Herniated Disc Exercises & Stretches – Ask Doctor Jo

Hey everybody, it’s Doctor Jo and today I’m gonna show you how to do some herniated disc exercises. Let’s get started. So I’ve got Teddy the Dog with me, he’s got some great apparel, he’s pretty clever so if you want
to check it out, check out his website. So let’s get started with the exercises. Now
with a herniated disc, what you want to do is try and push the disc back in, so you’re
gonna be doing extension exercises or going back. So we’re gonna start off in the prone
position on our stomach. And what you want to do is just lie flat. Try and keep your
hips down. And then come up on your elbows. So this is just called a prone prop. It might
be slightly uncomfortable if you’re really sore so you can come down a little bit. But
if you can get up on your elbows, just hold there for about 30 seconds. Now see my hips
are staying flat even though my stomach and chest are coming up a little bit. So do that
about 3 times for 30 seconds, come down take a little break in between. And then if this
gets easy, you can go into a prone push up. Where you’re actually then coming up on your
arms a little bit. Now see I’m still trying to keep my hips down and coming up like this.
So it’s not pushing up, but getting that bend in the back going into the extension trying
to push that disc back in. Now this one is a little more stressful, so you might want
to work yourself up to 30 seconds, come back down. Take a little break. And then push back
up. If it gets pretty easy, you can go longer than 30 seconds. Work your way up to a minute
or so. Then you’re gonna roll over onto your back and prop your feet up. So in this position
your gonna do a bridge. Now with this bridge, you want to go one segment at a time. Really
just stretch out that back. So you’re not just popping up into a bridge, you’re coming
up, up, up. So really almost trying to get one segment of your back up and down each
time. So coming up and then coming back down. You can start of with just about 10 of these
and then work your way up from there. You can do a little pause at the top for about
3 seconds and then slowly come back down. And the last one is the figure 4 stretch.
Just to stretch out those gluteus muscles, the piriformis muscle and your bottom area.
So you bring your leg up, cross your foot over so you’re making that figure 4 position.
And then you’re gonna grab underneath the leg and pull up. So you should feel the stretch
right through here, through your bottom area. Hold that stretch for about 30 seconds and
then switch sides. I like switching sides, if you want to do them all on one side you
can, but I feel like you give each side a little bit of a break if you alternate back
and forth. So again 30 seconds and then alternating sides. So there you have it, those were your
exercises for a herniated disc. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments
section. If you’d like to check out some other videos go to AskDoctorJo.com Don’t forget
to like us and subscribe. And remember, be safe. Have fun. And I hope you feel better

100 thoughts on “Herniated Disc Exercises & Stretches – Ask Doctor Jo

  1. Hi Jo and congrats on both your videos/channel, it all is very useful.
    Just a quick one: I'm currently on treatment for a Lumbar radiculopathy, do you think these excercises would help that too?
    My Football years screwed up my back pretty nicely and there's also a case of L5-S1 slip/hernia, so I don't really know what's best for me and I wanted a second opinion.
    Thanks in advance.

  2. What If it hurts doing It? I have 3 herniated disc lower. I Power lift. Can I do any leg exercises in this condition?

  3. hello dr. Jo, thank you so much for ur video, it helps a lot..do you have some herniated disc/sciatica exercise for pregnancy? thank you so much once again dr.Jo..😊

  4. I was diagnosed with a partially torn disc. Is it in the same category as a herniated disc? Will your video help with this?

  5. Hi i am doing these exercises everyday.. Can you please please tell me how much does it take time to recover???

  6. Thanks for the video. I started feeling back pain last January, and recently came across exercises like the one you just demonstrated. They do work! Such a simple, yet effective answer to a herniated disk. Thanks!

  7. @doctor JO
    Hey doc . I have thoracic disc herniating and bulging discs so basically t7 to t10 is a mess . The bulge is outwards . What will be best for me ? And ant gym workout u can suggest would be great please .

  8. Hi Doctor Jo. Thank you for the informative and useful video. It is appreciated. Give the dogs a hug for me!

  9. Hi Dr jo.. I'm confused! I have a herniated disc l5s1 and any kind of extension kills me…. All down the leg… But flexion feels great! So to lay over a Swiss ball, or figure 4, or child's pose, knees to chest all feel good, but I'm afraid I'm doing the opposite of what I see all over you tube. Every PT says to do extentions??

  10. Hello dr.jo my herniated fisc is l-4 l-5 and doctor tole me its take 6 months or more to go in. I ask for good exercise for herniated disc buy he told me just walk. Is this exercise good for l-4 l-5 disk? Is it boost to go in?

  11. Because of the disc herniation I can't even lift my right leg doctor. Should I still try to do the piriformis stretch.

  12. I heard something pops while bending forwards trying to reach my toes. So painful to move now. Is this a case of herniated disc? Thanks

  13. Hi Dr!
    I I injured my lower back at the gym almost tow years ago. After a heavy deadlifting, i felt so much pain in my back and my right leg. I got an MRI and the Dr said its a bulging disc between L4 L5. I got som exersices to do, after six months doing those exersices i felt better in both my leg and my back. I thought the problems in my back are gone so i started to work(I work as a carpenter) and after five months working its came back again. Btw i tried acupuncture and it didnt work. Right now i feel pain in just my leg. Idk what to do my life is ruining. Im only 24 and i feel like an old man. ( sorry for my English) I love your videos Dr.

  14. hi doctor jo..i have herniated disk ..i am in such a pain ..my doctor gave me some injections,i am on phisical terapy ,but i dont feel any better..what should i do..i am 24 years old

  15. Dr, i had disc herniation on L4-L5. So i do some exercise. The sequence of the exercise are
    1. Prone press up extension
    2.prone leg raise
    3. Bridging
    4.cat and camel
    5.quadruped hip extension
    6.quadruped arm/leg stretch
    7.single knee to chest stretch
    8.gluteal stretch
    These are the exercise i do. Dr.please tell me which one should be do and which one not to be do.

  16. Hi Dr Jo….I enjoyed your herniated disc stretches. I was wondering if you have any for sciatic pain. Mine is running from my right buttock down to just my knee and aches no matter where or how I adjust my body. It wakes me at night and I feel terrible in the morning!! Please help!! Thanks!!

  17. Hi doc, l'm doing these tipes of exercise from longtime but no relief. I have problem in l4 n l5 disk bulge. Is any madicine needs to take while doing these exercise?
    So please tall me ??

  18. Thanks so much for these exercises! They're simple, and very helpful for my (post surgery) herniated disk!

  19. Iam a sprinter. A few days back I was doing hand walks and after I finished soon I felt pain around my disc. But still I can run jump and bend but pain stayed there. Can I go for these exercise or stick to my regular isometric exercises. Pls help

  20. Hello dr joe. is there any alternative technique for someone that is overweight and has trouble performing these exercises?

  21. Hey doctor jo i need ur help i dont wt is going on with me i do workout in gym i can do deadlift i can do squats very ezy but after the workout my soreness level in my lower back so intense for 3 days i feel so stif .what should i do please reply 😰

  22. Hello doctor ,
    Iam 17 years having disc pain,i got this uncomfortable feeling around my left low back after doing deadlift..After around 2-3 weeks the pain just become worse…Now its been around 1 week with this pain now,will i be able to recover completely like before to play football and go to the gym

    Please do respond 🙂

  23. Thanks Dr. Joe.I don't know about the piriforis stretch for a herniated disc though.The pelvis starts to flex the lower lumbar region and can stress a herniation.

  24. Hello Doctor Jo…How are you?…I am from Mumbai…I have been having pain on my right lower back and the tingling goes till my right foot…I do the exercises that you have shown in your Sciatica video..the pain goes and comes back after 2-3 months…and yes I stop the exercises once the pain vanishes….I am not sure whether this is a Sciatica pain or a Herniated Disc?…Hope I am not confusing you much…Can you please help me out…Thanks!

  25. Mam, i got ls joint injury n a bit si joint too…r all these exercise ok…i m still a bit active…
    Besides i hv runners knee…i hv seen ur prescribed exercise there
    But can i perform both types ?

  26. Hi Dr Jo am currently experiencing some lower back pain I did on x ray and the doctor found nothing wrong, wen I jump or walking a doesn't anything but once I sit up for long and bend forward or backward I feel it what exercises do you recommend

  27. this is my first day I watch your video superb èven I have disc I will do these excercise and comment again after the response. ….

  28. Do they go away? I've had lower back pain for 4 months and my mri just revealed a bulge at the l4l5, and a herniation at the l5s1. Is this a life sentence? If they can inject why can't they remove the excess fluid or seal the cover?

  29. Thank you Doctor for taking the time to educate us and post these videos. My question is preventative in nature, in your medical opinion what is better for preventing injuries and overall longevity in exersicing, Dynamic or Static stretching before working out ? I lift weights, do a lot of running, and do jiu-jitsu.

  30. When I do the Cat/Cow pose it really aggravates my sciatic nerve in my right glute. Does that mean I have piriformis syndrome or does it mean its a herniated disk?

  31. Hi Dr Jo, I've been having pain in both legs. Muscle spasms in my calf muscles and a stinging type pain in my thighs. Could this be from a herniated disc? I have mild soreness in my low back. I havnt had an MRI, just complete blood work panel which was all good.

  32. Dr No! Excellent videos. A question when doing these exercises, does the bed have to be flat? the head of my bed has to be elevated and I cannot lie on a floor mat? Thanks!

  33. Good day!

    I have two herniated discs l4-l5 and l5-s1, at first, I felt discomfort in my lower back and for more than a month it has gone from there and now I almost permanently feel discomfort in my right calf.

    After trying a couple of days these "push-ups" I felt a bit better right away after doing them, but a bit later(like one hour after) I started feeling more intense discomfort in the same calf.

    Could I spoil something by these exercises or it may be normal for the first couple of days?

    Does it really bad if almost whole discomfort that I feel now located lower the knee in the calf and sometimes in the foot?

  34. seem to be getting a lot of mixed messages about these exercises from different sources. Half the videos say to curl your back in a forward bend of some type, like the figure 4 you did, and the other half of the videos I've seen, in no uncertain terms, say you should NEVER curl your back in that direction. So confused!

  35. This Video saved me . I was in the kitchen by myself and popped one of my disks while I was putting things in the dishwasher. I Crawled to my Cell Phone and got on you tube to see if I could take care of it before calling the 911. I found this video and did exactly what you said and it popped back in. Please Consider I shook your hand through the internet. Good Job.

  36. Hi mam … I herniated C5 c6 left shoulder disk. Which exercise you recommend as I have pain in left arm and left shoulder. Please recommend the exercise

  37. Interesting video I will start right now thank you dr. Joe have a marvelous day and may the Lord truly bless you

  38. I have herniated disc and it hurts when I do the figure 4 stretch. But my Physical therapist insists on doing them.

  39. Herniated disc n slip disc , are both same . Ive slipped disc and feel immense pain after sneezing or switching positions at night

  40. Do you have any suggestions of stretches for pain in the left neck shoulder and back as a reault of a bone spur at the C2?

  41. hi … i have herniated discs and Spondylolithesis … and because of the Spondylolithesis, i can't bend backwards … what should i do to treat both of them … please help me i have a lot of pain

  42. I ask Jo:
    Liebe Jo; I have always had a stiff back, never be able to touch my toes, yet pass my knee caps.

    Over 10 years, my calf muscle and down to my feet is twitching 24/7
    I am 36 and now I have realized it maybe related to my S1 or somewhere lower back.

    I do strength training with reasonable weights, to strengthen my back, I do deadlifts very slowly controlling my back.

    But lately the twitching has increased, and I am not sure if it is due to my workout or I am getting weaker.

    I do not want to get the hernieated disc. And I want to work on my mobility and lower back flexibility.

    Can you help me? What should I do? Should I do your exercise? Would it avoid and future injuries?


  43. These are super helpful as a guide! I've visited several doctors and therapists and they advised something similar, but my worst problem is that my right calf and hamstring gets painful when im trying to stretch them, and numb when im doing the figure 4 exercise. Some therapists say it was muscle tightness, but its not there at all in my left plus they were working just fine before i got diagnosed with a herniated disc. Is it possible the sciatic pain itself is stopping my extension motion, or is it just muscle tightness? Either way, thanks for being an angel with sharing these tips!

  44. i've bin told i have a protruding disc that's pressing on a nerve so i'm getting really bad pain in my right hip and thigh. would these exercises be ok for me ?

  45. Hello dr Jo, if I feel pain and stiffness doing the first exercise does it mean that I have a herniated disc? 😦

  46. Im a procrastinating veteran who thanks you. L4 and L5 are are minor protruding and the VA is taking forever to get me into surgery. Thankyou I will take it slow and steady.

  47. Dr. Jo I still feel tenderness in my butt doing exercise 3, the figure 4.. do i fight through the pain or skip it? thanks

  48. My MRI report shows following–
    Postero central/right paracentral protrusion of L5/S1 disc,abutting the right transversing nerve root & mild annulus bulge of L4-L5 disc.

    I have been feeling pain in left lower back since 3 months..and also at the time of forward bending.
    Can I do these exercise?

  49. My condition is different. When I bend forward it doesn’t hurt. when I bend backwards, I start to feel pain. What exercises can I do to relieve the pain?

  50. Hello mam
    My son 17 yrs,been to gym 3 yrs back,lifted heavy weight s,having back pain,diagnosed with mild disc bulge l3 t0 l5, will this exercise help him?

  51. I have a central L5 S1 protrusion, are these exercises safe for central herniation? I heard that some actually can make it worse, is that true?

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