Exercises to help treat a collapsed disc

A collapsed disc is a fairly common condition that typically occurs as a result of the natural aging process. Because they support the body’s weight and movements, the spine and its discs are constantly under pressure. Over the years, that pressure can cause the discs to flatten and expand. When this happens, the discs lose their natural height and shape, causing an instability in the spine that can lead to nerve compression and a series of uncomfortable symptoms, including weakness, tingling, numbness, localized pain and radiating pain.

Treating a collapsed disc with exercise

Often, a collapsed disc can be effectively treated using conservative — nonsurgical — methods, such as specific exercises. The goal of these exercises is to maintain flexibility in the spine and throughout the body, and increase core muscle strength to help ease pressure from the spine. Core muscles assist in carrying the weight of the body, thereby reducing stress placed upon discs. Some exercises that are commonly used to help treat collapsed discs include:

  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Stretching
  • Biking
  • Swimming
  • Walking

It is, however, important to always speak with your doctor before beginning a new exercise routine or treatment plan. He or she will be able to make recommendations based on your specific condition to ensure you do not exacerbate your pain.

Additional treatment methods

While light exercise can help reduce the pain associated with a collapsed disc, most people require a combination of several different conservative treatment options to find meaningful relief. Your doctor may suggest a number of nonsurgical methods to try alongside an exercise plan, such as pain medication, hot and/or cold therapy and physical therapy.

If light exercise and other conservative treatments don’t provide the pain relief you were expecting, surgery may be the next step. If this is the case for you, you may benefit from minimally invasive surgery at Laser Spine Institute. We help thousands of patients find relief from chronic neck and back pain each year and our minimally invasive procedures are a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck or back surgery.^ If you are considering surgery as treatment for your collapsed disc, we encourage you to contact Laser Spine Institute. We can provide a free MRI review* to determine whether you may be a candidate for our minimally invasive surgeries.