Herniated Disc Treatment Ch2
The Best Exercise for a Herniated Disc

Herniated Disc Exercises

Safe and conservative herniated disc treatments
can reduce your herniated disc and strengthen your core.

The best exercises for your herniated disc will depend on which disc is causing the problem and what type of symptoms you are having. Evaluation by a physical therapist can help you determine the best exercises for your particular problem and set of symptoms. 






A Lumbar Disc

A herniated lumbar disc may cause low back pain that radiates into your buttock and down into your thigh or thighs.

These can often he successfully treated with lumbar hyperextension exercises. 

Lumbar Hyperextension Exercises

1. Begin by lying on the floor on your stomach. 

2. Raise your shoulders up and rest on your elbows. 

3. Slowly straighten your arms raising your shoulders. 

4. Keep your hips on the floor arching your low back. 

5. Pushing your lumbar spine into hyperextension.

6. Hold for a count of 10 and slowly lower back down. 

7. Perform sets of 5 repetitions 2 or 3 times per day. 

Reverses the Normal Pressures

Hyperextending your lumbar spine reverses the normal pressures on your lumbar discs and can pull the herniation back into the disc. 

If this is helping, after a few days you will begin to feel the pain gradually start to withdraw from your thigh and then from your buttock. Unfortunately, you may still have low back pain from the disc injury that will slowly heal over weeks or months. 

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Exercises to Strengthen Your Low Back and Improve Your Posture

Strengthen Your Core with
Ab Crunches and Hip Extensions

Ab Crunches are simple to do and easy to learn. They will strengthen the abdominal muscles and the other muscles of your core.

When these muscles are strong they stabilize your trunk and protect your lumbar spine. 

Do an Ab Crunch

Lie on the floor on your back with your knees bent.

With your arms out in front of you parallel to the floor, tuck your chin to your chest and lift your shoulders off of the floor. 

Hold for a count of 5.

Do 2 sets of 5. 

Hip Extensions will strengthen the muscles of your low back including the large erector spinae muscles that run along both sides of your spine.

Do some Hip Extensions

Lie on your stomach on the floor with your legs out straight. 

Raise one leg off of the floor and hold for a count of 5, and then repeat with the opposite side. 

Do 3 sets of 10.

The Simplest Herniated Disc Treatments are Always the Best

These exercises may not always relieve the symptoms of a herniated disc.  However, they are always worth trying before you consider more aggressive treatments.

When Conservative Treatments Fail

When limiting your activity, over the counter pain medications and exercises fail to provide some relief of your symptoms you may want to talk to your doctor about prescription medications that can be helpful. 

There are still some things that you can try before you need to start thinking about surgery or other more invasive herniated disc treatments.  

Surgery should always be your last resort when other therapies have failed.

Herniated Disc Treatment Index

Ch1 The Best Treatment for You 
will Depend on Your Symptoms

Ch3 Medications to Treat
Your Herniated Disc

Ch5 Medication Side Effects and Risks that must be Managed

Ch2 The Best Exercise
for a Herniated Disc

Ch4 Stronger Medications for
Your Herniated Disc

Ch6 Injection Therapies for a Herniated Disc

Ch7 Surgical Treatments for
Your Herniated Disc



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