You may think you have to take a break from all your favorite activities, but some may actually add positively to your treatment. Certain yoga moves can supplement your slipped disc treatment, but should be done with care and with the guidance of your back doctor.
“Once your doctor has cleared you for physical activity, you can use modifications in yoga class and in your workouts to help alleviate—or at least not worsen—any lingering discomfort associated with your injury,” said Breaking Muscle. “In most cases, though, athletes can return to working out and practicing yoga,” even with a bulging or slipped disc.
Best slipped disc treatment
If you’re suffering from pain related to slipped or bulging discs, there are a number of treatments your doctor will probably recommend, starting with anti-inflammatories, physical therapy, chiropractic care, and epidural steroid injections.
If your pain hasn’t subsided after six to 12 weeks, or if you have pain that’s radiating down your leg or any numbness, you may have sciatica. That could require more intensive treatment, like minimally invasive surgery to take care of your slipped disc. “Refractory cases may require small 3 to 15 mm incisions with sutureless outpatient surgery to shave the bulging or slipped disc and create more room for the spinal nerves,” said Dr. Mark C. Valente, Board certified and fellowship trained orthopedic spine surgeon and Founder and Medical Director of DISC Spine Institute.
Adding (or continuing) yoga
Whether you’re brand new to yoga and are looking at the discipline to supplement your slipped disc treatments, or are an old pro, you’ll want to make sure you take it easy and pay close attention to the recommended poses. If you’re experienced at yoga, you may need to make modifications to some of the poses, and be sure to let your instructor know about your injury beforehand so they can provide the proper support and suggest other poses that may be better.
Those modifications can include:
- Keeping your knees bent with your hands placed on your thighs and your chest lifted during the forward fold, “assuring the low back is long and not bent forward,” said Breaking Muscle. Although, some yogis recommend staying away from this pose altogether if you have a disc issue.
- “Forward bends are popular in most yoga classes, but these are the poses you want to avoid when recovering from a herniated disc,” said Livestrong. “The rounding of the spine tilts the vertebrae in toward one another. If you have a herniated disk, two vertebrae surrounding the herniated disk might pinch nerves and create greater pain. Forward bends can also worsen your condition and prolong recovery time.
- Bending with care during the triangle pose, using leg muscles and core “in order to boost yourself out of the low back” and using a block under your hand to ensure you can “keep your chest elevated away from your waist.”
- “To get into the camel pose, kneel on the floor and then keep both hands on your hips.
- The top part of your feet should be on the mat. Now, lengthen your spine.
- Slowly bend backwards while placing both hands on your heels.
- Stretch out your neck and bend the head backwards.
- Next, slide both hands to the soles.
- Stay in this posture for a few seconds.
This pose helps stimulate blood circulation and enhances flexibility.
- At first, lie on the floor on your belly. Use a soft padding if required.
- Your arms should be stretched along the body. Rest your forehead and face on the floor.
- As you breathe in, lift your chest, head, legs and arms off the ground.
- Ensure your legs are straight and arms remain flat on the sides.
- Next, spread your toes and fingers. Focus on inhaling.
- Stay in this pose for a few seconds.
This back bend exercise strengthens your shoulders, arms and stretches muscles in the front section of the torso.
- Lie on the floor with both palms flat and kept beneath your shoulders.
- The feet tops need to be flat on the floor.
- Then engage your abs by drawing the belly button inwards and tilting your pelvis section.
- Now, press your palms and spread the fingers.
- Bring your shoulders backwards.
- Then push your body’s upper part off the surface and keep your arms straightened.
- Your feet, hips and legs need to be planted firmly on the floor.
- Tilt your chin upwards and lift the chest.
- Remain in this pose for a few seconds.”
When you need to see a doctor
When suffering from a slipped disc or any type of back pain, it’s important to see a doctor for your back pain to make sure it’s not serious, that it doesn’t worsen and become serious, and to get the proper treatment. Contact DISC Spine Institute, experts in minimally invasive treatments, the most effective medical procedures to treat and eliminate back pain. Minimally invasive procedures mean treating back pain and options for slipped disc treatments is easier than ever, with outpatient procedures and easier surgical treatments with small incisions and a quicker recovery time instead of a long hospital stay.