If you have been diagnosed with a bulging disc, a combination of conservative treatment options can help to relieve painful symptoms. Yoga can play an important part of conservative treatment of a bulging disc as yoga can help to strengthen the muscles that support the spine, improve your range of motion and stabilize your core.

What is yoga?

Yoga is a group of physical, mental and spiritual practices that originated in ancient India. Yoga is a low-impact activity that provides the same benefits of any well-designed exercise program. The goal of yoga is to harmonize the body with the mind and the breath through breathing techniques, yoga postures and meditation. The benefits of yoga can include:

  • Improved overall well-being
  • Reduced stress
  • Increased stamina
  • Increased muscle strength
  • Increased flexibility
  • Improved posture

What yoga positions might help my bulging disc?

There are several yoga positions that can provide relief from the symptoms of a bulging disc:

  • Child’s pose. Child’s pose can help to correct the alignment of the spine. Sit on your knees and bend your legs so your thighs touch your calves. Bend forward with your stomach on top of your thighs. Place your arms above your head on the floor while resting your forehead on the ground. Hold the position for several seconds while taking deep breaths.
  • Bridge pose. The bridge pose can help to relieve pressure from the upper portion of the spine and align the lower spine. Lie on your back, bend your knees, and place the soles of your feet flat on the floor. Once you are comfortable in this position, lift your hips up in the air while leaving your head, neck, shoulders and feet on the ground.
  • Cobra pose. This position can help to relieve pressure and stress in the lower back. Lie flat on your stomach with hands on either sides of your chest. Slowly lift your upper body. Your thighs, knees, shins, ankles and the tops of your feet remain on the ground. Cobra pose can help your bulging disc by lifting the shoulders off of the ground and helping the lower spine shift into the proper curved alignment.

Always practice yoga with a reputable and certified professional. Before you engage in any new exercise program or yoga classes, make sure your physician or physical therapist has recommended or approved the activity. As with any exercise or physical therapy, listen to your body and use the positions that work best for you without causing pain. A good indicator of pain is your breath. If you are holding your breath, you may be experiencing pain and discomfort and you should stop the position you are performing or modify it.

If yoga combined with other conservative treatments is unable to control your bulging disc symptoms after a few months, talk to your doctor about more aggressive treatment options such as steroid injections or bulging disc surgery.