CommunityBrowse groupsBlogEtiquetteInvite Your friendsSuccess Stories

Lounge
Community 


Stretches for a herniated disc

I have herniated L3-L4 and have received conflicting info on stretches. I was told by a physical therapist to over exaggerate the arch in my lower back to stretch. A chiropractor told me to never do this, instead lay over a stability ball face down and stretch my back in the opposite direction. I have tried both and the ball is more comfortable. Anyone know about stretches for this condition??

Sun. Nov 12, 6:58pm

Add comment  
I'm rather surprisedc a PT would give you that advice. Lying on your stomach and gently stretching the back muscles by slightly lifting your shoulders and upper body (while keeping your stomach tight) is a classic stretch for this condition. If you think about what is happening in your spine right now (the gel in the disk is pushing out agaist the spinal cord) it should make sense that arching your back would relieve the pressure on the spinal cord and the over-exagerated bending forward would aggravate it - however this is not the case for all back problems and indeed back problems can be tricky because everyone's body resonds so differently to treatment. Listen to your body - only you can really guage what is happening. If something feels wrong listen to yourself - you are the best judge of what is helping and what isn't right now.

Hamstring stetches are often a great help because they also stretch the muscles in the lower back. A good way to do this is to lie on your back with your knees bent and your body in a neutral position. Tighten your abs and slowly lift one leg straight up while keeping the foot perpendicular to the leg. Loop a towel or exercise band around your foot if it helps. Lift the leg until you feel the muscles 'pull' and then hold it for 15 seconds. Relax and do the other. This is a great way to stretch out the lower back and calves without bending or aggravating the back in any way..

The mayo clinic has some great advice for back problems - I highly recommend their site for some great info.

Best wishes!

Sunday, November 12, 2006, 8:40 PM

Add comment
I am a physical therapist and I would recommend the "over-arching" as well. It's just a differnce of opinion between various providers (chiropractors vs. therapists). I would emphasize that these exercises be done prone (on the floor on your stomach) instead of in a standing position, as it is nearly impossible to relax all the trunk muscles while standing. While on the floor, try to prop up on your elbows. You can do this either as a series of repetitions or propping there for a certain amount of time (maybe 30 secs?). It should not greatly increase the pain. Most people experience some relief, either immediately while doing the exercise or shortly afterwards. Once you are able to do this for a couple days, you can progress to propping up on to your hands, while your hips are sagging down touching the floor. The other trick is to try not to do much forward bending at the waist while you're having such back pain, including when getting up off the floor! Maybe try to roll to your side and then push your upper body into an upright position. Other general things that can help (which maybe your PT already told you) is to place a rolled up towel behind your back while driving or sitting, try standing backwards bending but this might cause things to hurt too much if the injury was really recent, and like I said before, avoid as much forward bending as possible (inlcluding lying across the ball). This only causes the gel-like substance to be pushed into the already bulging area. The disk is like a water balloon. Right now the "water" is being pushed backwards and to one side (I'm assuming). Bending forward and/or to the side will only increase this. Bending backwards will "open up" the space between the vertebrae and allow for the "water" to move forward into that available space, thus decreasing the bulge toward the back.

Hope this has helped. I know it's a terrible thing to have back pain and unfortunately, it is SO common. At least you can be thankful that it isn't herniated! Just take it easy and as the previous poster mentioned, listen to what your body is telling you. Good luck!

Sunday, November 12, 2006, 10:31 PM

Add comment
Looks like you have some good advice here! Just in general, I would totally believe a physical therapist before a chiropractor. I went for a course of treatment with a chiropractor once, and the guy launched into a 40-minute-long lecture on spinal anatomy -- a lot of which was scarily wrong. Just incorrect!

The course of treatment was unsuccessful, BTW, because my physician had mis-diagnosed my problem, which was two broken vertebrae. No amount of chiropractic was going to fix THAT!

neon

Monday, November 13, 2006, 12:45 AM

Add comment
Backward stretching /arching spine with injured disc

Having required surgery following PT that assumed that arching the spine was 'safe," I investigated the issue of whether a lumbar spine should be "lordosed" or "flattened" in order to protect discs that may be herniated or protruding. One thing I want to mention is this: if a patient has spinal stenosis, accentuating the curvature of the spine is a very bad idea. The safety of motion is not a universal thing; it should be determined with reference to specific tests, images, and other data related to the patient herself. Not all people can, or should, do all things; and what is "good" for one patient can be "dangerous" for another.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010, 11:43 AM

Add comment

Next: Click Here For Recipes That Help You Lose Weight
New: The PEERtrainer Cheat System
The PEERtrainer Cheat System is a new, simple to follow system for eating. The objective is to help guide you towards a way of eating that will make it easier to lose weight, give you more energy and help you feel better. It is free, easy to follow, and a little unusual and controversial. Most of all it is working. This link will take you to a blog post where you can download a FREE copy of the Cheat System Diet Cookbook! The Cheat System has also been turned into a major book to be published May 6th, 2014. According to Srini Pillay, MD, Harvard Medical School: "It works in a real way with how human psychology works...I love that it relates closely to how the brain likes to function... without crazy effort and with significant short-term gains."
Here is a preview of the cover:

Cheatcover

You can get started on the system for free by clicking on this banner:

peertrainer cheat system

"Gives you the template to lose weight without sending your hormones in a disastrous death spiral."

-Sara Gottfried, MD, NY Times Best Selling Author

"The Cheat System Diet is brilliant! Jackie Wicks understands how the brain works, and how habits are developed in the real world."

--Steven Masley, MD, Assistant Professor University South Florida

 






Explore Related Articles
Weight Loss Motivation   Sustainable Weight Loss
Weight Lifting    Hypnosis and Weight Loss
Emotional Eating   Help Losing Weight
Free Weight Loss Program   Weight Watchers Points  NutriSystem
How To Change Anything

weight loss coaching


New Services and Offerings From PEERtrainer:

1) How To Achieve Sustainable Weight Loss This is a new 12 week program that helps you solve the mental blockages that are prevent many from sustainable weight loss. The most interesting thing about the program is what participants are saying and you can click on the link to read them.

2) Tip Of The Day Weight Loss Coaching Program-- This is a daily email program that helps to reinforce fundamentals as well as gives you practical tips each day. We are getting GREAT feedback from subscribers.

3) What Are Your Odds Of Losing Weight?-- Take the PEERtrainer Coaching Quiz Now!

4) Tip Of The Day Blog-- We update this each day with responses to specific questions from our coaching subscribers and customer.

5) New Diet and Weight Loss Content-- We have launched a new diet section that organizes the growing amount of content on the site. When you click in the most important areas are highlighted.









Related Content:

How To Lose Weight- The Basics
Weight Watchers Points System
The Fat Smash Diet
The Eat To Live Diet
The Beck Diet Solution
How To Get The Motivation To Lose Weight

 

How To Be Successful Using PEERtrainer

How To Burn Fat
Online Weight Loss Support- How It Works
Does Green Tea Help You Lose Weight?
Tips On Using PEERtrainer
Visit The PEERtrainer Community
Diet and Fitness Resources

Fitness

Weight Watchers Meetings
Learning To Inspire Others: You Already Are
Writing Down Your Daily Workouts
Spending Money On A Personal Trainer?
How I Became A Marathon Runner

 

Preventive Health

How To Prevent Injuries During Your Workout
Flu Season: Should You Take The Flu Shot?
Are You Really Ready To Start PEERtrainer?
Super Foods That Can Boost Your Energy
Reversing Disease Through Nutrition

New Diet and Fitness Articles:

Weight Watchers Points Plus
How To Adjust Your Body To Exercise
New: Weight Watchers Momentum Program
New: PEERtrainer Blog Archive
Review Of The New Weight Watchers Momentum Program
 

Weight Loss Motivation by Joshua Wayne:

Why Simple Goal Setting Is Not Enough
How To Delay Short Term Gratification
How To Stay Motivated
How To Exercise With A Busy Schedule

Real World Nutrition and Fitness Questions

Can Weight Lifting Help You Lose Weight?
Are Protein Drinks Safe?
Nutrition As Medicine?
 

Everyday Weight Loss Tips

How To Eat Healthy At A Party
How To Eat Out And Still Lose Weight
The Three Bite Rule
Tips On How To Stop A Binge






PEERtrainer Is A Free and Powerful Online System For
Weight Loss Support

Click Here To Learn More and Join!