Three exercises that could help with symptoms of disc protrusion
Disc protrusion symptoms can often be managed through a regimen of nonsurgical treatments, including exercise. If you have a damaged spinal disc and are coping with pain and other issues as a result, exercise might sound like an unappealing idea. However, people often find that specific types of stretches, strength-building exercises and low-impact aerobic activities can help reduce disc protrusion symptoms caused by nerve compression in the spine (albeit temporarily).
Waiter’s bow and other stretches
If you have disc protrusion issues, it’s probably best for you to learn helpful stretches under the supervision of a physical therapist or other professional who is familiar with the condition. Overstretching, stretching without warming up, or using poor form can all do more harm than good when you have a disc protrusion diagnosis. Your physical therapist will likely have you perform neck and back stretches, as well as shoulder and hamstring stretches, because these components also support the spine. If they’re too tense, it can take a toll on the neck or back.
One stretch frequently recommended for disc protrusion patients is the waiter’s bow, which involves standing while tilting the torso forward at a slight angle. By using the muscles of the buttocks to stand back up rather than those in the lower back, people with disc protrusion symptoms can stretch out their hamstrings and train their muscles to take some of the strain off the spine.
Bridge exercises and other forms of strength training
Strengthening the muscles that support your spine is an essential part of keeping your spine healthy, but that doesn’t mean you need to start pumping iron every day. Simple body weight exercises can do the trick.
One way to train your core muscles is by performing a bridging exercise. You lie on your back, with feet on the floor and knees bent. Starting at your hips, raise your spine up off the floor slowly as far as you can go comfortably. You should aim to form a straight line from your knees down through your shoulders. Maintain this position for a few seconds, and then lower your hips to the floor.
Aerobic conditioning might seem daunting when you have a disc protrusion diagnosis, but you don’t have to turn to high-impact activities like running to get your heart pumping.
Water exercises are often very useful for people who have a damaged spinal disc because they benefit from the aerobic nature of swimming as well as potentially strengthening their muscles due to water resistance. Some common exercises include:
- Walking slowly through the shallow end of the pool while engaging the core muscles supporting your spine
- Performing leg lifts in the shallow end of the pool, moving slowly and holding onto the side of the pool for safety
- Treading water by keeping yourself afloat vertically in the pool, which strengthens your core and temporarily stretches your spine, potentially providing relief from disc protrusion symptoms
If you’ve been diagnosed with a disc protrusion and are still experiencing severe symptoms despite trying exercise and other conservative treatment methods, surgery may be right for you. Laser Spine Institute performs minimally invasive, outpatient surgery that offers several advantages versus traditional open spine surgery. ^ Contact us today to learn more about our procedures.