Herniated Disc Exercises: Alleviating Pain Naturally Using Exercise 10/08/11

Herniated disc is the medical term used by professionals to describe when a  tear or rupture occurs in the tough outer layer of the spinal discs called the annulus. The hernia takes place when the spinal disc is pushed beyond the vertebrae and takes up the little extra space around the spines nerves and the spinal cord. As the herniated disc begins pinching the nerves, and places extra pressure on the spine, the spinal nerves are strained resulting in severe pain along with further damage.

Unfortunately herniated discs are extremely common, and are diagnosed by doctors after a physical examination discovers certain symptoms that are related to a herniated disc.  A neurological examination can also usually help to diagnose a herniated disc as sometimes abnormal reflexes can be a result of the injury.  Herniated disc symptoms are lower back pain or pressure that is accompanied by sharp pains in the legs or arms.  Oral and injectable medications can be used to alleviate the pain caused by a herniated disc, but long-term medication use is not always a viable option.  Exercise to alleviate pain and stabilize the spine is a healthy alternative for individuals who are searching for a way naturally alleviate the pain caused by a herniated disc.

Herniated Disc Exercises – Low Impact Aerobics

Herniated Disc Exercises
Strenuous exercise such as weight lifting or high impact cardiovascular workouts are not recommended for patients who are suffering from lower back pain caused by a herniated disc. Herniated disc exercises such as low impact aerobics are a safe way to strengthen the spine without straining the existing medical condition. Water aerobics (hydro therapy is also great if you can afford it) or swimming are popular pain alleviating exercises for patients with a herniated disc since they allow a patient to workout for long periods of time without further damaging their back.

Herniated Disc Exercises – Walking and Biking


Not all patients with herniated discs are able to visit a swimming pool on a regular basis, or attend aerobic classes.  Walking and stationary bike riding are two alternative herniated disc exercises to traditional low impact aerobics that will strengthen the spine without hurting the herniated disc.  It is important to maintain a slow pace when walking or biking.  Do not run, or even jog, and never walk or bike when experiencing extreme discomfort, remember to always listen to your body.  Most importantly, stretch before and after walking or biking to additionally strengthen your spine while preventing further damage.

Herniated Disc Exercises – Yoga


Doctors prescribing treatment to patients suffering from a herniated disc have started recommending Yoga as a low impact alternative to aerobics, walking, and other forms of herniated disc exercises. The combination of stretching and meditation is thought to help alleviate lower back pain caused by a herniated disc, and possibly prevent future lower back pain. Yoga can also help increase flexibility in the spine leading the additional strength and fewer occurrences of pain.  I myself started to practice yoga while travelling as you see a lot of people practicing it over the parks in China, Vietnam & Thailand.  It is now something i do daily and has been extremely beneficial in my recovery.

Lower Back Exercises


There are lower back strength training exercises that, when performed no more than three times weekly, can help strengthen the spine reducing the nerve strain and pressure. Laying flat on the back and slowly pulling one or both knees to the chest is one way to gently strengthen the spine. Alternatively, lay flat on the back with both knees bent and the bottom of the feet placed flat on the floor. Slowly move the knees from side to side holding each position for at least 20 seconds.

herniated disc exercises - back stretch

Living with a herniated disc is hard, but it is not impossible. Performing low impact herniated disc exercises on a regular basis will help relieve spinal stress and strengthen the muscles. Prior to performing any exercise at home, always consult your primary care physician. Some doctors ask their patient to wait at least two weeks after the first occurrence of serious pain before attempting any form of exercise. Remember, while it is important to exercise regularly to achieve the best strengthening results and alleviate pain for longer periods of time, never overexert yourself when performing herniated disc exercises.

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