Exercises and Stretches for a Herniated Disc
A herniated disc is a common occurrence in Houston and is one of the main causes of back and neck pain. You should visit a pain specialist if you suffer from a herniated disc in Houston.
There are three main treatments for a herniated disc including epidural steroid injections, medications, and physical therapy. Physical therapy has the lowest risk factor and can help you avoid surgery, which is the option of last resort.
If you suffer from a herniated disc, you should avoid engaging in vigorous exercise until you get better. Gentler activities in which you can participate include swimming, yoga, and cycling.
However, through physical therapy, there are exercises and stretches that can help you recover from a herniated disc including:
1. Neck Stretches
The back and neck are the two main areas affected by a herniated disc. Neck stretches will help you relieve the pain and pressure the herniated disc causes to the neck.
A neck stretch is very simple to do and you can do it sitting on the ground or on a chair. Tilt your head towards the right trying to make your right ear touch your right shoulder.
You should feel a stretch on the left side of your neck. If that is not enough, you can place your right hand on your head and pull gently.
Repeat the stretch on the other side. You can then repeat the pattern to the sides and the front until you feel some pain relief.
2. Hamstring Exercises
If the herniated disc is mostly affecting your lower back, stretching your hamstring can significantly help relieve pain. Moreover, strengthening your hamstring muscles will substantially help with core and back support.
A great exercise is the seated hamstring stretch. You sit on a chair with one foot on the floor and the other one extended.
Straighten your back and lean over the extended leg until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. Hold for thirty seconds and then change legs. Repeat several times till you feel comfortable.
The other exercise is the lying towel hamstring stretch. Lie on the floor and raise one leg while you extend the other. Use a towel to wrap around the foot in the air and hold both ends in your arms.
Pull the towel towards your body and hold for thirty seconds. Change legs and repeat the process until you feel a good stretch in the hamstrings.
3. Back Stretches
Finally, you will definitely encounter some back stretching in physical therapy. The back has large muscles that a herniated disc usually affects, causing chronic pain.
A great backstretch is a knee to chest stretch. You lie flat on the floor or on your couch and extend one leg while you pull the other knee towards the chest and hold for thirty seconds. You then switch legs and repeat the stretch several times.
The back-flexion stretch is also very helpful in this regard. It involves lying on the floor on your back and pulling both knees towards your chest. Move your head towards your knees and hold for thirty seconds. Release and repeat several times.
The above exercise should provide adequate relief from the pain caused by a herniated disc to your neck and back.