Spinal disc herniation, also know slipped disc, herniated disc, or bulging disc, is one of the most painful experiences. This injury usually occurs in early or middle-aged adults. Putting too much pressure on the spine is the most prevalent cause for this condition. A very big problem is that most people who suffer from slipped disc have no idea of its occurrence. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Arm or leg pain
- Numbness or tingling sensations in the body due to affected nerves
- Severe pain down the buttock into your thigh
- Pain that gets worse when you stand, and decreases when you lie down
The spine consists of bony vertebrae which are separated by jelly-like discs that hold the vertebrae in place. Spinal disc herniation occurs when a disc ruptures, which causes the disc to leak and irritate nearby nerves. This kind of injury usually happens during lifting, bending, pulling, or twisting motions and can lead to severe pain and weakness.
We strongly recommend you to perform the following exercises in order to get rid of some of the pain that is caused by a slipped disc.
Herniated Disc Exercises for the Neck
1. Neck Extension
Lie down on your back on a bed. Put the bottom of your neck up on the edge of the bed, and then slowly lower your head backwards and let it hang. Stay in this position for one minute, and then take a break for a minute. Repeat the exercise 10 to 15 times.
2. Neck Retraction (Chin Tuck)
This is probably the easiest exercise for a slipped disc. Lie down on your back on a bed with your hands at your sides, and then tuck your chin towards your chest. Stay in this for ten seconds. It is recommended to repeat the exercise 15 to 20 times.
3. Shoulder Retraction
Stand with your back to a wall and the arms by your sides. Bend your elbows at 90-degrees and bring shoulders down and back so that the back of your arms push towards the wall (the shoulder blades should squeeze together).
4. Isometric Hold
Sit up straight, relax your shoulders and put a hand on your forehead. Then, press your head with a hand without moving head. Stay in this position for 10 to 15 seconds. Repeat the exercise 15 times.
5. Lateral Bend
Sit up straight with your shoulders relaxed, and slowly tilt your head towards one side like you want to touch your ear to your shoulder. Stay in this position for 30 seconds, then take a rest for 30 seconds. You should repeat the exercise 5 times during the day.
6. Scalene Stretch
Sit tall, relax your shoulders, and put one hand on the back of the head. Then slowly tilt your head to look at your armpit at 45-degrees. Stay in this position for 30 seconds, and then take a rest for 30 seconds. Repeat the exercise 5 times during the day
7. Neck Rotation
Sit up straight, relax your shoulders, and turn the head to one side (be careful not to over-extend and turn your head behind you). Stay in this position for 30 seconds and then slowly turn your head to the other side (hold the position again for thirty seconds). Repeat this exercise 5 times during the day.
Herniated Disc Exercises for the Back
1. Lie Face Down
When you wake up in the morning, lie face down on the bed with your head tucked in. This simple exercise will help increase the curve in your lower spine and reduce pain.
2. Sphinx Pose in Yoga
Lie in the prone position and push yourself up with the help of your elbows. Hold the position for 2 seconds and repeat the exercise eight times. It is recommended to perform this few times a day.
3. Yoga Cobras
Lie in the prone position, with your hands underneath the shoulders, and spread the legs wide apart. Then move up until your elbows are straight. Hold the position for 2 seconds and repeat the exercise 8 times. You should also repeat this exercise every few times during the day.
4. Standing Extension
Stand up straight and put your hands on the hips with the fingers facing down. Then push your hands in so that your back arches. Do not use your lower back to do this. Stay in this position for 2 seconds and repeat the exercise 8 times. Repeat the exercise few times during the day.
5. The Cat-Cow
Kneel on all fours with your hands placed at shoulder width apart and your legs at hips width apart, and let your belly hang downward, curving the back. Exhale and arch the back as much as you can and bend your neck downwards.
6. Curl Ups
Lie down on your back with one leg placed straight and the other bent with foot flat on the floor. Put one arm under the arch of the back for support (the other arm supports the head). Raise your shoulders off the ground and lower back down. Repeat the exercise ten times.
Stand in front of a chair like you are about to sit on it. Stand with your knees a little bit more than hips width apart, and lower your buttocks until you touch the chair. Repeat the exercise ten times in three series. Once you have built strength, remove the chair and go down till your legs are at 90-degrees. This is probably the most challenging exercise for a slipped disc.
8. Bird Dog
Kneel on all fours with legs hip width apart engage your core. Then lift one arm and the opposite leg, so that they are parallel with your back. Repeat the exercise ten times in three series.
Seeking Medical Help
In some cases, just performing these exercises alone is not enough and you may also need medical attention in order to reduce the pain. You need to make sure that your physician and chiropractor cooperate together so that everyone knows what is going on with your treatment for the whole time. In this way, you get the best possible treatment without experiencing any further pain or damage.
Most herniated disc pain can be treated successfully without surgery. Surgery is an option only for the very severe cases. Most of the surgeries are minimally invasive and have a very high success rates. The only downside is that the recovery time lasts very long.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Always consult with your doctor before starting any kind of treatment for your herniated disc.