Stretches to try when treating an extruded disc

The daily wear and tear that the spine endures can lead to a variety of degenerative conditions, especially in individuals over the age of 50. One of the more common conditions is a disc extrusion, which occurs when the outer layer of a spinal disc ruptures under pressure, allowing the disc’s inner materials to seep out. Most prevalent in the cervical spine (neck area) and lumbar spine (lower back area), a disc extrusion may require treatment if the damaged disc compresses the spinal cord or a nerve root, causing pain and other symptoms.

Nonsurgical disc extrusion treatment options

Once your physician has confirmed that disc extrusion is the source of your symptoms, he or she will likely put together a conservative treatment regimen designed to reduce the strain on your spine and strengthen the muscles supporting it. Stretching exercises will likely be included in the plan, though it’s important that you avoid any stretches that could put undue strain on the affected area of the spine.

Here are some options that are typically suitable for a disc extrusion treatment plan:

  • Seated hamstring stretch. Sit on the floor with your back straight and pull your knees in until your thighs touch your abdomen. Hold onto both of your feet and slowly straighten your legs until they are flat on the ground. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat.
  • Cobra pose. Lie flat on your stomach with your hands next to your shoulders. Slowly press up while looking upwards and keeping your hips on the floor. Hold final position for 10 seconds, lower and repeat.
  • Cat/cow. Start on your hands and knees and let your stomach drop toward the floor while you look to the ceiling. Then, round your spine up while looking down toward your feet. Repeat 10 times.
  • Knee to chest. Lie flat on your back and alternate grabbing one shin and slowly pulling your thigh toward your abdomen. Repeat five times on each side.
  • Pelvic tilt. Start on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Make sure your lower back is curved slightly to create a gap. Slowly decrease the gap by pushing your belly toward the floor and tilting your pelvis up. Repeat 10 times.

Treatment at Laser Spine Institute

While many patients are able to sufficiently manage their symptoms through conservative disc extrusion treatment options, some with more severe symptoms may require surgery to stabilize the spine or decompress a nerve root. If you are experiencing symptoms that are interfering with your day-to-day life and would like to find out if you are a candidate for minimally invasive surgery at Laser Spine Institute, we can provide an MRI review* for free.

Contact Laser Spine Institute today if you would like to learn more about our outpatient spine procedures, which have helped more than 75,000 individuals.