Health & Fitness

Exercise with slightly herniated lumbar disc...

Hi everyone,

Has anyone here ever suffered from a herniated or bulging disc, particularly in the low-back (lumbar) region?  My husband and I were rear ended in January and I've had steadily progressing low-back pain since.  I've been seeing a chiropractor regularly all this time but since my symptoms didn't seem to be getting better (and then my back completely went out about two weeks ago while making the bed), I finally had an MRI done and it turns out I have a bulging lumbar disc.  Not a complete herniation, but the pain is pretty significant.  I have to wait another few weeks before I can see the orthopaedic surgeon for a consult (due to availability) but I have have been looking into different excercises that I may do to hopefully help heal the bulge on my own.  Have any of you ever experienced any such disc issues and maybe have some non-surgical success stories/tips/tricks to share?

Thanks so much in advance.

So happy to be married to my best friend.

Re: Exercise with slightly herniated lumbar disc...

  • My first recommendation would be to ask your chiropractor if you are still seeing him/her. I've got a herniated disc in my lower back, near my SI joint, and my chiro said elliptical (my exercise of choice) is one of the worst exercises for me. She recommended walking instead. 

    I unfortunately don't have a success story to share. I irritate my back so much from work (lifting, bending, on my feet 8 hours straight) that when I'm not at work, I'm icing and resting to try to calm it down before my next shift. I will probably go to an orthopedist soon for a second opinion on treatment...

  • I haven't had a herniated disc, but I did fracture my back in 2 places in a car accident.  It helps me to wear a support belt now (especially because I'm pregnant) and walking has always been okay for me to do. I have heard great things about swimming because it takes the weight off your back and is easy on your body. I would definitely ask your chiropractor if you're still seeing him. Good luck!
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  • I had spine surgery (discectomy & fusion) for my herniated discs as there was no way they'd heal on their own. I am 2 years post op and so far, so good...very pleased with surgery.

    As for a chiro...I would stick with your physician and surgeon prior to any chiro care.  What I, unfortunately, didn't realize is that I was doing much more harm than good when I saw a chiro. GL!

  • I also had the surgery 2 years ago (total success, I'm stronger now than I was before).  My chiro actually refused to do any adjusting until I'd had the surgery and recovered (of course I was waaaay beyond bulging at that point).  She recommended seeing someone about traction (which I didn't do because by then I'd already had 5 med professionals tell me I needed surgery). 

    I also did extensive PT, and the therapist gave me some exercises to do at home - mostly based on yoga and pilates, with support (I wouldn't try any of those without guidance though). 

    All the doctors I saw said swimming would be ideal, and running would be the worst thing.

  • My friend did aqua toning. She said it helped with the pain and motion. She had a spinal fusion.

  • I would see a physical therapist. They can teach you the exercises to do in the safest manner possible. You don't need a prescription for a doctor either. Most states are direct access now. 
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