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Yoga poses to try when dealing with an L5-S1 extruded disc

The L5-S1 segment of the spine includes the last lumbar vertebra (called L5) and the sacrum (called S1). As the base of the spinal column, this area carries more weight than any other part of the body and allows a wide range of movement. In between these vertebrae is a gel-like disc that acts as a cushion. As time wears on, the inner portion of the disc can tear (herniate), begin to leak out and press on a nearby nerve root, leading to symptoms that include stiffness, pain, numbness and muscle weakness in your lower back and body.

Fortunately, there are several yoga poses that you can do at home to alleviate the symptoms of lumbar disc extrusion, including:

  1. Cat-to-cow pose. Begin on all fours, with your hands directly under your shoulders, knees under your hips and your back in a neutral position. As you inhale, you bring your shoulder blades together and allow your stomach to sink toward the floor while arching your back and looking up toward the ceiling. After holding the position for a few seconds, exhale and bring your head down, rounding your back up to the ceiling.
  2. Knees to chest. Lie on your back (preferably on a mat) with your legs straight in front of you. Bring your right knee into your chest and press it close to you with your hands, before slowly releasing it and bringing it down to the mat. Repeat the same movement with your left leg before releasing and pulling both knees into your chest at the same time.
  3. Pelvic tilt. Lie on a mat with your legs bent and feet flat on the floor. Keeping your lower back on the mat, gently rock your hips toward your face and feel your lower back press into the floor. Hold this position for five to 10 seconds and then repeat.

If you have tried treating your lumbar disc extrusion with conservative methods, such as yoga, to no avail, consider turning to the experts at USA Spine Care. We are the leader in minimally invasive surgery, and our procedures are a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back procedures.^ Contact us today for more information. We can provide you with a free MRI review* that will help determine whether you’re a candidate for the outpatient surgeries we offer.

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