Ways to be more active during an extruded disc recovery

An extruded disc is a spinal disc that has developed a tear in its tough outer wall and allowed some of the inner gel-like material to spill out. This condition often occurs naturally as the spine degenerates from years of wear and tear. However, it can also be caused by sudden trauma to the spine. On its own, an extruded disc may not cause any noticeable symptoms. However, if the damaged disc comes in contact with a nearby nerve root or the spinal cord, it can result in pain, numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, cramps and spasms along the entire pathway of the nerve.

Staying active with an extruded disc

If you have been diagnosed with an extruded disc, there are a number of treatment options that you can explore. As a starting point, your physician will likely recommend some conservative therapies, such as pain medications, corticosteroid injections, physical therapy, hot/cold compresses and low-impact exercise. Although it may seem counterintuitive to exercise while dealing with extruded disc symptoms, staying active is beneficial to your overall health and can also help you manage your pain. Here are some ideas to help you stay active and exercise without worsening the extruded disc:

  1. Yoga or Pilates — for gentle stretches that can also help with stress relief
  2. Water aerobics — as water provides great resistance while protecting the joints of the spine
  3. Walking — for those who prefer activities that do not require formal instruction

As with any other treatment, it is important to consult with your physician before beginning a new physical activity during your disc extrusion recovery. Additionally, if you experience increased pain or other symptoms while doing a certain activity, it is best to avoid that motion or modify it to suit your needs.

Treatment at Laser Spine Institute

In some cases, patients with an extruded disc will eventually need to consider surgery. At Laser Spine Institute, we specialize in minimally invasive spine surgery, which is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open surgery.^ We offer a free MRI review* to determine if you are a candidate for one of our outpatient procedures. To learn more about how our procedures can help with your disc extrusion recovery, contact Laser Spine Institute today.