Five Safe Exercises for Herniated Disk Back Pain
Herniated disk back pain can be relieved with a few gentle exercises that strengthen muscles, improve flexibility over time, and begins the healing process. Herniated discs affect young and middle-aged people and often affect the lumbar spine, which is the lower portion of the back.
A herniated disk is a common spinal condition resulting in the disk material that protects and cushions each disk of the spine from external pressure to be pushed out past the hard exterior or when the structures stop producing this material. It leads to dehydration and disk collapse. Specialists often recommend rehabilitation and prevention as opposed to surgery. Keep reading for the safest five exercises for relieving back pain associated with herniated disks.
Symptoms That Are Associated with Herniated Disks
Generally, the first symptom of a herniated disk is lower back pain. Although it may go away after a short duration, usually other symptoms manifest such as numbness and tingling in the limbs, numbness and weakness in the lower body is also common. It may travel to your feet, knees or ankles.
Gentle exercise is the best way to combat pain, improve your day-to-day life, and increase muscle performance. In addition to the exercises below, walking and swimming are also excellent options to build up your activity level after experiencing herniated disk pain.
1. Spinal Decompression
Spinal decompression is the best exercise to start with when you have back pain associated with a herniated disk. It creates much-needed space between your vertebrae and relieves the pressure that may be causing you discomfort.
The way to do this exercise is to find a place you can hang off of a bar. For instance, a door would work or a bar at the gym. The goal is to try to hang off the bar for 30 seconds at a time for three rounds. Release slowly and continue with other exercises.
2. Cobra Pose
This pose effectively relieves back pain associated with a herniated disk because it pushes the disk material back into its original position and allows it to begin the healing process. This pose especially helps if you’re experiencing symptoms in your lower body and can help contain it to just your lower back.
This pose can be done as a half stretch or a full stretch by laying on your stomach. Prop yourself up on your elbows for a half stretch and fix your hip bones to the floor. Hold this stretch for 15 seconds and go back to your starting position. Repeat this for ten rounds.
When you are comfortable with the half-stretch, try to prop yourself up with your hands in a full arm extension.
This stretch combines two yoga poses that help create space between the disks that are causing you pain and relieving the pressure on your spine. Additionally, it helps the recovery process and provides some spine mobility.
When doing this pose, get on your hands and knees and look upward. Imagine a string is pulling your belly button to the floor, creating an arch in your low back. Exhale and move into rounding your back and transition to looking downward at your chest. Repeat these alternating motions ten times for three rounds.
4. Standing Extension
This exercise helps combat the habitual hunch that strains your back. This helps move the disks in a neutral position.
To begin this exercise, start by standing up in a proper posture. Set your hands on your lower back and begin to push your pelvis forward. Keep extending your back until your gaze meets the ceiling. Start by doing this motion ten times for three rounds.
5. Bird- Dog
This exercise promotes good posture by working the deep spinal muscles and increasing low back muscle stabilization. Doing this exercise will prevent future herniated disks by working up to better posture.
To do this exercise, start on your hands and knees. Make sure your shoulders are correctly aligned with your hands and your knees with your hips. Start by reaching out with your left arm and keeping it aligned with your torso. At the same time, kick your right leg out while keeping it aligned with your torso. Hold this position for a few pauses and return to your starting position. Continue with the opposite side. Alternate each side ten times for three rounds. This exercise is best when it is done slow and controlled.
Consult a Spine Specialist for a Complete Exercise Routine to Relieve Herniated Disk Back Pain
Exercising and stretching are important when recovering the health of your spine due to a herniated disk or preventing a herniated disk from occurring. Every person’s spine and herniated disk is unique and specific to the individual, so you must consult a skilled spine specialist to make sure you are doing the proper routine for your spine injury.
If you are feeling pain due to a herniated disk, consult the local expert spine specialists at NJ Spine and Orthopedic to receive guidance and care specific to your situation. Our caring spine specialists create personalized treatment plans and exercise programs to ensure you are on your way to recovery and remain pain-free. To schedule an appointment with a local spine specialist in your area, please call (866) 272 9271 or fill out our contact form.