A herniated disc occurs when the nuclear pulposus, the inner material of the disc, pushes through a tear in the disc’s membrane, and compresses the nerve exiting the spinal cord. Ninety percent of disc herniations occur in the lower two lumbar vertebrae where the spine has the most flexibility. Symptoms of a herniated disc include: pain in back and/or leg; stiffness, numbness, weakness or tingling in leg or back; and/or shooting pain down leg.
With a posterior (backside) disc herniation, back bends will help reduce inflammation and help press the nucleus back into the disk. Spine lengthing poses will reduce the pressure on the disks and improve posture. Twists will help improve circulation of blood, fluids and energy to the effected area. Forward bends and poses that round the back are contraindicated. As the disks can rupture in different areas other than posterior, please check with your MD / PT to make sure the following poses are appropriate to your specific condition.
Click on an image or posture name for detailed instructions, contraindications and modifications.