Exercise as an Annular Tear Treatment Option

When you initially feel the pain caused by an annular tear, your first impulse may be to rest your neck or back. While resting can be helpful in brief doses, it is vital that you still get quality exercise multiple times a week to keep your body — and spine — strong. The key to doing so without risking further injury to your torn intervertebral disc is to keep the exercises as low-impact as possible. Although most torn discs result from the natural aging process, many are due to high-stress activities like golfing, playing tackle football or competing in gymnastics meets. Completing stressful twisting motions during such activities can cause or exacerbate symptoms.

Exercises that might be recommended

Your physician or physical therapist might tell you to start your daily workout routine by thoroughly stretching your spine and the muscles that help support it. You can complete several stretches with your back on the floor, which can take the pressure off your spine. These stretching exercises can include slowly lifting your legs off the floor, pulling your knees into your chest and performing pelvic tilts. Once warmed up, you can try your exercise of choice, given that you have been given approval from your physician to do so.

Many people find that incorporating more walking into their routine is a good fit for them. It requires no special equipment and can be easily worked into virtually any schedule. You can park further away from the grocery store, take the stairs whenever possible or take a break from sitting at work (if you have an office job) and walk around every hour. Some other low-impact exercises to consider include biking, swimming, tai chi and gentle yoga, all of which can get your heart pumping without jarring your spine.

If exercise doesn’t relieve symptoms

If you have been attempting conservative treatment measures like exercise for weeks or months without satisfactory relief of your symptoms, consider the minimally invasive surgeries offered at Laser Spine Institute. Contact us today to learn about our procedures and to receive a review of your MRI or CT scan.