Discogenic Back Pain

Discogenic Back Pain

Pain  arriving from disc dysfunction is not generally what most of us think we have, but it likely is. This can be pain in the back, and/OR it can be discomfort, tightness, numbness/tingling or an ‘odd sensation’ in the glutes, back of the leg, side of the leg or into the calf and foot.

Pain is more likely to occur with prolonged sitting than standing.

Here is what to work on:
  • extension activities: passive and non painful extension of the spine is done as an exercise; (ie. press up)
  • walk more if it does not reproduce symptoms
  • keep moving: keep the back ‘warm’ at all times by not staying in one position for too long.
  • move the back through a full range of motion: lumbar rotation and flexion as well as the extension noted above (ie. childs pose, cat/cow, lumbar rotation)

Here is what to avoid:

  • limit sitting or avoid sitting, including avoiding sitting exercise (ie. bike) when possible
  • avoid loading the spine especially when sitting (lifting weights sitting)
  • avoid twisting or rotating the spine while flexed forward (bending to do laundry and then twisting to put it in dryer, etc)

The exercise regimen in the video is a series you can follow and try to do 1-3x a day (or more if you can!), or you can use one or two or several of the stretches and do them individually, whenever you get a chance. With any lower back or spine issue, the  key is to have movement often. The movement should be NON painful in nature, as if you are not doing anything. This is contrary to how we generally feel ‘no pain no gain’. When there is no movement the spine will get tighter. Even a 30 second stretch or 60 seconds of movement in an hour have a huge gain more than a 1 hour workout once a day.

1. lumbar rotation: perform 20-30 of these as a warm-up or anytime you are laying down or can lay down flat to keep your lower spine ‘warm’

2. hip rotator stretch: perform 20-30 second holds and repeat if you have time 2-3x.  As often as you can throughout the day

3. sciatic nerve stretch: perform only 10, working up to twice or three times a day (monitor symptoms and make sure you are not pushing into discomfort)

4. press-ups: 3 sets of 10 with childs’ pose in between each set

5. childs pose: hold 30 seconds

6. cat/cow on all fours: perform 20-30 as a cool-down or whenever you have time to keep your lower spine ‘warm’

No discomfort should be felt with any of these exercises! When done correctly, although they seem like nothing, they can really have a huge impact on calming down your symptoms.