Herniated disc can occur more commonly that you might think and it is usually misinterpreted as a plain back pain.
Herniated disk is actually what we standardly know as slipped disk and bulging disk- a condition that causes excruciating pain and mainly happens in adults. The reason for its appearance is usually because of long spine exposure to pressure.
In order to recognize this condition, here are the main symptoms to be wary of:
- Numbness and tingling sensation in the body
- Limbs pain (arms and legs)
- Pain that worsens while you are standing and reduces when you are lying down
- Piercing pain from the behind to the thigh
The spine consists of 33 bony vertebrae, all linked and operative thanks to the jelly-like disks in between.
When herniated disk happens, there is a rapture which releases the jelly liquid. The disk liquid attacks the nerves and causes tremendous pain. Circumstances and activities that may lead to slipped disk are bending, pulling, lifting, sudden turns and twists. To relieve the pain, there are a couple of methods you could try.
Herniated Disk: Neck Exercises
- Neck Extension
Lie back flat on a hard surface, like a bed or a table. Place head at the bed or table’s edge. Lower head slowly until it is completely dropped. Hold this position for one minute and then rest for one minute. Repeat exercise 5-15 times.
- Neck Retraction (Chin Tuck)
Lie back flat on the bed with your hands beside you. Begin moving your chin towards the chest, without moving the entire head. Remain in this position for 5 to 10 seconds. Repeat 15 to 20 times.
- Shoulder Retraction
Press your back against a wall, standing or sitting. Set arms beside you. Bend elbows at 90-degree-angle. Retract your shoulders until you start pushing the wall with the back of your arms. Finally, squeeze your shoulder blades together.
- Isometric Hold
Relax your shoulders and sit straight. Place one hand against your forehead and press it into your head. Try not to move your entire head. Remain in this posture for 5 -- 15 seconds. Repeat exercise 15 times.
- Lateral Bend
Relax your shoulders and sit straight. Tilt your head slowly to one side. Hold position for 30 seconds, and then switch sides. Repeat exercise 3 -5 times a day.
- Scalene Stretch
Relax your shoulders and sit straight. Place one hand on the back of your head. Start tilting your head slowly until your eyes turn to your underarm at a 45-degree-angle. Hold position for thirty seconds, and then relax. Repeat 3 -5 times a day.
- Neck rotation
Relax your shoulders and sit straight. Turn your head to one side, and do not extend your head entirely. Slowly turn head to the opposite side. Hold position for thirty seconds, and then switch. Repeat 3 -5 times a day.
Herniated Disc: Back Exercises
- Face Down
Upon waking up, turn on your stomach and tuck in hands beneath you. This way, you elongate the spine and reduce pain.
- Yoga Sphinx Pose
Lie flat on your stomach and support body on elbows. Hold position 1- 2 seconds. Repeat 6-8 times, every couple of hours.
- Yoga Cobras
Lie flat on your stomach, and place hands under your shoulders. Spread your legs wide. Straighten elbows by pressing against floor. Hold position 1-2 seconds, and repeat 6-8 times. Do this exercise every two hours.
- Standing Extension
Stand up straight and place hands on your hips. Point fingers downwards. Push hands in and arch your back at the same time. Do not force the lower back to do the exercise. Hold position for 1-2 seconds and repeat 6-8 times, every two hours.
- The Cat-Cow
Place hands on floor, parallel to your shoulders and your legs parallel to your hips. Arch back and let your belly hand freely. Breathe out and curve back as much as possible. At the same time, bend the neck downwards.
- Curl Ups
Turn on your back and extend one leg fully, while holding the other with foot on the ground and bent. Place one arm under the curve of your back and the other supporting your head. Raise shoulders off the ground, and lower your back down. Repeat 10 times.
Place a chair behind you, while standing up. Separate knees at your hips’ width. Lower your behind until your touch the chair. Perform 3 sets of ten. Remove chair and do exercise on your own until you do a 90-degree-angle. Although it may be the most challenging, this exercise is beyond effective.
- Bird Dog
Place both hands and feet on the floor. Tighten your core and separate legs well. Raise one leg and the opposite arm in a parallel line with your back. Perform 3 sets of 10.
When to consider a medical check-up?
If the exercises do not do the trick for you, and no effects are visible, you should consult your doctor for further treatment. Either your doctor or chiropractor will know which steps to take regarding your condition and how to help you relieve pain.
Surgery is the ultimate and most rigorous step of all. These kinds of surgeries are usually very long, but offer a huge success rate in patients suffering from slipped disk.
However, surgery is a large step and it should be done in the most serious cases. Do not forget to consult your doctor in order to determine the severity of your condition and decide whether surgery is needed.
Watch the video below to learn more about the exercises for herniated discs: