Five stretches for a prolapsed disc

Most symptoms that are associated with a prolapsed disc are actually caused by a pinched nerve. A prolapsed disc may cause some localized pain in the spine, but if the disc puts pressure on surrounding nerve roots or the spinal cord, it can cause pain, radiating pain, numbness, tingling and muscle weakness. Exercise and stretching can help to manage painful symptoms caused by a prolapsed disc.

Five stretches for a prolapsed disc

  1. Press-ups. Press-ups can help to improve the extension of the spine and decrease pressure on the nerves. Lie flat on your stomach with your arms in a push-up position and press your chest up from the floor. Keep your hips and pelvis on the floor while your spine is extended up and away from the floor. Pause at the top and then return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times per session, and up to three times per day.
  2. Bridging. Improving the strength of the lower back and abdominal muscles that support the spine can help to relieve prolapsed disc symptoms. Lie on your back with your knees bent, hip-width apart. Place your feet flat on the floor. Lift your buttocks off the floor until you have a flat line from the shoulders to the knees. Hold this position for 10 seconds before you slowly lower back to the floor. Repeat this exercise 10 times.
  3. Shoulder blade stretch. Sit in a chair that does not have arms. Keep your back straight, your chin tucked in and your arms relaxed at your sides. Slowly pull your shoulder blades together and feel the pull. Hold for five seconds before releasing. Repeat five times per session, and up to two times per day.
  4. Twisting stretch. Keeping your lower back flexible can help to prevent new injuries and re-injury of the spine. Lie on your back with your knees bent and pressed together. Slowly drop your knees to your right side for 10 seconds. Return to center and then slowly drop your knees to your left side for 10 seconds. Repeat this up to three times per day.
  5. Knee-to-chest stretch. This stretch helps to strengthen abdominal muscles and muscles that support the spine. Lie on your back with your knees bent. Raise one knee toward your chest as far as you can go without straining. Grip your knee and hold for five seconds. Lower your leg and repeat with the opposite knee and then repeat two or three times per side.

Before starting any new exercise routine, check with your physician or physical therapist. Listen to your body and avoid any positions or stretches that cause pain or discomfort. In addition to stretching, low-impact aerobic activity such as swimming, walking, the elliptical trainer or a stationary bike can help with prolapsed disc symptoms.

For most people, conservative treatment options such as stretching and exercise will help to control the symptoms of a prolapsed disc. If after a few months, symptoms are still interfering with your life, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn more about prolapsed disc treatment and our minimally invasive procedures. Our procedures have helped more than 75,000 people find relief from neck and back pain.