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Exercises For Spinal Disc Conditions
Dr. Ron Daulton, Jr.
Many people wonder if physical therapy and exercises for spinal disc conditions are the answer they are looking for. Is physical therapy the best option for you?
There really isn’t much research about the effectiveness of physical therapy for spinal disc pain, but I can tell you from experience that it is just like anything else we’ve discussed up to this point – it helps for some people and not for others. In fact, many do not experience relief with physical therapy, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good.
What I’ve seen in my practice after working with thousands of patients with these types of back problems is that physical therapy is only a small part of the process. Yes, exercises are incredibly important but it is only one of the things you need to be doing for long–term results.
After we discuss surgery in the next part of this article, I’ll be telling you about the complete program that I personally use in my practice that has helped 90.2% of my spinal disc patients experience relief in 2 weeks or less. You can click here if you want to learn about that now, but let’s go ahead and continue our discussion about exercise and the role it plays in healing a disc problem.
What Role Does Exercise Play In Healing These Types Of Conditions?
One of the most frustrating things about healing spinal disc problems is the fact that the discs of the spine do not receive a good amount of blood flow. The body normally relies on the blood to transport oxygen and nutrients to an injured area for faster healing.
Because of this, they can be very stubborn and frustrating to heal properly.
This is actually a very important point to discuss in this section of the article, because the discs of the spine receive their oxygen and nutrients in a very different way. Remember how we were talking about the fact that each spinal disc has a jelly center at the very beginning of this article when I was explaining the differences between the different spinal disc conditions (if you’re finding this article online and you’d like to read about that, you can scroll to the bottom of this page and use the Table of Contents to start at the very beginning of this article)?
Well, this jelly center is very important, because the disc will actually store oxygen and nutrients in this jelly for proper healing. The real value of exercise is that it can help replenish the oxygen and nutrient supply within the disc for faster healing. However, just any exercise will not do. You need specific exercises to accomplish this, and this is where physical therapy tends to be flawed.
I’m going to be talking about a couple of exercises that most physical therapists are not aware of, and not doing these can limit your healing.
Specific Exercises You Can Do To Help This Happen
The first exercise I will recommend will require the use of a mini–trampoline, which is a small trampoline that’s about 4 feet wide. They’re very reasonably priced, and you can find one at most sports stores. You can also purchase one from Amazon. You can click here if you want to see the options on Amazon.
However, you will not be using the trampoline in the way you may imagine – in other words, you will not be jumping on the trampoline. Basically, I’m going to recommend that you simply stand in the center of the trampoline and march in place. This needs to be a very controlled movement, and you need to make sure you keep your head looking straight ahead and your arms at your side while you are marching.
This exercise should be done for 5 minutes each day. The goal of this exercises is to improve your balance, which strengthens the smallest muscles around the spine. When you strengthen these muscles, it not only balances the spine, but it eliminates pressure from the discs, allowing them to heal more efficiently.
The next exercise I’ll recommend involves the use of a therapy ball, which is one of those large balls you see in health clubs or physical therapy clinics. Basically, you just need to sit on the ball, and gently bounce up and down, keeping your head looking straight ahead and your arms to your side.
This exercise should also be done for 5 minutes each day. This exercise is actually the most important one I’ll be discussing today, because this is the one that’s going to help bring new oxygen and nutrients to the injured disc for faster healing.
Basically, when you bounce on the ball, you are pumping every disc in the spine. This pumping action (called imbibition) is actually pumping new oxygen and nutrients into the disc, and pumping toxins from the injury out of the disc.
If you need to purchase one of these balls, I strongly recommend the Synergy Therapy Balls. These are physical therapy quality balls, and even though they are a little more expensive than balls you may find elsewhere, they are very sturdy and will provide more stability for the exercise I am recommending here.
You can learn more about the Synergy Therapy Balls by clicking here.
Finally, we need to talk about stretching and strengthening. Stretching should also be done each day, but I recommend that you do your stretches immediately following the trampoline and ball exercise. These exercises combined will act as an excellent warm up and prepare your muscles for your daily activity (which lowers the risk that you will re–injure your disc).
Strengthening exercises, on the other hand, should be done just 3 days a week. These exercises are slightly more aggressive, so I don’t recommend you start these until you’ve been doing the stretches for two weeks. The stretches will prepare you for the strengthening exercises, and you should always stretch before strengthening.
In other words, I would recommend that you do the trampoline exercise and ball exercise, then stretch, and finally strengthen. This routine will gradually warm up the area around the disc, which ensures the fastest result.
I won’t cover specific stretching and strengthening exercises here, because that is all covered in my step–by–step program that you’ll be learning about at the end of this article. You can click here if you’d like to learn about that now, but before we get to that, I’d like to finish our discussion about the different treatments that are normally recommended by your doctor. We still need to discuss surgery, so let’s do that next.
You can click here now to learn about surgery for spinal disc conditions, or you can click the Next button below.