Exercises to Provide Relief from a Herniated Disc

May 7th 2016

Incremental Aerobic Exercises

Incremental aerobic exercises such as walking, swimming and bicycling strengthen your back muscles without any sudden twisting or turning motions. These low-impact exercises gradually tone muscles in the abdomen and lower back without overstraining your back. Water-based exercises could prove especially helpful as water provides buoyancy and reduces the effects of gravity on your spine. Once your physical therapist supervises several weeks of these simple movements, you may begin to do other exercises that involve back muscles specifically.


Several stretches combine with strength training to provide better back support. If you have leg pain, lay on your stomach in a prone position, and then push against the floor with your hands to raise your head, chest and abdomen off the floor while keeping your legs against the surface. Hold this pose for five seconds, gradually working up to 30 seconds per repetition. Start this stretch slowly to see if you can tolerate it. If you cannot lay on the floor, stand straight up and arch your back slowly with hands on your hips. Lie on your stomach and wrap a band around one foot. Grab both ends of the band and pull until your heel touches your rear end for a quadriceps stretch. These simple exercises gradually strengthen your lower back to prepare you ready for more advanced moves.

Lumbar Core Strength and Stability Exercises

Lumbar core strength and stability exercises attempt to add strength and flexibility to the abdomen, hip, hamstrings and the back of the thigh. These exercises improve lower back mobility, increase endurance and enhance flexibility of these regions of the body. A supine abdominal draw-in requires you to lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor. Pull in your abdominal muscles and push your back to the floor and hold it for 30 seconds. A prone bridging exercise begins with you lying on your stomach, and then pushing yourself up until you rest your weight on your forearms, elbows and toes. Hold this position for 15 seconds to one minute; your back should be completely straight.


Yoga stretches and poses may prove very helpful as you try to strengthen your back muscles and alleviate pain from a herniated disc. The prayer-cat-camel routine starts with you on all fours. Exhale as you sit back on your heels with your chin on the floor. Inhale as your chin remains tucked and you arch your back into the air like a cat. Then, exhale again as you point your chin toward the ceiling and lower your abdominal muscles.


Exercises and stretching may help patients with chronic back pain due to a herniated disc. Patients who have back pain for four to eight weeks or more may benefit the most from regular exercises that strengthen muscles that support the back and joints of the limbs. In addition to lessening pain from a herniated disc, exercises also help the body achieve a better level of health. Learn what relevant exercise routines you can do to alleviate pain from a herniated disc.

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