Updated: Jan 7
One common low back injury that affects many different people every day is spinal disc herniations. Everyone has heard of herniated discs; however few people truly know what they are and what the rehab process entails. In between each bone of the spine, there are fibrous, fluid filled discs which acts as a cushionand allows for more movement from the spine. When a disc is injured, usually due to bending forward and attempting to lift something heavy, the fibrous outer shell can be damaged, and the center gel-like fluid portion will push out of the damaged region and cause pressure to nearby nerves. Many times, this damaged fibrous shell can take a long time to heal and can be continually injured during that time if not addressed appropriately.
Some great exercises to help with back symptoms from herniated disc issues will include the hips and the back. People with herniated discs typically respond well to lumbar extension,meaning bending of the spine backwards will help alleviate theirpain. Many exercises will take this movement preference into account because while bending backwards the spinal discs reduce in pressure, allowing the gel-like fluid to get pulled back into the disc. The big exercises that every herniated disc patient should try at home to help with their back pain include: Prone Press Up, Hamstring Stretch, Body Bridging, and Transverse Abdominus Activation.
Prone Press Up:
Lay down on your stomach on a firm, flat surface. Bring your hands up next to your shoulder (like you are about to attempt a push up). Push down with your arms, this will extend your upper body away from the ground and into the air. While keeping your hips on the ground find a height of the press up that is high but without any back pain. Hold this position for 5 seconds before gently lowering yourself to the ground again. Now complete over and over for a total of 20 repetitions.
Sit on the front edge of a sturdy chair. Straighten one of your legs out in front of you. Keeping your leg straight, start leaning forward at your hips and upper body. You should feel this stretch on the back of your upper leg. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and Repeat this 4 times for Each Leg.
Lay down on your back on a firm, flat surface and slide your feet halfway toward your glutes so your knees are bent in the air above you. Push down through your feet and pick your lower back and glutes off the ground. Make sure to tighten up your core when lifting upwards. Hold this bridge position for 10 seconds and Repeat this exercise 10 times.
Transverse Abdominus Activation:
Lay down on your back on a firm, flat surface. Gently push your lower back toward the floor, while pulling your belly button toward your back. You should feel your stomach muscles tightening up if you are completing this exercise correctly. Holdfor 10 seconds and Repeat 10 times.
About the author: - This article is written by Thomas Fraind, founder of Transform Rehabilitation - top rated physical therapy clinic in Allentown, PA.