A bulging disc can cause several painful symptoms such as muscle spasms, numbness, tingling, pins-and-needles sensation, muscle weakness, localized pain and radiating pain. For most people the pain associated with a bulging disc can be managed with a combination of conservative treatment options such as rest, heat and ice therapy, exercise and stretching, pain medication and physical therapy.
Stretching exercises as bulging disc treatment
Consult with your physician before starting any exercise program. A physical therapist can be a great resource to teach you targeted stretches and exercises that will help your bulging disc heal and to relieve pain. There are several stretching exercises that you can perform at home or at the gym to help with bulging disc treatment and to relieve pain. A few stretches that can be beneficial include:
- Press-ups. Extending the spine and decreasing pressure on the pinched nerve are the benefits that press-ups offer. Lie on your stomach with your arms in a push-up position. Press your chest up off the floor. Keep your pelvis and hips in contact with the floor. Pause at the top of the extension before returning to the starting position. Repeat 10 times and up to three times per day.
- Knee to chest stretch. This stretch helps to strengthen abdominal muscles and muscles that support the back. Lie on your back with your knees bent. Raise one knee to the chest as far as you can go comfortably. Grip your knee with your hand and hold for five seconds. Repeat with the other leg. Perform this stretch two to three times per day on both knees.
- Bridging helps to strengthen the back and neck. Start off lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Raise your hips off the floor, hold the position for five second, relax and return to the starting position. Repeat five to 20 times based on your ability.
- Twisting stretch. The twisting stretch helps to maintain lower back flexibility while strengthening the spine to avoid further injury. Start off lying on your back with your knees bent and pressed together. Slowly allow your knees to drop to the right for 10 seconds. Repeat on the right side for 10 seconds. This stretch can be performed three times per day.
In addition to stretching exercises, walking, the elliptical machine and the stationary bike are all good forms of exercise that can help improve your health and your bulging disc symptoms. These activities are low-impact and help to keep the body mobile and flexible. Yoga and Pilates classes can also be beneficial treatment for a bulging disc. Both are low-impact and do not add unnecessary stress or shock on the body. Yoga and Pilates participants are instructed to listen to their own body and adjust positions accordingly.
If conservative bulging disc treatments are unsuccessful at managing symptoms after a few months, consult with your physician about bulging disc surgery.