A slipped disc, also known as a herniated, bulged, or ruptured disc, causes excruciating pain. The human spine is built to withstand a lot of bending and flexing, but it could eventually cause problems. Shock-absorbing discs surround each bone in the spine, and any issues concerning these discs are the reason for the pain. Knowing ways to handle pain is essential in cases of slipped discs. So, this blog focuses on pain relief exercises and treatment for people with slipped discs.
What is a slipped disc?
A herniated or slipped disc is a condition where the nucleus, the soft interior of the disc, bulges through the fibrous outer layer. It can cause neck, buttocks, hips, legs, or back pain. While some slipped discs may not result in discomfort, most do. Additionally, one can feel tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness, making regular tasks more challenging.
The affected person should avoid overexertion to aid in healing the spinal disc. But while bed rest was formerly a standard recommendation, doctors no longer recommend it. Instead, they suggest gentle exercises to help the spine repair and get back to normal.
When to see a doctor?
If one has a tingling sensation, numbness, weakness in the back, and severe pain, consult the healthcare provider for an expert recommendation of treatments. It is advisable to refrain from self-treatment.
What are the treatment options and exercises for a slipped disc?
Several methods may be used to treat a herniated disc. Before considering surgery, most doctors advise pain medication, rest, physical therapy, and other conservative treatments. Surgery is only necessary if traditional medicine fails to alleviate the symptoms after six weeks of treatment.
Long periods of lying down or sitting are harmful to one’s body and are detrimental to recovery from a slipped disc. It can exacerbate the ailment or lengthen the time it takes to heal. While maintaining or enhancing general health, exercise can aid in the healing of the backbone.
Before beginning any activity at home, always ask a doctor to conduct a physical examination.
One shouldn’t begin working out too soon after suffering from a slipped disc because it can be painful. Before starting any new activity, start slowly and gauge how the body responds to each exercise. While doing gentle exercises, it’s natural to experience some pain; however, if the pain worsens or starts in a new location, stop immediately and rest. One may feel better and may resume regular activities.
The following are some exercises a patient with a slipped disc can try.
Knee Stretches To The Chest
This workout can stretch the back and side muscles of the patient’s body.
- Step 1: Lie on a flat, firm surface.
- Step 2: Gently bring one knee to the chest until a tiny stretch is felt in the back. Hold the leg with both hands. Count to five.
- Step 3: Release the knee, relax, and switch to the other knee
- Step 4: Repeat the exercise five to ten times on each side
Stretching While Sitting On A Chair
The exercise supports the core and back. The lower spine may experience less tension as a result of hamstring stretching.
- Step 1: Sit upright on a chair and extend one leg, placing the heel on the floor.
- Step 2: Lean over the extended thigh while keeping the back straight.
- Step 3: Stay in that position for five seconds and slowly release back to an upright position.
- Step 4: Repeat the same on the other leg
- Step 5: Repeat the exercise five times on each side.
Deep Knee Lunges
To stretch the hamstrings and hip. It also eases neck or lower back pain
- Step 1: Gently kneel on one knee, extending the other leg in front, with the foot flat on the ground.
- Step 2: Place hands on the extended knee for better support.
- Step 3: Raise the bent knee off the ground, and hold it there for five seconds
- Step 4: Place the raised knee back on the floor.
- Step 5: Change legs and do the same with the other leg.
- Step 6: Repeat five to ten times on each side.
Stretching the neck muscles can help ease pressure and pain if the herniated disc is in the neck region of the spine.
- Step 1: Sit upright on a chair and bring the head towards the chest until one feels pressure in the back of the neck.
- Step 2: Hold that position for five seconds and raise the head back.
- Step 3: Lower the left ear toward the left shoulder and hold that position for five seconds.
- Step 4: Return to a straight position and repeat the same to the right side. Take a five-second hold.
- Step 5: Repeat the exercise 5–10 times, twice or three times daily.
Exercises To Avoid
- While a herniated disc is healing, staying away from high-impact exercises is always advised.
- Running, leaping, weightlifting, or any other activity that includes quick, abrupt movements, can significantly worsen the discomfort and delay the healing process. Even lifetime issues can result from it.
- It’s crucial not to adopt any strenuous tasks and maintain a pain-free neck position. One can still take part in regular activities.
- The healing process is aided by gentle exercise since it promotes the spine to receive more blood circulation, which reduces stress and preserves strength.
Since recovering from a slipped disc takes time, one should perform each stretching exercise carefully to prevent setbacks. Moving too rapidly can lead to more pain. Additionally, one must be careful not to lift anything unless one is confident of their capacity to support that weight. When someone initially develops a slipped disc, even carrying groceries may be too much. So always consult a healthcare provider and practice safe and light exercises to recover better.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the recovery time for slipped disc patients?
Recovery from a slipped disc requires time. Some patients recover in a few weeks, while others need a few months to get over their pain and stiffness.
Are there risk factors for a slipped disc?
Weight, occupation, smoking, sedentary, or genetics are some common risk factors for slipped disc.