A ruptured or herniated disk can cause pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness down legs or arms depending on the location of the disk affected. This happens when the center of the disk pushes through the tough outer layer at a weak spot and causes compression against the spinal nerves.
Once Physical Therapy is initiated, you will be given your own home exercise program (HEP) with detailed instructions and pictures of stretches and exercises to perform on the days you do not come into the clinic. You will also be given an updated exercise program once therapy visits are completed in order to maintain improvements made and to prevent further injury.
Below is a sample list of what to expect on your HEP for a herniated disk:
- Hamstring stretch while lying on back. Use a strap or towel to loop around foot and gently pull leg straight in the air until a stretch is felt in the back of the leg. Hold for up to 30 seconds and perform three times.
- Lower trunk rotations while lying on back. With knees bent up, gently rock knees side to side until a stretch is felt in low back on each side. Hold for a few seconds on each side and perform 2 sets of 10.
- Different core stabilization exercises will be given to build strength in order to support the spine. Such as pelvic tilts lying on your back. You will tighten your abdominal muscles while flattening your back against the floor or bed and hold for 3 seconds, 2 sets of 10.
- Heat and ice can be applied to affected area throughout the day. Heat is better when feeling stiff or having muscle spasms. Ice is good for increased pain and soreness.
- Do not continue exercises/stretches if they increase pain. A small discomfort or stretch is expected but no pain.
Along with Physical therapy and an HEP, your doctor may prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication to help with pain and inflammation while healing. Resting is also an important part of letting your body heal.
Disclaimer: The information in this blog is intended to be informational only, and is not intended to be used in lieu of medical care. Consult a doctor or a physical therapist before attempting treatment on your own.
If you are having back pain or have been diagnosed with a ruptured or herniated disk, please come see us for a free consultation to see how we can assist you in your recovery. To request an appointment, click here, or call directly to one of our three locations during regular business hours:
Cool Springs: 615-224-9810
Spring Hill: 931-489-2022