Structures found between vertebrae refer to intervertebral discs which help vertebrae attach to one another and a create shield to absorb any load placed on vertebrae during activities such as jumping, twisting, and turning.
These discs can degenerate either as a result of stress or just wear and tear. The inner portion of the disc (annulus pulposis) might herniate into the portion of your back occupied by the spinal cord.
This leads to an altered sensation and pain in the portion of the body that the portion of this cord serves. The L5 and S1 vertebrae cause low back pain.
A herniated disc also refers to; bulging disc, and slipped disc. Herniated disc causes extreme pain in adults according to research led by Dr. Joseph Lee, published in the June 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (1).
Are you wondering how you can repair a herniated disc? One of the components of herniated disc treatment is exercise. For a swift recovery, an approach to physical activity will reduce the pain felt and help reassure the long-term help of your body.
However, you should avoid the temptation to lie in bed, because your muscle needs to be active to aid the recovery process because the body may not respond to treatment when it undergoes no activity.
Early to middle-aged adults are most being the ones with the herniated disc condition. This is often a result of too much pressure on their spine. Jelly-like discs separate bony vertebrae which are made up of the spine.
What Kind of Exercise to Do When You Have a Herniated Disc
NO! Undergoing intense cardio program or heavy weight lifting is unnecessary.
Ensure that you start slow when starting an aerobic exercise program. 11 minutes the first day and gradually, increases in subsequent days.
Stretching programs such as Yoga and Pilates help to increase strength and flexibility and offer relief from serious pain in your leg or low back.
Doctors may as well prescribe dynamic lumbar stabilization exercises(2).
These programs include exercises that impact the abdominal and back muscles to achieve an expected posture, flexibility, and strength.
Exercise is an enjoyable and satisfying activity for some people and can be a way to treat symptoms related to a herniated disc.
You can seek out advice from your doctor on which exercise routine will best alleviate your herniated disc condition.
Ultimately, exercise does help feel better, and it should help alleviate pain suffered from a herniated disc.
5 Effective Exercises for Herniated Disc in the Lower back for Fast Relief
How this helps:
Spinal decompression should be the very first thing to do when treating a herniated disc because it creates space between your vertebrae, and by doing so, takes the pressure off the discs.
How is it done?
- Using a bar or the top of a door or anything that allows your body to just hang.
- If this exercise makes you feel worse, stop and try some other preferred herniated disc exercises.
2. Standing Extension
How it helps:
This technique helps you reverse hunching on a daily basis knowing most bulging discs and herniated discs are results of poor posture and repeated flexion of the spine, this stretch technique helps you push the disc back to the neutral position.
How is it done?
- Begin this exercise technique by standing up with good posture.
- With your both hands placed on both sides of your lower back.
- Then with the help of your placed hands push your pelvis forward and extend your spine back.
- Extend your neck in such a way that you end up facing the ceiling.
- With 10 repetitions at first, do 2-3 sets.
- This technique is great when you need a break from sitting at your desk.
3. Half Cobra Pose (Prone Lumbar Extension)
How it helps:
- This exercise technique helps to push the disc material back towards the center of the intervertebral disc, which allows for quick recovery.
- The purpose for a repeated lower back extension is the “centralization of symptoms”, which typically means pain that moves down the affected leg to the foot and they should come back up closer to the low back.
- This, in turn, alleviates the pain.
How is it done?
- Start this exercise by lying on your stomach and slowly sustain yourself up on your elbows while keeping your hips in contact with the floor.
- Stay at the prop-up position for about10-15 seconds then return to the first position (lying face down).
- Then, gradually increase to about 30 seconds. Target 10 repetitions of this stretch.
4. Full Cobra Pose (Advanced Extension)
How it helps:
- This stretching technique is based on the same principle as the half Cobra pose.
- With This advanced extension, the disc material is forced towards the intervertebral disc, with the purpose of reducing pain symptoms.
How is it done?
- Having mastered the half cobra pose, you then can increase the difficulty by doing the advanced version of this technique. Do this exercise by lying on your stomach in the prone position (lying facing down) and then slowly press up on your hands.
Note: keep your pelvis in contact with the floor and lower back relaxed.
- Continue the prop-up position for about 10 seconds. 10 repetitions of this stretch as a target.
- If this feels good, try to hold the pose for a longer period.
How it helps:
- As regards herniated disc exercises, this is the most popular. This technique helps to alleviate the pressure on the herniated disc by opening the herniated vertebral disc space.
- There is also an improvement in the mobility of the sine, which then helps relieve disc herniation pain and quicken recovery.
How is it done?
- This stretch technique allows your body on your hands and knees.
- Breath in and let your stomach “drop” towards the floor, as you are looking up at the ceiling.
- Follow this by breathing out while slowly rounding your spine and pressing it into the floor with your hands.
Note: slightly curving your neck to look at your feet.
- 10 repetitions of this stretch should be 2-3 sets.
Herniated Disc Exercises in the Neck
The neck portion of the spine consists of cervical vertebrae. A condition known as the herniated disc is when there are misalignment and movement of the cervical discs.
This may be as a result of trauma or strains. Some neck strengthening exercises can help to improve the functioning of the neck, lowered the risk of future injury, and neck protected from arthritis.
Stretching exercises for a herniated disc in the neck offer a natural treatment to help relieve pain and mend the cervical area.
In order for these exercises to be effective, you have to be consistent. Mind you; never extend exercising to the point of pain or discomfort. Always consult your doctor before any new exercise regime.
Herniated disc exercises for the neck help to manage pain around your neck region. Muscle strain is mostly the cause of neck pain. Light exercises are the common basic treatment, medication and ice packs are other ways to reduce neck pain.
Five Signs You may have a Herniated Disc in Your Neck
- Location of symptoms
You may feel the symptoms of pain locally in the neck. Also, when you feel pain from the neck down to the shoulder, then to the arm to the fingers, these are symptoms that you may have a herniated disc in your neck.
A herniated disc in the neck could lead to pain and neck stiffness. Pain can also be felt around the shoulder blade and can move down to the arm, hand, and fingers.
Pain varies by person. Some feel it as a sharp pain while others as burning which mostly causes difficulty in movement of the neck.
- Change in sensation. A herniated disc in the neck presses down the nerve root below it and could lead to a tickling sensation along the path of the pinched nerve
- Muscle weakness. A herniated disc in the neck could lead to muscle weakness in the arms, including the biceps, triceps, and muscle weakness in the hands/fingers.
A herniated disc in the neck could as well cause problems with reflexes such as a diminished finger jerk reflex.
- Headaches. The major nerve sending messages from your face to the brain shares a pain nucleus with spinal nerves found in the neck region.
This shared nucleus pain can affect the brain and exhibit itself in form of a headache.
Common Herniated Disc Neck Pain Exercises
Listed below are examples of less strenuous herniated disc exercises in the neck;
Isometrics does provide helpful neck strengthening exercises for a herniated disc. Isometrics is muscle contractions without having to move either your neck or any joint.
Hence, you sit upright in a firm chair; Place both palms on the middle portion of your forehead, do Press your head into your palm, stay that way for 8 seconds. Ease up and relax for 10 seconds.
Effectively repeat this technique about 10 times.
One other isometric maneuver that can help to strengthen the neck involves the backward static press, also referred to as a static extension.
While seated upright in a chair, with your right palm cupped on the backside of your head, push your head back towards your palm and resist the push with your palm. While doing this, keep your neck and back static.
Hold the push for 8 seconds, then slowly release. Repeat this procedure 10 times.
A shoulder pressing is one of the neck-straightening herniated disc exercises. When doing this, either seat or stand and slightly tuck your chin and stand with your shoulders slightly back.
As far as possible, gently and slowly move your shoulder blades together without experiencing pain or discomfort. Holding your elbows as close as possible to your body, hold this position for 5seconds.
Then, relax for about 10 seconds. Repeat this exercise 15 times, every 3 times a day.
It is important to note some other simple neck exercises;
- Slowly nodding, look up at the ceiling and tuck your chin into the chest alternatively.
- With slow motion, bring each ear sideways toward the shoulder.
- Like when shaking your head, move your head left, then right.
- With your hand, apply an isometric pressure against the forehead, back of the head, and also the temple.
Herniated disc exercises are majorly focused on core stabilization. Always note that you should never go for any exercise that would hurt you the more, before going into any exercise because of a herniated disc, consider consulting your doctor first.
This is because some other exercises such as therapy, medication also exist, so your doctor can advise you on which is best for you.
Core stabilization is done by strengthening your lower back and abdominal muscles by doing training such as sit-ups and weight resistance. The best way to learn these exercises is by consulting a physical therapist.