How may we help you?

Home » Spine Conditions » Disc Extrusion » Disc extrusion exercises to avoid

Disc extrusion exercises to avoid

Also known as a ruptured or herniated disc, a disc extrusion occurs when the hard outer wall of a spinal disc develops a tear, allowing the gel-like inner core of the disc to escape into the spinal column. This can cause pressure to be put on the spinal cord or a nearby nerve root, which can lead to painful symptoms that radiate to other areas of the body.

Disc ruptures are most common in individuals over the age of 50. While a traumatic injury can sometimes be a cause, disc extrusions are most often the result of gradual deterioration the spine undergoes due to daily wear and tear.

Do’s and don’ts of disc extrusion treatment

If you’ve been diagnosed with a disc extrusion, your physician will likely suggest you try a combination of conservative treatments for several weeks to see if your symptoms can be reduced. Options could include pain and anti-inflammatory medications, alternating hot and cold compresses, corticosteroid injections and lifestyle modifications that could help reduce the strain on your spine.

Your doctor may also suggest light exercise and stretching to help relax and strengthen the muscles supporting your spine. While there are many options to choose from, there are a variety of exercises you should specifically avoid if you are suffering from a disc extrusion. They include:

  • Sit-ups. Planks are a good alternative if you’re looking to increase abdominal strength without straining your lower back.
  • Overhead lifting. Lifting weights over your head can increase the compression of a damaged disc.
  • High-impact exercises. Avoid any exercise that can be jarring on the spine, including running, tennis, gymnastics, etc.
  • Leg lifts. Reduce the strain on your lower back by substituting with other core-strengthening exercises.
  • Toe touches. This common exercise to loosen the hamstrings and back can put a great deal of strain on the spinal discs and should be avoided.

As always, consult your physician before attempting any type of exercise if you are experiencing a disc extrusion.

Additional treatment options

If your condition hasn’t responded to conservative treatment and your day-to-day life is being affected by painful symptoms, it might be time to consider your surgical options. While your physician may suggest open spine surgery, you can receive a free MRI review* at USA Spine Care to find out if you are a candidate for minimally invasive surgery. Our outpatient procedures, which don’t require a lengthy recovery, are a safer and effective alternative to open neck or back surgery.^

Contact USA Spine Care today to learn more.

Browse Related Resources

TOP Call Now Button