Free Exercises for Herniated Disc Pain Relief
Do you have pain from a herniated disc? If so, unfortunately you're not alone. It's estimated that 1 in 8 Americans between 30-50 years of age will be treated for a herniated disc.
The New York Times (Health Guide) recently reported that one-third of adults over age 20 show signs of herniated disks (although only 3% of these disks cause symptoms).
Surprised? I'm not! It's well documented that herniated discs most commonly occur due to:
- normal wear and tear associated with aging
- injury to the spine (fall, accident)
In fact, most people with disc herniations don't exhibit any symptoms!
That's why it's such a surprise when pain strikes. Usually, someone who's had a herniation has had one for quite some time, and when the pain hit, they are doing normal everyday tasks like bending down to tie their shoes. When herniation pain occurs, symtpoms include:
- sciatic nerve pain
- numbness or weakenss in the buttocks and down the leg
- low back pain, and or spasm
- stiffness, immobility
Only medical doctors can actually diagnose a herniated discs. This is done through a physical exam, mobility/stretching tests and/or an MRI.
Typical treatment options focus soley on pain management. WebMD states that symptoms of herniated discs will get better in a few weeks or months.
Recovery options are:
- Rest with severe pain
- Stay active. Staying in bed for more than 1 or 2 days can weaken your muscles and make the problem worse.
- Heating pad or warm shower
- Ice pack for 10 to 15 minutes every 2 to 3 hours.
- Do exercises suggested by doctor or physical therapist
- Medicine to treat symptoms of pain and swelling
I love what my colleage at Upright Health (Matt Hsu, San Diego, CA) wrote:
"Discs do not bulge without a reason. Nerves do not get irritated without a reason. Pain does not surface without a reason. No matter what kind of pain you have, it's important to recognize that the pain is not CONSTANT (or if it is constant these days, then recognize that it wasn't always constant) because it means the reason for your pain is subject to the changing positioning of your body."
The main goal of postural therapy is to help you re-establish your "blue-print" design and function. By re-establishing proper posture, the pelvis and spine are able to move back towards their corect position and degree of curvature. This releases tension and pressure on the spine.
By removing the imbalances withn the body due to deviations front-to-back, side-to-side and most importantly, torque as a result of those two, the body can return to it's proper joint alignment.
The body is given the opportunity to do what it is designed to do. Heal itself! Pain from conditions such as hernicated discs, and if caught in time can effectively heal.
When you identify and address and eliminate the root cause of the muscular imbalances within the body with postural therapy, it's an easy transition back to regualr exercise.
You'll strengthen the spine through good alignment and posture, lessening the chances of disc damage. Observing good posture and a healthy weight can also help, as they put less pressure on the spine, increasing the possibility of sustaining an injury.
We've put together a sample of FREE Herniated Disc Pain Relief Exercises you can download and try on your own at home.
Be sure to ask questions, or share your experience doing these exercises by posting in the comment box below. We want to hear from you!
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Deb Preachuk is a Pain Relief, Posture Restoration and Athletic Performance Enhancement pro.
Founder of Pain Free Posture MN and a fitness, health and wellness coach, Deb helps real people transform real-world chronic pain challenges. Deb infuses her teaching with an honest, open and down-to-earth mix of Eastern and Western training techniques to make the concepts of pain relief and body/mind transformation accessible and achievable!