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What are some exercises to help bulging spinal disks?

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Quick Answer

If a bulging disk in the lumbar spine is causing sciatica, or pain that radiates from the lower back to the leg, doctors often recommend extension exercises, states Spine-health.com. These exercises help move the pain from the leg to the back, where it typically causes the patient less distress.

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Full Answer

To perform back extension exercises, lie prone on the floor with the upper body propped up on the elbows and the hips on the floor. Gently lift the head and shoulders off the floor by extending the elbows; this causes the lower back to bend. Hold this position for five seconds, building up to 30 seconds over time. Gently lower to a prone position again. Repeat the sequence 10 times. Some patients may not be able to perform the exercise if their pain is severe, Spine-health.com explains.

If the bulging disk is in cervical spine, neck-stretching exercises sometimes help, says WebMD. Begin by turning the head slowly to the left. Use the palm of the right hand to press against the chin, slightly increasing the stretch. Hold this position for 20 seconds, and return to center. Repeat on the right side. Next, bend the neck to the left as if trying to touch the ear to the shoulder. Use the right hand to press gently on the right side of the head. Hold this stretch for 20 seconds, and repeat on the other side. Finally, bend the head forward, and touch the chin to the chest. Hold for 20 seconds, keeping the shoulders relaxed.

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