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Bulging disc exercises, especially those that developed sciatica depends on the symptoms of the patient, particularly on which leg and foot positions reveals most of the symptoms. In this entry, we will talk about some of the most effect exercises for bulging disc to help anyone experiencing leg pain or sciatica from bulging disc manage or even get rid of pain. Note that, not all these exercises work in all conditions. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for bulging disc. Thus, it is recommended to consult your doctor and/or physical therapist to find out which exercises works best.
Basic Exercises for Herniated Disc or Sciatica
In most cases, spine specialists recommend press-ups or extension exercises (backward bending position) to relieve tension on the lower back, which helps in alleviating pain.
- Put the lower back into an extended position by lying on your stomach at prone position. Prop your upper body up on your elbows while keeping your hips on the floor. Perform this stretch exercise slowly and carefully.
- Hold the position for about five seconds, then slowly work your way to the exercise until you can hold 30 seconds. Aim to complete 10 repetitions.
For the advanced version of this exercise:
- When on prone position (your stomach lying flat on the floor), use your hands to press your body up while keeping your pelvis in contact with the floor. Relax your back to feel the gentle stretch.
- Hold this position for 1 second and perform 10 repetitions.
If you find lying flat on your stomach difficult, then start by stretching your back by arching your body backward. Place your hands on your hips and slowly push it forward.
Perform back extension exercises around every a couple of hours. Also, avoid forward flexion (bending over), as this may counteract the extension exercises.
Core Exercises for Bulging Disc and Sciatica
As you work on stretching on your lower body, it is also important to work the core to strengthen the center of your body. The core involves the abdominals and the lower back, and strengthening them is important to maintain good posture and relieve the pain of bulging disc or sciatica.
Exercises to strengthen the lower back muscle:
- Upper back extensions – while in the prone position, clasp your hands behind your low back and raise your chest and head off the floor. Hold the position for 5 seconds before lowering back to starting position. Slowly work your way up to 20 seconds and complete 10 repetitions.
- Still in prone position, with your chest and head lowered to the floor, raise your arm and opposite leg lightly and slow. Raise your knee around 3 inches off the floor. Hold this position 5 seconds for 10 repetitions. Do the same on the other arm and leg and work your way up for 20 seconds as you progress.
Abdominal Exercises for Bulging Disc and Sciatica
- Curl ups – line on your back with knees bent and arms folded across your chest. Tilt your pelvis to flatten your back. Perform the exercise by lifting your upper body (shoulders and head) off the floor. Hold the position for a couple of seconds before lowering your body to the starting position. Perform ten repetitions for two sets. This exercise is for the upper abs. Never lift your head too high or try to lift your chest to the ceiling. If you experience pain on your neck, then support your head by placing your hands at the back of your neck.
- Single Leg Raise – tighten your core muscles and raise one straight leg for about 10 inches off the floor. Bend one leg by setting your feet on the floor. Hold the position for around 10 seconds. Perform two sets of 10 repetitions.
You can also perform water exercises for low-impact training, such as walking in waist-deep water.