Herniated Disc Exercises & Stretches – Ask Doctor Jo

Herniated Disc Exercises & Stretches – Ask Doctor Jo

Hey everybody, it’s Doctor Jo and today I’m gonna show you how to do some herniated disc exercises. Let’s get started. So I’ve got Teddy the Dog with me, he’s got some great apparel, he’s pretty clever so if you want
to check it out, check out his website. So let’s get started with the exercises. Now
with a herniated disc, what you want to do is try and push the disc back in, so you’re
gonna be doing extension exercises or going back. So we’re gonna start off in the prone
position on our stomach. And what you want to do is just lie flat. Try and keep your
hips down. And then come up on your elbows. So this is just called a prone prop. It might
be slightly uncomfortable if you’re really sore so you can come down a little bit. But
if you can get up on your elbows, just hold there for about 30 seconds. Now see my hips
are staying flat even though my stomach and chest are coming up a little bit. So do that
about 3 times for 30 seconds, come down take a little break in between. And then if this
gets easy, you can go into a prone push up. Where you’re actually then coming up on your
arms a little bit. Now see I’m still trying to keep my hips down and coming up like this.
So it’s not pushing up, but getting that bend in the back going into the extension trying
to push that disc back in. Now this one is a little more stressful, so you might want
to work yourself up to 30 seconds, come back down. Take a little break. And then push back
up. If it gets pretty easy, you can go longer than 30 seconds. Work your way up to a minute
or so. Then you’re gonna roll over onto your back and prop your feet up. So in this position
your gonna do a bridge. Now with this bridge, you want to go one segment at a time. Really
just stretch out that back. So you’re not just popping up into a bridge, you’re coming
up, up, up. So really almost trying to get one segment of your back up and down each
time. So coming up and then coming back down. You can start of with just about 10 of these
and then work your way up from there. You can do a little pause at the top for about
3 seconds and then slowly come back down. And the last one is the figure 4 stretch.
Just to stretch out those gluteus muscles, the piriformis muscle and your bottom area.
So you bring your leg up, cross your foot over so you’re making that figure 4 position.
And then you’re gonna grab underneath the leg and pull up. So you should feel the stretch
right through here, through your bottom area. Hold that stretch for about 30 seconds and
then switch sides. I like switching sides, if you want to do them all on one side you
can, but I feel like you give each side a little bit of a break if you alternate back
and forth. So again 30 seconds and then alternating sides. So there you have it, those were your
exercises for a herniated disc. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments
section. If you’d like to check out some other videos go to AskDoctorJo.com Don’t forget
to like us and subscribe. And remember, be safe. Have fun. And I hope you feel better

Daniel Yohans

100 thoughts on “Herniated Disc Exercises & Stretches – Ask Doctor Jo

  1. facepalm guy says:

    Hello dr joe. is there any alternative technique for someone that is overweight and has trouble performing these exercises?

  2. Jack Y says:

    Is camel and cat exericise good for L4-L5 disc herniation

  3. Waqas Ahmed says:

    Hello doctor Jo, I have lower disc bulge is this exercises fine?


    Hey doctor jo i need ur help i dont wt is going on with me i do workout in gym i can do deadlift i can do squats very ezy but after the workout my soreness level in my lower back so intense for 3 days i feel so stif .what should i do please reply 😰

  5. Zikpuii Hmar says:

    Hello doctor ,
    Iam 17 years having disc pain,i got this uncomfortable feeling around my left low back after doing deadlift..After around 2-3 weeks the pain just become worse…Now its been around 1 week with this pain now,will i be able to recover completely like before to play football and go to the gym

    Please do respond 🙂

  6. blissfulbaboon says:

    Thanks Dr. Joe.I don't know about the piriforis stretch for a herniated disc though.The pelvis starts to flex the lower lumbar region and can stress a herniation.

  7. Pritesh Angre says:

    Hello Doctor Jo…How are you?…I am from Mumbai…I have been having pain on my right lower back and the tingling goes till my right foot…I do the exercises that you have shown in your Sciatica video..the pain goes and comes back after 2-3 months…and yes I stop the exercises once the pain vanishes….I am not sure whether this is a Sciatica pain or a Herniated Disc?…Hope I am not confusing you much…Can you please help me out…Thanks!

  8. Pankaj pk says:

    Mam, i got ls joint injury n a bit si joint too…r all these exercise ok…i m still a bit active…
    Besides i hv runners knee…i hv seen ur prescribed exercise there
    But can i perform both types ?

  9. Oshane Reid says:

    Hi Dr Jo am currently experiencing some lower back pain I did on x ray and the doctor found nothing wrong, wen I jump or walking a doesn't anything but once I sit up for long and bend forward or backward I feel it what exercises do you recommend

  10. Oshane Reid says:

    Number of things like?

  11. Judith Chandler says:

    Can you really push a herniated disc back in place with exercise?

  12. kemal bsuetp says:

    Alanis as doctor 🙂

  13. stevensonrf says:

    Love the Super Man/Woman Socks!

  14. Lavender Temple says:

    Thanks so much good job ❤️❤️❤️

  15. Sharafat Ali says:

    this is my first day I watch your video superb èven I have disc I will do these excercise and comment again after the response. ….

  16. Ryan's Youtube says:

    Do they go away? I've had lower back pain for 4 months and my mri just revealed a bulge at the l4l5, and a herniation at the l5s1. Is this a life sentence? If they can inject why can't they remove the excess fluid or seal the cover?

  17. Nguyễn Tấn Thanh says:

    Good health to everyone !

  18. Alejandro Lara says:

    Thank you Doctor for taking the time to educate us and post these videos. My question is preventative in nature, in your medical opinion what is better for preventing injuries and overall longevity in exersicing, Dynamic or Static stretching before working out ? I lift weights, do a lot of running, and do jiu-jitsu.

  19. Vivasayee pasanga pappapatty says:

    I am selvaa from India 🇮🇳 i had 3year this problem hive solution 9842333420

  20. vincenzo dirubba says:

    How many times a day?

  21. Koyote Bonez says:

    When I do the Cat/Cow pose it really aggravates my sciatic nerve in my right glute. Does that mean I have piriformis syndrome or does it mean its a herniated disk?

  22. blixasice says:

    Hi Dr Jo, I've been having pain in both legs. Muscle spasms in my calf muscles and a stinging type pain in my thighs. Could this be from a herniated disc? I have mild soreness in my low back. I havnt had an MRI, just complete blood work panel which was all good.

  23. deadspartan says:

    Got any thing for foot drop?

  24. A Brav - o says:

    Do you think my herniated disc be cured with these exercises and stretches without having to do surgery?

  25. Espinillas y Puntos Negros says:

    Would this work for black disc syndrome, too?

  26. Liz Hall says:

    Dr No! Excellent videos. A question when doing these exercises, does the bed have to be flat? the head of my bed has to be elevated and I cannot lie on a floor mat? Thanks!

  27. Kelerbit says:

    Good day!

    I have two herniated discs l4-l5 and l5-s1, at first, I felt discomfort in my lower back and for more than a month it has gone from there and now I almost permanently feel discomfort in my right calf.

    After trying a couple of days these "push-ups" I felt a bit better right away after doing them, but a bit later(like one hour after) I started feeling more intense discomfort in the same calf.

    Could I spoil something by these exercises or it may be normal for the first couple of days?

    Does it really bad if almost whole discomfort that I feel now located lower the knee in the calf and sometimes in the foot?

  28. Chicken Fried Fishin' says:

    This was an incredible help!! From 10 days in pain to feeling much, much better. Thank You!

  29. garblehose says:

    seem to be getting a lot of mixed messages about these exercises from different sources. Half the videos say to curl your back in a forward bend of some type, like the figure 4 you did, and the other half of the videos I've seen, in no uncertain terms, say you should NEVER curl your back in that direction. So confused!

  30. Charles Gian says:

    Slipped my disc excersise helped

  31. Tony Hekopiano says:

    This Video saved me . I was in the kitchen by myself and popped one of my disks while I was putting things in the dishwasher. I Crawled to my Cell Phone and got on you tube to see if I could take care of it before calling the 911. I found this video and did exactly what you said and it popped back in. Please Consider I shook your hand through the internet. Good Job.

  32. piyu piyu says:

    Hi mam … I herniated C5 c6 left shoulder disk. Which exercise you recommend as I have pain in left arm and left shoulder. Please recommend the exercise

  33. Sally Lecrone says:

    how many reps of each should I do?

  34. May IcyDawn says:

    She's straight to the point and fast. Other videos take too long to explain. When in pain, less is more

  35. abi raj says:

    Dr.Joe is it helpful in L4 L5 S1 disc bulge?

  36. Mollie Boldt says:

    Interesting video I will start right now thank you dr. Joe have a marvelous day and may the Lord truly bless you

  37. wilcy guantero says:

    I have herniated disc and it hurts when I do the figure 4 stretch. But my Physical therapist insists on doing them.

  38. One123 says:

    Do you have Instagram for exercise

  39. Tim Yeo says:

    What causes slip disc

  40. Sima Valentina says:

    They are very helpfull, thank you

  41. puja jain says:

    Herniated disc n slip disc , are both same . Ive slipped disc and feel immense pain after sneezing or switching positions at night

  42. Tracey Bennett says:

    Do you have any suggestions of stretches for pain in the left neck shoulder and back as a reault of a bone spur at the C2?

  43. Ehsan Ghavami says:

    hi … i have herniated discs and Spondylolithesis … and because of the Spondylolithesis, i can't bend backwards … what should i do to treat both of them … please help me i have a lot of pain

  44. reda color llc says:

    A good one. Thks doctor.

  45. FotkAlp Fotografvanie says:

    I ask Jo:
    Liebe Jo; I have always had a stiff back, never be able to touch my toes, yet pass my knee caps.

    Over 10 years, my calf muscle and down to my feet is twitching 24/7
    I am 36 and now I have realized it maybe related to my S1 or somewhere lower back.

    I do strength training with reasonable weights, to strengthen my back, I do deadlifts very slowly controlling my back.

    But lately the twitching has increased, and I am not sure if it is due to my workout or I am getting weaker.

    I do not want to get the hernieated disc. And I want to work on my mobility and lower back flexibility.

    Can you help me? What should I do? Should I do your exercise? Would it avoid and future injuries?


  46. Nerin Medina says:

    How many times a day/week should these be done?

  47. Jason Loh says:

    These are super helpful as a guide! I've visited several doctors and therapists and they advised something similar, but my worst problem is that my right calf and hamstring gets painful when im trying to stretch them, and numb when im doing the figure 4 exercise. Some therapists say it was muscle tightness, but its not there at all in my left plus they were working just fine before i got diagnosed with a herniated disc. Is it possible the sciatic pain itself is stopping my extension motion, or is it just muscle tightness? Either way, thanks for being an angel with sharing these tips!

  48. mark morley says:

    i've bin told i have a protruding disc that's pressing on a nerve so i'm getting really bad pain in my right hip and thigh. would these exercises be ok for me ?

  49. حيات says:

    Thank you so much

  50. Pejman Bagheri says:

    thanks a lot dr. how long walking is useful for herinated disc in every day (maximum time) ?

  51. Leafy Greens says:

    Figure 4 is extremly painful on one side

  52. Hanna says:

    Hello dr Jo, if I feel pain and stiffness doing the first exercise does it mean that I have a herniated disc? 😦

  53. Drake Pryce says:

    Im a procrastinating veteran who thanks you. L4 and L5 are are minor protruding and the VA is taking forever to get me into surgery. Thankyou I will take it slow and steady.

  54. Ryan's Youtube says:

    I heard knee to chest is bad for disc herniation because it flexes spine. True? What about child pose?

  55. ryan reyes says:

    Dr. Jo I still feel tenderness in my butt doing exercise 3, the figure 4.. do i fight through the pain or skip it? thanks

  56. Jonas Cabil says:

    Have you ever seen a disc get pushed "back in"?

  57. Denise Cechini says:

    I have 3 herniated discs and could not physically do the second one. 🙁

  58. Joona Kang says:

    Is it ok to do this exercise if you have scoliosis?

  59. terry lewis says:

    How many reps for the figure four stretch?

  60. Avijit Maity says:

    My MRI report shows following–
    Postero central/right paracentral protrusion of L5/S1 disc,abutting the right transversing nerve root & mild annulus bulge of L4-L5 disc.

    I have been feeling pain in left lower back since 3 months..and also at the time of forward bending.
    Can I do these exercise?

  61. AustinWasTaken says:

    That last stretch hurts so bad. The others are meh not really a bother. Thank you I will practice more

  62. Da Pan says:

    My condition is different. When I bend forward it doesn’t hurt. when I bend backwards, I start to feel pain. What exercises can I do to relieve the pain?

  63. sudhir kumar sahoo says:

    Thank u so much…my back pain goes instantly.

  64. 530Skeptic says:

    You solved my problem. Thank you doctor!

  65. Shir Bee says:

    Thanks for this! Is it safe to do plank exercises with a herniated disc?

  66. Pushpa Kanunga says:

    Hello mam
    My son 17 yrs,been to gym 3 yrs back,lifted heavy weight s,having back pain,diagnosed with mild disc bulge l3 t0 l5, will this exercise help him?

  67. HaIPeHaOP says:

    I have a central L5 S1 protrusion, are these exercises safe for central herniation? I heard that some actually can make it worse, is that true?

  68. Marcus Blackfellow says:

    I felt some relief after doing these exercises, and hanging from my pull-up bar (with my toes touching a little so I can drop my pelvis). After having only minor come-and-go lower back pain over the years, I have new chronic back pain as of a few months ago and have only 50% dulled the pain through 15 mg meloxicam and 200 mg tramadol per day. Obviously, cannabis is worthless for it–those saying it's fit for moderate to serious back pain are selling some preparation of it or parroting those who do. I developed the pain rotating my spine to my maximum ROM too often. I was peering around a chair… Sad, strange story. 😛 The pain is strictly confined to the lumbar region and is a heavy, dull, nauseating sort of pain, with no sciatica or loss of strength/coordination. I haven't worked out in 3 months and have always been very active. I've lost significant lean mass. It's depressing. The injury occurred over the span of a month, ending 4 months ago.

    I know you're not an MD, but does that sound like a herniated disc to you? My doctor thinks it is, but I always thought herniated discs were acute injuries, not from repeat straining. I didn't even realize how badly I was straining it at the time as the worst of the inflammation came when it was already too late. I can't afford a formal diagnosis (requiring an MRI that would at least cost me $1400, plus the cost for a visit to a specialist to interpret it…) as I live in the wealthiest country in the world where many people can't afford health insurance.

    Do you think I have something to gain from these exercises long-term, or if it's a disc could it possibly be too late to get it back into position? It's been 4 months since I ceased over-rotating after realizing the injury. I'm only 35. I'll keep doing the stretches, just losing hope a bit. :/

  69. JL16 says:

    Is this a lifetime injury or can I go back to jogging and sports as soon as I heal?

  70. Giovanni Aldegheri says:

    Great video! I tend to crack my back very often. Is it ok?

  71. J M says:

    Thank you, it worked for me..your my lifesaver..👍

  72. 1989nkhl says:

    Hello doctor thanks for this video ! i've mild nerve pain along left leg, when i tried 3rd exercise with left leg folded, i feel some pain. Should i continue or nt?

  73. SALONI GUPTA says:

    Hlw Dr…I am 19 yr old ….and I suffer from herniated slip disc from last 5 month…..but pain is not reduced….so search and reached to yr video…but when I do 3rd exercise..it's pain me…can I continue or stop….and on more thing.
    How many times I do each exercise?

  74. Shekhar Kumar says:

    I have pain in upper right hip for last 6 months. My MRI says "L4-L5 postrocentral disc extrusion causing compression on thecal sec."
    Can I do these exercises or not?

  75. AskDoctorJo says:

    Buy a printable worksheet with the Herniated Disc Exercises & Stretches in this video here: https://www.askdoctorjo.com/purchase-herniated-disc-worksheet
    ⭐⭐ Leaving a Question or Comment? ⭐⭐
    If you want me to reply, make sure you hit the 🔴 SUBSCRIBE 🔴 button above first (if you haven’t already) because I always respond to my subscribers!

  76. Bansiboyyy ! says:

    I got slip disc doctor if I continue this excersise then will my leg stop paining?😖

  77. Michael Wright says:

    I have had a herniated disc (S1-L5) for around 10 years and at one time had sciatica down my left leg, but thanks to loads of walking daily the sciatic pain disappeared and hasn't come back. A few months ago I had to move heavy furniture, house clearance and have also lifted heavy boxes a month ago. My lower back pain returned during that time. I went to hospital had 2 X -Rays back & side, which confirmed the herniated disc and the Dr suggested I take Arcoxia 120 mg for the pain. When the course ended I didn't buy more, as I do not want to be on pain killers for ever. Lying flat on my back in bed and wanting to turn left/right has been agonizing. After struggling to get up and walking around the pain diminishes after about 10 mins. This has been going on for almost a month, but over the last week the pain has diminished with loads of rest. Can you suggest any back exercises that will help (S1-L5). Also I will start cycling again, which I've not done for 20 years, will that help and I also have a Teeter hang up machine, is this OK to use or can it cause problems? I can print off plenty of exercises available.
    Thank you Dr Jo.

  78. Diego Varas Covarrubias says:

    Hi Dr. Jo! First off, thanks for all the videos. These have been very helpful as I’ve started my recovering process. I wanted to ask if you have any specific recommendations for herniated extruded discs. Thanks!

  79. scottdm84 says:

    Hi Jo, should i continue the cobra pose if i can feel the tingling in the leg?

  80. Yashwanth S says:

    Hello doctor! Its amazing and got relief from pain within no time. I am 28 years old and I weight 98 kg. Please let me know can I do fat burning workouts like squats, pushups, lifting weights having this L5S1 problem. Please let me know. Thank you. 😊😊😊

  81. Agopolis23 says:

    Your arms are long! Or my arms are short 😂

  82. Mauro Martinez says:

    Watching your Video from North Hollywood..trying repair my 2 Bugling disc…I just Bend down and my body when Stiff….Chiropractor tells me my Core and Glutes are Weak…need to rebuild them..59 yr old..

  83. vinod kumar says:

    I.have bulgdisc plz guide for mild bulging disc


    I've had 3 herniated discs for over 10 years. I've been able to keep it at bay with exercises and chiropractic. My back randomly went out completely and I cannot walk. Is it safe to do these with this going on?

  85. Christopher Carpenter says:

    Going to try these tonight. Have been given exercises by my physio but I end up in so much pain afterwards

  86. Chinnanas Mansoor says:

    8 years ago I did heavy squat since then I have pain in right leg and buttocks no back pain..now a days both legs spasm and numness I don't know wht to do no back ache

  87. Justin T says:

    Ty so much

  88. Silky Bhalla says:

    Is this exercise is for all back pains

  89. Pejman Bagheri says:

    Hi dear Dr Jo.first of all , thank you so much because of your helpful and supportive videos.I have a question.I got buldged discs 2 & 3. but don't have any pain on my back.can i practice pull-ups?isn't it harmful about my case?

  90. Muzaffarhussain Mujawar says:

    mam Can herinated disk go back in place???

  91. zjunegirl says:

    Do you know anything about being born with a leg an inch longer than the other? I have to wear a lift all the time but is there any sort of ways to strengthen the weaker leg? When I move the smaller leg out and then back in a get a clicking in the pelvic..

  92. Prerna Tiwari says:

    Ma'am plz suggest some exercise as I m suffering from disc buldge almost a year and it's really pain please help

  93. muntazir geologist says:

    hi i have slipped disc problem but i have no pain now in low back now i have pain in leg i cannot stand for long time and when walk also pain in leg so what should i do?????

  94. The Prophet says:

    Thanks for the video ! I did them with you for a second and already got relief. Good for you and thank you!

  95. Atluri says:

    Hi sir. I fell down 10 months back from height of 10 feet. I had pain for 2 months and it was relieved when I used pain killers and never came back.
    But now, I recently started doing very very long bike rides. And the pain came back. How ever I don't have leg pains or any other pains. The only pain I have is in lower back. All of a sudden I feel like somebody giving electric shock in my lumbar spine. It comes and goes every 1 minute for few minutes.
    I tried hanging through a rod. But when I get down on my feet gently, I feel my back pain worse.. I even tried back excercises. But nothing helped.. I am not understanding how to treat it. Please suggest me..

  96. Randall Edick says:

    What do you NOT do for herniated disk?

  97. Fouda da says:

    Many thanks Dr. Jo, Could we do theses exercises with spondylolisthesis?

  98. Reza Nazar says:

    I am ever so thankful @AskDoctorJo for these exercises; surely worked like a miracle my back pain is totally vanished, but there is a sharp pain from lower back all the way to my right leg what should i do about it ? it fells like twisting my leg.

  99. asif nisar says:

    should i use ice or heating pat
    i hav pain in my hip and back side of leg . nerk pain in my hip when sneezing, yawning, coughing.
    plz help me

  100. Kenny Yardman says:

    How many times a day should these exercises be done?

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