How can a patient do physical therapy for a herniated disc if it hurts too much to exercise?

What if you have a herniated disc and find that the physical therapy exercises are impossible to do because you can’t get into the position without a lot of pain?

Should you just grin and bear it? Or does the pain mean that the exercise is actually making things worse for the disc?

For this article I consulted with spinal and orthopedic surgeon Kenneth K. Hansraj, MD, who specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery, laminectomies and spinal fusions, and is author of book, “Keys to an Amazing Life: Secrets of the Cervical Spine,” out in January 2013.

Dr. Hansraj explains, “Physical therapy is employed to diminish pain and suffering. Unfortunately especially in the phases of pain, just touching the involved spinal area may lead to further pain and tenderness. I encourage my clients to stay with the therapy at this point, since the therapy will lead to diminished inflammation and restoration of function along with further tolerance of therapy.”