choosing Appropriate Exercises

    The best exercise for slipped or herniated disc pain typically focus on back extension and decompression; however, depending on where your injury is located, the most appropriate exercises and stretches for treatment vary. The most common herniated disc injuries occur in either the low back or neck.

        Other Safe Exercises

        Low-impact activities are the best option when exercising with a herniated or bulging disc. Often, gentle stretches that bend the spine backward are recommended, as they can realign the vertebrae. Here are a few different approaches to help herniated disc recovery:

        • Core exercises can also help strengthen and stabilize back muscles surrounding the spine. When exercising with an existing injury, it’s best to start slow and increase intensity gradually.
        • Yoga can be an effective solution for herniated disc recovery, as its gentle movements combined with controlled breathing can help reduce muscle tension in the back. Many yoga poses will develop back and stomach muscles, helping to support the spine.
          • Maintaining cardiovascular health with a herniated disc means finding low-impact exercises that won’t place strain on the back.
            • Biking
            • Swimming
            • Elliptical machines
            • Walking are all good options

          Unsafe Exercises for Herniated Disc

          It is important to avoid exercises that place strain on the lower back, like those with twisting motion or that include heavy lifting. Exercises that involve jumping, running, or involve sharp movements can slow the recovery process. While a slight burning sensation during exercise is normal, stop immediately if you feel a sharp upper back or neck pain.

            Exercising Precautions

            Seek medical advice from your doctor and physical therapist before starting exercises for a herniated lumbar disc. When used properly, the best exercises and stretches can help strengthen the back and ease slipped disc recovery. For the best results, try them alongside a range of treatment options that include some of the following:

              SHOP HERNIATED DISC PRODUCTS
              Jaydee Vykoukal, PT, DPT
              Jaydee Vykoukal, PT, DPT

              JayDee Vykoukal is a Doctor of Physical Therapy, owner of the healthy habit platform Health Means Wealth, and freelance medical writer. She loves traveling and spending time with her family in nature. Her passion is helping others continue to participate in the activities they love through education and proper exercise.



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