Have you been diagnosed with a torn disc in your neck or back? Are you experiencing pain, weakness, numbness and tingling in your spine and down your arms or legs? You may be wondering about options available to ease your symptoms. A course of conservative treatments may be recommended by your physician, including heat and cold therapy, rest or pain medication. Exercise may also be an option. If you are seeking pain relief from your torn disc, exercises of the low-impact variety may be helpful.
Types of exercises
You may want to begin performing some exercises to relieve your pain right away, but you should always check with your physician before beginning any new treatment or exercise plan. Your physician may first suggest resting your neck or back, as many cases of a torn disc have resolved on their own over time. Keep in mind, however, that resting too long may cause your neck and back muscles to atrophy, or lose mass and weaken. Performing a few light exercises can help encourage blood flow and the release of nutrients throughout your neck and back, which may promote a faster healing process. The following exercises might help to stretch and strengthen your core supporting muscles, including the abdominals and mid- to lower back muscles.
- Knee(s) to chest – Lie with your back on the floor, knees bent, and feet flat. Slowly bring one knee up to your chest, stretching your lower back. Hold for a few seconds, and then lower. You can also raise your other knee and hold both knees for a deeper stretch. Slowly lower one leg at a time.
- Leg lifts – Lie with your back on the floor, with one leg extended and the other bent. Tighten your abdominal muscles and slowly lift the extended leg up to 12 inches off the floor. Hold this position for a few seconds, and then lower. Repeat with the other leg.
- Pelvic tilts – With your back and feet on the floor and knees bent, pull your abdominal muscles into your back. Slowly roll your hips forward and flatten the small of your back. A partial sit-up can be achieved by then gently lifting your head and shoulders off the floor. Hold for a few seconds, and then lower.
Other helpful exercises might include walking, biking, swimming, tai chi, or yoga.
If conservative treatments don’t work
If you’ve tried exercise and other conservative treatments to ease your torn disc symptoms, but have found no relief, the orthopedic surgeons at Laser Spine Institute want to help you. Using state-of-the-art techniques, Laser Spine Institute has performed tens of thousands of successful minimally invasive procedures. Our methods are effective and can help you find relief from neck and back pain. Contact us today for more information about our outpatient procedures and to receive a review of your MRI or CT scan.