I’m frequently asked if one can exercise with a disc bulge. Assuming clearance has been attained from a physician, then YES. However, you must be super careful, and a very specific set of exercises may need to be done prior to moving forward with correcting muscle imbalances with a program such as my End Your Back Pain Now! program. Here is a free downloadable PDF that you must check out:
Are there really Disc Bulge Exercises that are beneficial?
First of all, let me answer that question by generally saying, YES. We have to define what an exercise actually is. By my definition, its any movement with the intention of improving movement ability or any movement quality. This could mean coordination, strength, flexibility, endurance, or anything else.
Since discs don’t contain any muscles, they cannot contract, so technically any exercise that is aimed at helping reduce a disc bulge problem is NOT directly impacting the disc itself, but rather reducing the potential movement problems that may be agitating the disc issue.
What the heck do I mean by that??
Well, when we consider that the vast majority of disc bulges are POSTERIOR in nature, it would mean that any pressure on the front side of the disc (toward the abdomen) would exacerbate disc problems. Therefore, wouldn’t it make sense to address the muscle imbalances that make this situation worse?
This means stretching any tight abdominal muscles, loosening the tight hamstrings (not necessarily by stretching!), or any other muscle that causes the lumbar spine to flatten. So…YES. This is how you perform exercises for a disc bulge. INDIRECTLY.