It’s always best to check first with your health care provider before doing any exercises, but I’m sure you’ll find these herniated disc exercises are fully approved and probably encouraged by your doctor or health care practitioner. Herniated discs are called many things, which include bulging discs, slipped discs and ruptured discs. It happens when the interior material of the disc protrudes through the disc wall, sometimes causing severe acute pain, sometimes causing numbness or deferred pain and sometimes with no symptoms.
Gentle exercises are good for increased circulation and strengthening muscles without exacerbating the pain.
Gentle exercises are those that don’t put a lot of pressure on the back and those that don’t involve bending or lifting. They can include swimming, walking, bicycling and yoga. In fact, several yoga poses gently stretch the back without adding to the pain, such as the camel pose, the locust pose and the cobra pose. The cobra pose should be modified to make it easier, especially if you’re just beginning. Lay on your abdomen, letting the floor provide support. Lift your upper body and place your weight on your forearms to hold your head erect. As you advance, put your weight on your palms and straighten your arms.
Get a towel and get ready for pain relief.
One of my favorite back exercises that brings almost instant relief is extremely simple. Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Have a rolled up towel and hold one end in each hand. Lift one foot and loop the towel around the ball of the foot, while leaving the other foot in place with the knee bent. Pull your foot up and toward you. You’ll feel it stretch your hamstring and back, relaxing it. Lower your foot and do the opposite side. It’s good for the lower spine.
Rolling your shoulders and neck can help your upper back.
If the pain is coming from your neck, try sitting in a straight back chair and rolling your head in all positions. First tilt it backward, keeping your shoulders straight as you stretch the neck, then move your head as though you were trying to touch your left ear to your left shoulder. Move your head downward, touching your chin to your chest and then move your head as though you’re trying to touch the right ear to the right shoulder. For upper back and shoulder pain a shoulder retraction exercise should help. Sit with your back against a wall, bending your elbows 90 degrees. Push the backs of your arms against the wall as you lower your shoulders down and back, making sure to squeeze them together.
- Try inversion therapy to help relieve immediate pain. If you have an inversion table, it’s easy, but if you don’t, laying with the body at a 15 degree angle or more with the head downward, can bring relief.
- Make sure you have adequate hydration. Even slight dehydration and lack of nutrients can slow the repair and make your discs more susceptible to everyday wear and tear.
- Use a heating pad for pain relief, alternating it with cold packs to increase circulation and help reduce inflammation.
- Good posture is key to helping with back pain. Exercise is the key to good posture. If you’re working with a personal trainer, make sure he or she understands your physical limitations so the trainer can include modified exercises in your workout program.
For more information, contact us today at Dr. Jazzy Fit