Even though exercises may seem counterproductive to treat your bulging disc, they can be an important part of your recovery. If you remain inactive for more than a few days, you may be worsening the situation, as your back muscle will start to weaken from lack of activity.
The easiest way for someone to combat back problems is through regular exercise. By building and improving the coordination of the lumbar (lower) region and your abdominal muscles you can consider this to be part of a long term health investment by helping to reduce the risks of future back injuries.
There are many exercises for bulging discs that can help your condition without the need for surgery. The proper exercises for bulging discs will vary depending on the location, severity and causes of your condition, but there are some common practices we describe here. Before starting any exercise program, make sure you consult with a health care professional to avoid worsening your bulging disc.
Simple stretching exercises such as a pelvic tilt, knee-to-chest stretch, bridge, etc. can strengthen the muscles in the back and decrease the pain. To decrease the pain you may feel while doing these exercises, breathing techniques are important to control the level of intensity. Yoga combines stretching and breathing techniques for a very beneficial exercise program.
You also may benefit from using an exercise ball. An exercise ball strengthens and develops the core body muscles that help to stabilize the spine because of the element of instability that you do not get with a simple floor exercise. The muscles used to keep your balance eventually become stronger.
Goals of physical therapy for bulging disc
If regular exercises fail to provide enough relief for your bulging disc, you may be sent to see a physical therapist. Normally your first few sessions will be spent educating you on the ways to relieve your pain while staying active.
The goal of therapy in most situations is to help control your symptoms by improving mobility and core strength to take pressure off the bulging disc. Typically, therapy sessions will be scheduled two or three times a week for up to six weeks.
A physical therapist can help you:
- learn ways to manage your condition and control symptoms
- maintain appropriate activity levels
- learn correct posture and body movements to reduce back strain
- maximize your flexibility and strength
Successful long-term results through exercise are very likely if the bulging disc is detected early. If your bulging disc symptoms are already severe, you may then consider surgery, which could include traditional and minimally invasive options.
To learn more about what exercises for bulging discs could be appropriate for you, consult with your physician.