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Easy exercises to relieve pain from lumbar degenerative disc disease

A common spinal condition, degenerative disc disease occurs in the lower back (lumbar spine) more often than in other areas of the spine. This is because the discs in the lower back support much of the body’s weight, and are also forced to bend and twist frequently. Bulging and ruptured discs are forms of degenerative disc disease, and can occur when spinal discs weaken or lose water content due to the body’s natural aging process. If a damaged disc causes pressure to be put on the spinal cord or a nearby nerve root, symptoms such as localized or radiating pain, muscle weakness, tingling and numbness can result.

Finding relief from degenerative disc disease symptoms

If your doctor has determined that lumbar degenerative disc disease is the cause of your lower back pain, your treatment options will likely include pain and anti-inflammatory medications, hot and cold therapy, periods of rest and alternative therapies, including chiropractic manipulation.

In addition to these treatments, you may want to try exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles that support the spine, which could also provide symptom relief. However, you should get your doctor’s approval before attempting any type of treatment, including stretching. Some simple exercises to consider include:

  • Hamstring stretches. Running from the pelvis down the back of the thighs, the hamstrings can easily cause the lower back muscles to tighten. A good way to stretch your hamstring is to lie on your back with your legs straight while holding each end of a towel in your hands. Place the towel around one foot, slowly pull the leg up and hold for a few seconds, then repeat with the other leg.
  • Lower back stretches. A good way to loosen the muscles supporting the lower back, as well as other back muscles, is the knee to chest stretch. Lie on your back with your legs flat, then bend one knee and gently pull your leg toward your chest. Hold for a few seconds before switching to the other leg.
  • Piriformis stretch. The piriformis muscle runs from the thigh to the base of the spine, and can be affected by sciatica pain. To stretch this muscle, sit with your back against a wall and cross one leg over the other with your knees bent. Pull the bottom leg toward your buttocks and hold for 20 seconds before repeating with the opposite leg on top.

Treatment at USA Spine Care

If you follow your doctor’s recommendations and attempt stretching and other treatments for several weeks or months but continue to suffer painful symptoms due to degenerative disc disease in the lower back, you may be a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery at USA Spine Care. Our outpatient procedures, which require less than a 1-inch incision and use muscle-sparing techniques, don’t require a lengthy recovery.^

Contact USA Spine Care today to receive a free MRI review* and to potentially determine if one of our procedures could help you.

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