Degenerative disc disease refers to the changes in your spinal discs as you age. Spinal discs are soft, compressible discs that separate the interlocking bones or vertebrae of the spine. Discs are like shock absorbers for the spine and allow for flexing, bending and twisting. As we age, spinal discs can break down. Below are several stretches recommended for helping ease the discomfort caused by degenerative disc disease. Stretching helps fortify the back and strengthen the core muscles. This helps relieve stress from your spine from carrying weight and also has the added benefit of increasing blood flow to the discs. The increase in blood flow and stress relief helps stimulate the restoration process.
Recommended Yoga Positions:
- Lie flat on your stomach.
- Position your palms beneath your shoulders
- The tops of your feet should be flat on the ground
- Slowly, lift your head while engaging your abdominal muscles.
- As you lift your head, push up with your arms. Your chest and upper body should be off the ground.
- Straighten you arms evenly as your legs and feet remain glued to the floor.
- Hold for 15 to 30 seconds
- Repeat 4 to 5 sets
Active or Static Exercises
- Lie on the ground with your stomach facing down.
- Bend elbows under shoulders
- Extend legs with toes rumpled
- Lift up on your elbows
- Keep your core in a straight line. This is called prone bridge
- Hold in the lifted position for 20 to 30 seconds.
- Slowly, go back to the initial position
- Repeat 4 or 5 sets
Dynamic Stretch 1
- Lie on your stomach. Hips and legs should be on the ground.
- Extend arms in front of your head with palms touching the floor
- Raise your left leg and right arm at the same time
- Do not move your chest or stomach off the floor
- Hold for a couple of seconds
- Then do this with the right leg and left arm.
- Complete 10 repetitions on each side for 2 or 3 sets
Dynamic Stretch 2
- Lie face up on the ground. Bend your knees with the soles of your feet touching the floor. Rest your arms by your sides.
- Slightly raise your left foot without extending knees
- Hold for several seconds and gently place foot back to initial position
- Then, do the same on the right side
- Repeat 20 times for a total of 2 or 3 sets
An experienced physical therapist can determine a full stretching program. Adding isometric, active isolated or PNF stretches can easily enrich your stretching routine.
These stretches and exercises are provided to relieve your back pain in conjunction to the treatment at the Illinois Back Institute we can heal your back pain naturally without drugs or surgery through Functional Disc Rehydration™. Be sure to speak with your physical therapist about creating a customized stretching program to help the discomforts of degenerative disc disease. If you back pain continues or gets worse you should consult a professional.