To Manage Chronic Disc Back Pain Special Exercises are Called For
The lower back pain exercise needs of people who have ruptured discs – compared with people who have low back pain without disc pathology – are different. And in order to maximize your chances for a complete and lasting recovery, it is important that you know about the differences and act on them.
Back exercises are not always the answer, but some form of exercise to relieve back pain is essential. In a recent survey, fewer ruptured disc patients than low back sufferers followed a regular exercise routine – 51 per cent compared with 72 per cent. One key reason for this disparity was that 15 per cent of ruptured disc patients injured themselves with exercise, while only 3 per cent of low back sufferers were harmed by it. The point is not to avoid back pain exercises, but to know which exercises to do and when to do them.
Ruptured disc patients need more exercises aimed at building abdominal strength. Although both strengthening and stretching were important to survey participants recuperating from ruptured discs, most felt that strengthening their abdominal muscles took priority. Low back pain sufferers, on the other hand, put greater emphasis on stretching lower back muscles.
There are two key ‘non-back’ exercises for chronic ruptured disc pain. In the survey, fully one-third of ruptured disc patients acclaimed swimming and walking as 100 per cent effective for improving their condition in the long run. Only 5 per cent of low back sufferers performed these exercises regularly. In the UK survey, about a third of all respondents also gained dramatic or moderate long-term back pain relief from swimming and walking.
Movement of Some Kind is Absolutely Essential
Learning how to perform an exercise for lower back pain that can enhance flexibility and strength as well as reduce stress – as soon as possible and as much as possible after acute pain ebbs – is critical to recovery and renewed fitness for practically everyone who has had a ruptured disc. Why practically everyone? No one knows. About one in twenty US survey participants who had a ruptured disc, and who were in bad physical shape to start with, got well and stayed well for more than five years without doing anything about fitness. But this is the exception that proves the rule. The odds are overwhelming that if you don’t start a fitness program as soon as possible, you are likely to remain considerably limited.
Practitioner-Caused Injuries from Exercise for Lower Back Pain
‘My internist [specialist in internal medicine] told me to do three exercises – sit-ups, single-leg raises, and double-leg raises,’ said an assistant TV producer. This was after a diagnosis of ruptured disc and three weeks of bed rest. The doctor probably wouldn’t have said anything about doing any exercise for lower back pain. But friends had told me so much about the importance of exercise that I asked him to suggest a program. I did five repetitions of each lower back pain exercise and the pain immediately afterwards was great. These exercises set me back two weeks. A month later, I went to an orthopedist and he assigned me to a physical therapist [physiotherapist] who provided me with some exercises to relieve back pain that helped a great deal. They weren’t difficult and I felt at first that was a bad thing. But I could do them and they helped. I still do them ten years later.’