Slipped Disc Treatment Through Exercise and Stretches:
The Exercise routine you see in the video above is a selection based on what we see in practice and fundamental anatomical fact. The reality is that most disc problems are “compressive” in nature meaning the disc is “squashed”. Through research, it has been proven that a few key common sense phenomenon occur in lower backs. These are associated with slipped discs, herniated discs and the symptoms you get from them.
- Reduced Lumbar Curve
- Posterior Pelvic Tilt
- Dominant & Shortened Hamstrings
1 & 2 are the main causative factors, and number 3 is normally a consequence. Nevertheless, using the routine outlined above, you can combat all three!
When Is The Right Time To Do These Self-help Exercises?
One of the big problems with a herniated disc in the lower back is the fact that it is caused by (predominantly) compression. No-one can argue otherwise. In the early stages of suffering from “herniated disc symptoms” or “slipped disc symptoms” exercises, in our opinion, are exactly the wrong thing to do! Think about it. exercises will cause compression of the spine as the muscles contract which does what to the disc… More downward force? Gentle Stretches can well be helpful but the most important thing to do is help the lower back discs heal.
Typically our favorite (safest & most effective) approach is to use our treatment to help the lower back heal faster and repair the damaged tissue as soon as possible. Decompression is also a treatment that can work very well. It helps pump the disc, but there are certain disc conditions for which decompression is not appropriate. All in all the two therapies, Laser treatment, & decompression, work extremely well together as a comprehensive slipped disc treatment. This is, however, more about the exercise & rehab for someone who has had a slipped disc they are recovering from.
Note: see also our page on slipped discs and core exercises for a few extra principles for slipped disc treatment here.
So what’s so special about these exercises as a slipped disc treatment?
Well, let us break it down. Firstly activating the lumbar muscles known collectively as the lumbar Erector Spinae group helps stabilize the lumbar spine. Think of your lower back (and it’s normal lordosis) much like the wooden part of a bow. The muscles make up the string and help support a normal curve. Spending most of your day sitting down or slouching causes the back to flatten. This leads to the muscles becoming elongated and weakened. Re-strengthening and activating these muscles is, therefore, an essential step in lower back rehab.
Note: this is contradictory to the usual “knee hugs” you will be prescribed in your list of “stock NHS exercises”.
The next part is using the foam roller to stretch out the lower back in the correct direction – “Extension“. This is a particularly good practice if you aren’t suffering from herniated disc symptoms & are working to protect your back. Doing this stretch for a couple of minutes at the end of a workout is really helpful. It takes the pressure off your discs and opens up the lumbar spine nicely.
Hamstrings & the L5/S1 disc:
Becuase of a number of anatomical facts that we don’t really need to delve into here, the L5 disc is normally one which is affected by disc herniation. The spinal nerves that come out of this segment go down the leg. These nerves also supply the hamstrings which is why they often become “tight”. A tightness which maintains a reduced lumbar curve and therefore maintains your slipped disc symptoms! Commonly people stretch the hamstrings in a way that causes their back to bend forward (BAD). Stretching the hamstrings gently like in the video in a very relaxed position works wonderfully.
How to stretch properly:
If you are someone who only ever holds your stretches for 10-20 seconds, things need to change. With the hamstring stretch in this video, our advice to you is to hold the stretch until you feel the muscles relax. The “stretching sensation” should ease signaling a change in the muscle. Go back and listen to the last part of the video if you have any doubts here.
Slipped Disc Treatment in Clinic
If you are suffering from sciatica or other symptoms a slipped disc can cause such as recurrent back pain clinic based treatment can really help. Fortunately, disc injuries are normally simple to diagnose and with the targeted treatment we have at The Mayfair Clinic, we can focus treatment directly onto the injured disc and its surrounding ligaments and muscles. Our Osteopaths use non-invasive, non-surgical Class IV Lasers which are extremely good at speeding up healing in the human body.
Unfortunately, because Lasers are used in such a wide variety of ways, your GP or other specialists will often think of Surgical Lasers which are very different. It is an honest mistake but one which we see quite often.
If you have any questions or concerns contact our friendly team to find out if your condition will qualify. Chances are if you have a slipped disc, we will be able to offer you a treatment which gives patients great results. With the added benefit of being much safer than other manual treatments like manipulation, or injections or even decompression.