A person can get a herniated disk through heavy lifting, a sudden pressure on the back, or repetitive strenuous activities.
Doing gentle exercises and stretches can help ease the pain and pressure of a herniated or slipped disk. These include gentle stretches such as lumbar rotations, piriformis , upper hamstring stretches and gluteal stretches.
Strengthening the back and hamstring muscles can also ease pressure on the spinal column to prevent pain and recurrence.
Always speak to a chartered physiotherapist before doing any exercises to make sure they will not damage the back or cause further pain. A physio can recommend the best exercises for each individual depending on which disk has herniated.
Exercises to avoid
People with a herniated disk should avoid doing strenuous activities during recovery.
People should avoid all exercises that cause pain or feel as though they are making the pain worse. Avoid hamstring exercises when experiencing sciatica.
People might wish to avoid high-impact activity, such as jogging or martial arts. These can jar the spine.
Starting small and building up to more intense exercise is the safest way to reduce symptoms. That said, starting exercises and stretches early can also help improve a person’s outcome.
A person should speak to a physio about the best exercise regimen for their specific needs.