Here is what a pain specialist doctor recommends as best exercises for a herniated disc in the low back (lumbar region).
A herniated disc in the low back (lumbar spine) is very common, and also goes by the name of bulging disc.
The first line of treatment involves exercises. They are really quite simple; nothing complicated or difficult to do, no matter how “lazy” or “out of shape” you think you are.
What are the best exercises for treatment of a herniated disc in the low back?
For this article I consulted with Neil B. Kirschen, MD, chief of pain management, Department of Anesthesiology at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside, New York.
Dr. Kirschen names the following types of exercises: Pilates and walking.
If you use a treadmill do not hold on, as this will disrupt natural gait patterns. This is the last thing you need when you have a back problem.
What about yoga and stretching?
You do not need to be able to bend like a pretzel to do yoga. There are basic poses, and even the difficult poses have beginner’s variations.
Dr. Kirschen also says, “Lying on back with legs elevated on a stack of shelves, gradually lowering the legs on each shelf until flat on the ground.”
He really stresses stretching, however, as a major component in pain relief.
He also emphasizes “Including pelvic tilts [below] and basic calisthenics we used to practice in gym class — the more you do this movement, the better it will feel.
All in all, what is the most effective treatment for lower back disc herniation?
Dr. Kirschen also recommends the “application of moist or dry heat along the lumbar spine.”
Dr. Kirschen says that the “best treatments for acute and sub-acute pain from disc herniation are the epidural steroid injections and performance of acupuncture.”
Dr. Kirschen is board certified in anesthesiology, pain medicine, acupuncture and massage therapy, and has extensive postgraduate training in osteopathic and manual medicine.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.