Lumbar herniated discs can cause intense leg pain. When your legs are experiencing such pain—the inclination might be to stay still, lay low, and try to keep your legs immobile. While stretching during the height of a flare-up may be out of the question, over time regular stretching can actually improve sciatic nerve leg pain and reduce flare-ups.
Why Stretching Helps
Stretching is actually one of the best ways to minimize and prevent ongoing leg pain from a herniated disc. Hamstring stretching can help decrease the tension across your lower back, and this provides the herniated disc with a better environment to heal. Regular stretching, along with getting enough rest, can reduce inflammation which also helping to reduce pain.
Getting Started with Stretching
Stretching should be done carefully. It’s important also to do the right types of stretches since some types actually make your disc herniation worse. Before beginning any exercise routine, it’s always a good idea to consult with your pain management physician.
3 Stretches to Try Today
Some patients avoid stretching because they’re not sure where to get started. Three stretches that are gentle on the back and may help your herniated disc are:
- Seated chair stretch:
Ideal for those with very tight hamstrings.
Sit on a chair with one foot in front of you on another chair. Straighten the back and lean toward the leg.
- Towel hamstring stretch:
Great for people with herniated disc problems who like to stretch lying down.
Lay on the floor tightening the abdominal muscles. Lift one leg, and with a towel around the foot, pull it towards your chest slowly.
- Wall hamstring stretch:
A good choice for those who find it difficult to lift a leg up without support, the wall stretch can provide extra stability.
A wall or a door can be used to rest your leg in this stretch. Lay on the floor near a wall, placing one leg on the floor and one leg 90 degrees against the wall. Straighten your leg, keeping your hip against the floor.
See illustrations and learn more about lumbar herniated disc stretches.
Pain Treatment Solutions offered at our Pain Centers
If you’d like to learn more about your pain treatment options for herniated disc conditions, request an appointment today with one of our expert physicians in your area!