Herniated Disc Part 2: The Best Exercises For Your Herniated Disc

By Dr Ken Nakamura+

Have you gone over the Disc Herniation Part 1” article from last week and feel better but still have pain?

Do you want to find out the best exercises to put your herniated disc back in?

Do you want to feel better than you do now?

In this article I go over

  1. Best exercises to push a herniated disc back into place

  2. Stabilization exercises that keep your disc from coming out

Lumbar Disc Herniation-Downtown Toronto Chiropractor

Lumbar Disc Herniation             From neurosciences.beaumont.edu

When you have a herniated disc the nucleus has been pushed through the annulus like in the picture above. What caused it to go out in the first place?

The answer is forward bending. Each time you bend forward your disc which is like a jelly/jam doughnut gets pinched at the front. Pinch the doughnut often enough or hard enough and the annulus breaks and the nucleus goes through and pushes on the nerve.

The disc is actually made of a hard cartilage on the outside, but the inside is relatively soft, like phlegm. You need to understand that with a disc or doughnut, they work in the similar way.

If you push on one side of the doughnut, the jelly gets pushed to the other side. Same with the disc so the analogy to a doughnut is pretty close.

When there is enough pressure on the nerve from a herniated disc or if there is inflammation you feel pain.

The solution is to push the doughnut to the opposite side. This is exactly how you can fix your herniated disc.

If you want to know more details about herniated discs, go to Disc Herniation Part 1: Best Self-Treatments To Help Your Lumbar Disc Herniation.

How Do I Put Pressure On The Opposite Side of the Disc?

The answer is you bend your spine backwards or put your spine into extension.

Best exercises to push a herniated disc back into place

Warning: You can get a little more pain while doing these exercises. If the pain is getting much worse or your pain goes further down the leg while you are doingthese exercises, stop right away

Lie face down or prone in bed with your elbows tucked in under your side:

  • As soon as you get up in the morning you should lie prone (face down). By getting in this position, your lower back becomes more arched, or as doctors say, you increase your lordosis.
  • The increased lordosis pushes on the back of the disc helping to bring the nucleus forward into the correct position.

Sphinx pose in Yoga or Prone Prop McKenzie

  • Get into the prone position lying down on your stomach.
  • Next get on your elbows. If you have a hard time with this position go back into the prone lying position.
  • Do these exercises holding each time for 1-2 seconds 6-8 times per set. This exercise can be repeated every two hours throughout the day.

Asses yourself. If the pain has decreased or pain has moved away from the leg or thigh and into the hip or buttock, this is an improvement. Even if the pain is increased in the back but relieved in the leg this is an improvement and a green light that you should continue this exercise. You also get a green light if there is no difference at all.

  • If your self-assessment gives you the green light, move onto the Cobra exercises just below.
  • If your thigh or leg pain is worse, then stop right away.
  • If your low back, thighs and legs are the same you get a green light, move on to the Cobra exercises.

Yoga Cobras or McKenzie Push-ups


  • Lie down face down with your hands underneath your shoulders.
  • Push up from as high as you can until your lower back stops you or your elbows are straight.
  • The pelvis should still be on the floor and the lower back muscles relaxed.
  • Do these exercises holding each time for 1-2 seconds 6-8 times per set. This exercise can be repeated every two hours throughout the day.

Asses yourself. If the pain has decreased or pain has moved away from the leg or thigh and into the hip or buttock, this is an improvement. Even if the pain is increased in the back but relieved in the leg this is an improvement and a green light that you should continue this exercise. If your thigh or leg pain is worse, then stop right away.


Standing Extensions

Herniated Disc Put your Disc Back In & Prevent Herniated Discs

Standing Extensions To Put your Disc Back In

  • Stand straight and put your hands behind your hips with your fingers facing down.
  • Push your hands into your pelvis so that your lower back arches.
  • Don’t use your lower back muscles
  • These exercises can be done 6-8 times for 1-2 seconds. This exercise can be repeated every two hours throughout the day.


Stabilization Exercises: Prevent Your Disc From Coming Out By Having A Stable Spine.


#1 The Cat-Cow or Cat-Camel

Cat Cow Herniated Disc Put your Disc Back In & Prevent Herniated Discs

  • On all fours with your knees under your hips and hands under your shoulders.
  • Inhale and let your belly fall downwards toward the floor as you look up toward the ceiling for 2 seconds.
  • Exhale and arch your back up as far as it will go or until you feel pain. You should not feel pain with this exercise, otherwise you are going too high.
  • At the same time bend your neck forward and look toward your naval.


#2 Curl-Ups

Herniated Disc:Best ways to treat a Herniated Disc

Curl up to help strengthen your rectus abdominis i.e. Your Abs

  • To start, one foot is bent and the other is straight.
  • One forearm goes under your arch of your lower back to support it.
  • Other arm is supporting your head.
  • Your head and neck come up as one block, until your shoulder blades clear the floor.
  • Do three sets of 5 working your way up to 10. If it’s easy, then hold for a couple of breaths.

#3 Squats

How to Improve Posture-Chair Squats: Toronto Chiropractic Clinic

  • Stand in front of a chair as if you are going to sit on it.
  • Stand with your feet facing slightly more outward than your knee.
  • Make sure your butt comes out, and keep lowering you butt until you touch the chair.
  • Practice 3 sets of 10.
  • When you are stronger, take the chair away and go down until your knees are bent 90 degrees.

#4 Bird Dog


  • Get into a crawling position with your hands and feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Harden your core by contracting your abs and lower back. This is called bracing.
  • Lift up your arm first. If this is easy, then lift your leg only. If that is easy, then lift the opposite legs and arms, for example right leg, left arm.
  • Want to make it tougher? Try lifting an arm and leg on the same side.
  • 3 sets of 10. If you are shaking a little or cannot balance quite right, you’re doing the right exercise for you, i.e.  lifting just the leg or arm might be easy, but lifting opposite arms and legs might put you off-balance a bit. Make sure you are stable before going to the advanced bird dog.



Tell us what you think in the comments below and like us on Facebook. This Toronto Downtown Chiropractor will answer all questions in the comments section.




1.  J Med Genet 2002;39:387-390 doi:10.1136/jmg.39.6.387


Dr Ken Nakamura

Who is Dr. Ken? I’m a father, spouse, chiropractor, and I love what I do! I created Bodi Empowerment to bring you and everyone-else safe and effective methods for self-treatment by basing my articles on research to everything I can. Still many parts will be based on 18 years of experience, seminars, and collaboration with other health experts; which means you will get opinions as well. Sometimes my articles won’t agree with what is currently accepted, but I am not here to please everyone. I’m here to empower you through the knowledge that I give you. Dr. Ken works at Rebalance Sports Medicine in downtown, Toronto.

1,238 Responses to Herniated Disc Part 2: The Best Exercises For Your Herniated Disc
  • Gerald says:
    September 23, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    Hello doc, just want to ask, 10 months of hearniated disc it is still possible to heal? I am pain free already after my PT but i notice when i am in the car for about 1 hr, and this happen every other day, sometimes in a week. I can feel weakness in my back, and after a few weeks or months I can feel that there is pain again in my back! After 6 month from herniated disc i can feel that i am not comfortable when sitting even i cannot feel pain in my herniated disc only on the side of my back with small pain about 1 or less. Presently i have pain again, somtimes it less, sometimes getting worst! Almost 3 months for this already and it happens 9 days only i am pain free ang it comback again.I am always doing exercise what PT before given to me! I am at work now ang i cannot come back for therapy. But i am planning to go again for therapy when I go home. That would be after 3 months if I can survive in my work. I am thingking to go home early but i have my family with two kids, I am afraid that when i go home i cannot support them financially. I am 32 yrs old. When i go home and if i am improving in therapy again i am planning to take a rest for 6 months before i will comeback to my work again. Do you think that would be a good decision doc? I am afraid also that my pain will takes long time to heal if i will not cure early. What would you advice doc?thank you for giving time reading this. And i am waiting for your reply. God bless you.

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      September 24, 2017 at 3:41 am

      Yes, Gerald, you can heal. Continue on with the exercises or rather start the exercises.

  • Dami says:
    September 16, 2017 at 5:35 am

    Hi Doctor,

    I had disk herniation at my l5/S1 for a year and didn’t know. It was when the pain started radiating down my left leg and physiotherapy didn’t work that I did an MRI which showed that the disk was severely herniating. I ended up doing a surgery July 7th. I was re-admitted on July 17th due to csf leakage. They had to open me up to close the leakage. Then one more surgery was done on the 25th of July for dural repair. Now, since August 1st, i’v been having severe pain in my groins and my scrotum. It’s only with drugs I can bare the pain and even with that, it’s still bad. I’v done the “bird dog” and other exercises for a month now with no improvement. I currently have very negligible pain at my back and none of the sciatica pain. P. S. I was not having groin or scrotum pain before the surgery. Any ideas?

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      September 16, 2017 at 7:44 am

      Thanks for your question Dami. There is pressure on your spinal cord or more accurately the cauda equina from either inflammatory fluid or scar tissue from my point of view. You will need an MRI as a follow-up to determine for sure. The surgery was a failure. I cannot recommend exercises as I don’t know what they did in the surgery and you can really only tell with an MRI and by talking to the surgeon and looking at the surgical records.

      Sorry to hear about this. Hope your herniated disc gets better.

      • Dami says:
        September 16, 2017 at 2:13 pm

        Hi Doctor,

        Thanks for the answer. The first surgery was a microdiscectomy on my l5/S1. The 2nd was spinal exploration plus dural repair. Apparently the csf leakage that was fixed wasn’t fixed well. Before the second surgery, I did a repeat MRI which showed that there was space between the nerve and the disk. But there was also a concentration of csf which led to the second surgery.

        I have also checked the symptoms of the cauda equina and I don’t have any of the symptoms mentioned there.

        “Symptoms of cauda equina syndrome include low back pain, numbness and/or tingling in the buttocks and lower extremities (sciatica), weakness in the legs, and incontinence of bladder and/or bowels”

        The only thing I have is pain in my groin and testicular region. No incontinence, no weakness, nothing else.

        Any ideas?

        • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
          September 21, 2017 at 9:03 am

          Thanks for your question Dami. If there is no pressure on the disc and a concentration of CSF that is not a reason to do a second surgery. The real reason is the surgery caused a leakage of CSF due to your dura mater being weak or the surgeon made a mistake.

          You can have pain in the groin and testicular region from pressure on the nerve going to the groin and also the cauda equina. Both happen infrequently but I have seen many cases. First of all, you need to know that the MRIs doesn’t show how you the reality of life. MRIs are taken lying down unless you got an MRI while sitting which is very rare as that is a more expensive MRI. Most people have pain with forward bending or sitting. Since there is more pressure on the disc when sitting you will get more pressure on the nerve. What appears to be no pressure can be pressure when not in an MRI. So MRIs don’t actually show what’s happening when you have pain for most people. You can get pressure on the thecal sac which is the covering of the cauda equina and cause groin pain. You can also simply get entrapment of the genitofemoral nerve near the psoas or anywhere along the path.

          However, I cannot give you exercises as you have been injured by the surgery the consequences of surgery can make exercises aggravate your situation. In your case I cannot tell without an examination. Why don’t you consult with a chiropractor that can actually examine you.

          Hope that helps your understanding of your lower back and disc herniations.

  • Amy says:
    September 9, 2017 at 8:27 am

    Hi Dr Ken,

    I’ve had sciatic pain from my right buttock wrapping into hip and down to my knee. This has been going on for nearly 11 months now. It started out where I was taking 1600-2400 mg of ibuprofen a day. This went on for 6-7 months. I weighed 194 and dropped down to 170. During this time I started seeing a chiropractor who had a PT in his office. We never did any adjustments. Just massages that focused on the piriformis. This seemed to lessen the pain for about 2 days where I could avoid ibuprofen. After 2 days it would be 800mg if ibuprofen a day. My chiropractor finally ordered an MRI and requested dye as well because of my concern of a possible tumor since I have had ovarian cancer. The results showed a herniated disc at my L3 and my L5S1 (L5S1 was pushing or pinching the nerve) as well as a small schwannoma tumor in the cauda equina region of the lower lumbar. The chiropractor recommended that I see a neurosurgeon that he wanted to refer. It almost seemed that he was pushing the neurosurgeon down my throat as my oncologist had referred a different neurosurgeon and the chiropractor continued to push his own referral. It was a bit unsettling but I agreed to see his referral. Prior to leaving the chiropractor’s office that day, that had me do one session of stretches with the physiotherapist. After the one session I started walking 30 min a day at the gym and doing the squats from a chair. As the week went on the pain lessened in my leg. It went down to a 1 for the most part and pain would rise to a 2 half of the time when I stood up. I was pretty excited of the progress over the last week. I went to the chiropractor today expecting to meet with the physiotherapist so she could work with me even more on posture during the stretches. However I ended up meeting with the chiropractor and the physiotherapist wasn’t there. The first thing he asked was “did I see the neurosurgeon today?” I said, “no they called to leave a message but I haven’t went in yet.” He proceeds to tell me he saw the neurosurgeon last night and they talked about me and the neurosurgeon said I was on his calendar for today. He said him and the neurosurgeon both agreed that doing a disectomy on the 2 herniated disc would likely be the route they went and observe the schwannoma. I explained that over the past 11 months my pain has went from a screeching 10 making me scream and take 2400 mg of ibuprofen to a 1-2 with no anti inflammatories now. I explained my insurance deductible starts over in January, so I would like to continue physiotherapy and lose another 15-20 lbs to see if I can become pain free. ( I do not have weakness of the legs, drop foot, bladder or bowel issues. I only have the sciatic pain in my right buttock and leg from the buttock to the knee). I also explained after having ovarian cancer I wasn’t comfortable with just watching and waiting to see what the tumor does. I explained that I understand the location of the tumor is no good whether we operate or it slowly grows. I told him I have done research and read about cyberknife that is non invasive and it kills the tumor so it can’t grow. I explained that looking into the tumor with this non invasive procedure would be important to me at this point and asked if his referral did this procedure. He said he wasn’t familiar with the procedure and the neurosurgeon he was referring me to does a lot of disectomies. That him and the neurosurgeon already discussed and he knows they will want to just observe via MRI. He then continued to push the consultation with the neurosurgeon for the disectomy and told me that disc don’t just absorb themselves. He said with it touching the nerve it will need surgery and stretches and losing weight won’t fix it. I finally agreed to the consultation so we could quit talking about it. At this point I felt I needed a second opinion because everything I read says dont do surgery unless it’s an emergency and you go numb or lose bladder or bowel function. (Maybe if he wasn’t so pushy with his referral I wouldn’t feel this way. I’m not sure). He then had me get on his traction table and he pushed around on my spine while the table kept dropping my legs and lifting them. (He has never had me do this before. Just stretches and massages). He finished and the pain had gone from the glimpse of hope I had at a 1 sometimes 2 back to a 5.5 and after laying still all night a consistent 4. I almost feel that he pressed around on the disc because i told him it was feeling much better and wanted to hold on surgery. (Maybe I’m making this up in my head but that’s how I felt). I went from feeling like I had hope between the disc healing and finding the non invasive cyberknife procedure to hopeless since my visit with the chiropractor today. In addition I feel that trust and credibility went out the window today. I’m wondering if what he said was all accurate and I just wanted to hear that it can possibly heal the rest of the way, and now I’m making up that he has Ill intentions because it wasn’t what I wanted to hear.

    Can you please provide feedback as to my concerns and his advice?

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      September 10, 2017 at 9:49 pm

      Thanks for your question Amy. First, you don’t do surgery without doing extensive conservative therapy with the exceptions you pointed out like bowel and bladder issues, weakness or drop foot. I would personally go to that physiotherapist again in a different location or a different one.

      The problem I have is that Neurosurgeon apparently has decided what he/she will do ie surgery without doing an exam. Red flag! If that’s true and the neurosurgeon is taking the word of the chiropractor and the MRI I would not go. As a health practitioner, you always have to do a thorough history and exam. You then have a diagnosis before looking at the MRI. None of that is happening. The second problem is the physiotherapist started getting you better with effects that weren’t just overnight. You had a durable improvement. The chiropractor should then be happy that surgery is now less likely if the effects continue. The chiropractor should acknowledge this and encourage you not the referral at this point.

      Having said that I don’t think the chiropractor likely tried to hurt you as that is a known treatment that does help disc herniations. Unfortunately, it can make you worse as it doesn’t make all types of discs herniations better.

      It is unusual for the chiropractor to be so pushy. That is a yellow flag to me and sounds my like sales to me. However, I wasn’t there and I am listening only to your side.

      Hope that help your herniated disc. The above is an opinion and not a recommendation.

      If you have any more questions from this Toronto downtown chiro I would be happy to answer them for you. That’s the best I can do for you.

      • Amy says:
        September 13, 2017 at 8:59 am

        Thank you so much Dr Ken. I’m extremely appreciative that you take the time to get on this forum and answer questions.

        My pain is about a 4 and feels like someone punches me right in the center of my right buttock, with a light burning sensation down the back of my leg and an irritating pinching feeling at the back of my knee. What I’m starting to see is, if I’m up moving around a lot, whether it be walking around or just doing house work the pain drops to a 1 or less. I think I see greater relief when I’m squatting down and standing up a lot in a day (example we just changed baseboard in our house and there was a lot of up and down). Although my body feels exhausted the pain subsides in my butt and leg. When I walk the pain subsides to probably a 1. It’s when I’m sitting, laying down, or initially standing up after sitting that the pain is at it’s worst. (However it used to be a lot worse and I’m finally able to manage without predisone, shots of pain medicine in my butt, and ibuprofen).

        With this information is there any excerises or stretches you would recommend? Also, any ideas as to why the pain lessens after these types of motions and seems worse while laying, sitting, or standing?

        I also read that a girl’s chiropractor told her to bounce on a ball five minutes a day to increase the blood flow in her spine to help heal faster. Would this really help? Any other ideas to help?

        • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
          September 15, 2017 at 7:54 am

          Thanks for your question Amy. Regarding bouncing on all ball for faster healing. I have never heard that bouncing on a ball can increase blood flow to the spine. I do know that you can sit on the ball and do other exercises to increase the stability of the spine at the same time strengthening the spine. Perhaps there is a misunderstanding on her part?

          As for why you feel good when standing and squatting. Most people do this by keeping their spine extended or in other words, there is a curve in your lower back when you stand. Also, if you do a proper squat your spine is extended as well. When you sit your arch is usually straightened or even reversed thus pushing out your disc. However, if you have great posture you have an arch in your lower back when sitting.

          My opinion is that the exercises in this article would suit you very well and should be helpful.

          Hope that helps your herniated disc. If you have any more questions for this downtown Toronto chiropractor I would do my absolute best to give you an answer that is most useful.

  • Ása says:
    August 5, 2017 at 6:08 am

    Hello Dr. Ken
    I have had pain in the right side of my lower back moving upwards for several weeks and much stiffness in the back. The pain somehow radiates to the hip area. Is it possible that my disc is herniated causing this pain or might it as well result from a teared muscle in my back.

    Thank you. Best regards, Ása

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      August 10, 2017 at 6:46 pm

      Thanks for your question Asa. Unless you had trauma or a motor vehicle accident you would not tear your muscle. It is more likely to have a herniated disc. However, it can be many, many different diagnoses as you don’t give me much information to go by.

      Hope that helps your possible disc herniation. This is an opinion and not a recommendation.

  • Stephen says:
    August 1, 2017 at 1:26 am

    Hey Dr. I’ve suffers from back pain over the past 4/5 years through competitive sport. Recently I have been in agony and suffering from a herniated disc in the L5/S1 region. Previously I have been able to carry out several exercises which had positive results in particular the cobra pose. However recently when carrying out this exercise, I feel a pinching sensation in my lower back, there is no referral down my leg but I have never had this sensation before. Is there a way of correcting this? I have looked at my technique and connot find any poor habits. Kind Regards, Stephen

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      August 1, 2017 at 11:24 pm

      Thanks for your question Stephen. It sounds like your disc moved. You will have to go see a professional to help you out. Hope that helps your disc herniation.

  • Ras says:
    July 31, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    Hi Dr Ken,
    I’ve been part of page for years. I’m grateful for your help.
    My question for today is, more than a week ago I lie in sphinx position and tried to do Superman exercise that I haven’t done for a while, but when I tried, I felt sharp pain on my right hamstring which is my sciatic leg, i immediately stop, since then my pain in my right leg is worse now. I don’t understand why is worse, because I’m not in slouching forward position, did I somehow push the gel out more now? By overdoing the Superman? Is it just inflammation? I’ve seen my chiro and he said time will take care of it.
    My tail bone is too inward that my l4-l5 pinch my nerve for 3 years now. Cobra exercises helps me a lot. 33 yrs male. Cyclist.

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      August 1, 2017 at 11:21 pm

      Thanks for your question Ras. Either your disc was sticking out too much or it went out in a new direction so you pinched the nerve more with the disc. The disc can change position usually slowly but can be a matter of hours. It’s not the exercise, it’s how you use the exercise that counts.

      Hope that helps your herniated disc. If you have any more questions, for this downtown Toronto chiropractor I would be happy to give you a good answer.

      • Ras says:
        August 2, 2017 at 4:14 pm

        Thx Dr for the reply,
        I would love to visit you but I’m in the other side of the globe, Australia.
        I just went to osteopath, she streching me like crazy, to add mobility and release stiffness. Stretching my hamstring, and twisting my body. This is a question I want to bring up here, the osteopaths and physiotherapists I met all told me that twisting the spine is not bad for the herniated or bulging disc. Actually it’s encouraged, to increase mobility. But I learnt from you that twisting the spine is bad for herniation.
        1. Which one is right?
        2. Does stretching and increasing mobility is useful for disc herniation? Because I don’t feel any improvement but sore hamstring from the osteopaths. And you’ve mention that stretching the hamstring will make the pain in the leg worse.

        • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
          August 3, 2017 at 9:07 am

          Thanks for your question as usual Ras. Stretching the hamstrings will make things worse except if it’s flossing. Flossing when the problem is bad can also make things worse. You have to test the spine to see if you are ready for flossing. Twisting done a few times is fine. Repeated twisting will make you worse. That’s my opinion. Doesn’t sound like it’s helping either.

          • Ras says:
            August 4, 2017 at 6:59 am

            Thanks for your reply doc.
            Why in my case, activating glute will make the right leg more painful? Even just squeezing my butt while standing straight. Is it the nerve thing?
            Since the last Superman exercise hurt me, which “very beginner” exercises can you recommend aside from cobra, to strengthen?

          • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
            August 10, 2017 at 6:42 pm

            Hi, Ras. When the nerve is irritated or pinched the muscles that goes to the nerve get tight in your case. Even when you have a muscle problem tightening your muscle hurts. If you use your arms all day your muscles get painful when you move them. Either way a nerve or muscle problem they both can cause pain when you “activate” them or move the muscle. Just do the exercises in this article.

          • Ras says:
            August 11, 2017 at 3:12 pm

            Thanks for your reply Dr.Ken.

            I have a family member who told me that he had upper back pinch nerve causing numbness and tingling to the left arm. He swore to me that going to the chiropractor for adjustment every week for 3 months that made his nerve pinch got better.

            Is it true that going for chiro adjustment every week more effective than daily cobra exercises? Or it’s not necessary, only done for business purpose by the chiropractor?


          • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
            August 12, 2017 at 7:22 pm

            Ras, Chiropractic adjustments are very helpful for a pinched nerve. The number of treatments and frequency depends on the condition and the stage of the diagnosis. So you are making an example of a neck problem but asking if it will be helpful in your case. The vast majority of the times chiropractic adjustments are helpful for lower back pinched nerves. I do find it often more effective than just exercises alone, although not in every case.

      • Ras says:
        August 15, 2017 at 7:05 pm

        Hi Dr Ken, thank for your reply.
        In regard to the exercises that involve activating glute which will cause more pain to the leg, even though not causing any flexion on the lower back or posture, such as bridge or just squeezing the glutes while standing. Should I push through the pain with these exercises? Will the pain in the leg reduce when my training improve?

        • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
          August 20, 2017 at 10:12 pm

          Ras, these are not the type of exercises that you should push through pain. Stop doing the exercises. More exercises is not better.

  • Ras says:
    July 29, 2017 at 6:37 am

    Hi Dr Ken,
    I have l4 l5 pinch nerve my right leg. I’ve been to chiropractors and PT, not much improvements, only cobra helps. I’m seeing osteopaths note.
    1. Is osteopaths suitable for this kind of problem?
    2. I was asked to stretch my hamstring, is it true streching hamstring can help?

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      July 29, 2017 at 9:22 pm

      Thanks for your question Ras. It’s not the profession that matters it’s the person, continuing education, experience and the health care practitioner’s willingness to learn. So another chiropractor or different physiotherapist or osteopath may help. Stretching the hamstrings will make you worse but flossing may help. If too acute the flossing will make you worse. http://www.bodiempowerment.com/sciatica-4-best-exercises/

      Hope that helps your herniated disc. If you have any more questions for this downtown Toronto chiropractor I will do my best to give you a good answer.

  • Amit singh says:
    July 27, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    Hello Dr. Ken
    I’m 33 years old with 6 feet height and 95 kgs.Last year in April 2016 I had terrible shooting pain from mine back to toe.Then as suggested by my doctor I got a MRI done which reported that- 1.lumbar spondylosis with paravertebral muscle spasm. 2. Central and left paracentral L4-5 disc extrusion and caudal migration causing thecal sac indentation, left L5 lateral recess compromise with bilateral neural foraminal stenosis(L>R)..
    I did physiotherapy and traction for 3 months.My physiotherapists asked me to touch toe daily,which I did. Right now I do not have any pain but there is numbness from left of calf muscle to toe. And has a power loss due to which I can’t run. Dr. plz suggest me what to do? Weather I should go for surgery?

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      July 29, 2017 at 9:31 pm

      Thanks for your question Amit. In your case, I would ask your 2 or 3 different orthopaedic surgeons if you need surgery. The loss of muscle strength is concerning. However, if you are continuing to improve your strength then I would stick with the program your physiotherapist is doing. Sounds like you had improvement with your pain but was your strength measured as a baseline. Were your calf and thigh measured at the beginning? If not, you wouldn’t know if your strength is improving. As for the numbness when your strength improves the numbness will improve although that can take even more time.

      Extrusion can take 6 months even longer to heal.

      Hope that helps your herniated disc. If you have any more questions for this Toronto downtown chiropractor I would be happy to give you a good answer.

  • Tiju Mathew says:
    July 21, 2017 at 4:00 am

    Dr Ken,

    Last Oct 2016, I had pain in my lower back. It was something like a finger pushing into my lower spine. I consulted a doctor, took an X-Ray which indicated doubt for L5-S1 disc prolapse with lumbago. Then further a MRI was taken where the report tells L4-L5 and L5-S1 posterocentral protrusion. Took some rest and tablets and got relieved from the pain.

    Recently I had pain (muscle contraction rather) on my lower back. Consulted an ayurvedic doctor, based on the advise of my friend, underwent massage treatment.

    Though slightly over weight, I play soccer, badminton, weight lifting etc but due to this situation not as confident as I used to be. Kindly advice what could be the best exercise for me to strength my back so that i don’t have any repercussions.

    Tiju Mathew

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      July 25, 2017 at 9:08 pm

      Thanks for your question Tiju. I would simply do the exercises in this article. They are made to stabilise and strengthen. This is an opinion and not a recommendation.

      Hope that helps your possible herniated disc.

  • Ras says:
    July 14, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    Hi Dr,
    My chiropractor keep telling me to go back to him every week for adjustment on my sacrom bone that inward causing my l5 pinch nerve, even though I don’t feel any significant improvement. Even when I return every 2 weeks, he said it’s too long, have to be every week. I’ve seen him more than 10 times.
    What do you think?

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      July 15, 2017 at 8:19 am

      Sound like your chiropractor is a business person first then a chiropractor.

  • Victor .manrique says:
    July 10, 2017 at 4:23 am

    Thanks for the info i will try them

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      July 10, 2017 at 7:46 am

      You are welcome Victor

      • Victor .manrique says:
        August 26, 2017 at 6:01 pm

        Good morning doctor, what is your opion on l4 l5 s1 fusion.

        • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
          September 5, 2017 at 7:00 am

          Thanks for your question Victor. It’s always the last option as it’s irreversible. You need to try several different therapies before even considering it unless your have weakness that is getting worse, or bowel and bladder issues.

          Hope that helps your possible disc herniation.

  • Jenny says:
    July 10, 2017 at 1:10 am

    I have a torn disc in lower back. My doctor recommends NOT walking. I feel like I need SOME KIND of excercise/cardio. Is it a bad idea to walk if your have a torn disc in your lower back? Also how will I know if it is healed? Another MRI?


    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      July 10, 2017 at 7:44 am

      Thanks for your question Jenny. For most people with a disc herniation, it is fine to walk, unless the problem is very acute or the disc is going out sideways. This is an opinion and not a recommendation.

      Hope that helps your possible “torn disc”.

  • Vishesh Sharma says:
    July 9, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    Hello Dr. Ken,
    I sincerely thank you for your guidance. I had slip disc L5-S1 8 years back. since then pain is off and on. I do swimming for exercise.
    A couple of weeks ago all of a sudden pain started in my back radiating to right hip. I don’t remember doing anything wrong but still. surprisingly 4-5 months back I played cricket exerting myself but no pain in my back, I even though that I might have strengthened my back but..
    Sir, please guide me what exercise to do when its paining and what afterwards for regular maintenance.

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      July 10, 2017 at 7:49 am

      Thanks for your question Vishesh. The exercises in the article may help you. That’s my opinion and not a recommendation. You need to do the exercises with a health professional familiar with the exercises.

      Hope that helps.

  • Haregua says:
    June 30, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    Hello Dr. Is it good for me this exercise? I have L2-3 posterior disc problem. I really appreciate your help.

  • Tammy Martin says:
    June 26, 2017 at 11:31 am

    Hi, I’ve been told I have a slipped discs between L1-L2, L2-L3, L3-L4, L4-L5 and L5-S1 from the progression of my Ankylosing Spondylitis. For years I’ve adapted and adjusted, now I am waiting to see the physical therapist and told it’s urgent that I go. Besides the stretching what would be the best move to assist myself?

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      June 28, 2017 at 3:24 am

      Thanks for your question Tammy. It’s important that you know if there is fusion of the above vertebrae. Also is you are in an active phase of anklylosing spondylitis. If active there is inflammation. Any mechanical exercises would make you worse so there is no point going during the active phase of AS. Knowing if there is fusion of the vertebrae will change the expectations of the physical therapist and the exercises given to you.

      Hope that helps your herniated disc and your AS. If you have any more questions for this downtown Toronto chiropractor I will do my best to give you a great answer. The above is an opinion and not a recommendation.

      • Tammy Martin says:
        June 29, 2017 at 9:50 am

        If I ever make plans to be in Toronto I will be sure to book a consultation!!! There are fusions happening, the MRI scans did shows signs of it. I’m not to active as you can guess, but I also am not mobile. 20 years later I still shovel snow, carry in the wood, cut the grass, paint the walls, anything and everything I can do to stay moving. I rarely take sick days at work, and I’ve learn to manage my AS and pain. I believe the internist is moving towards surgery and that physical therapy is just a stepping stone. Surgery is not an option for a lot of reasons but mostly I don’t want the down time and I have a young teenager with health issues, I don’t have time. Thank you for your reply!

        • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
          June 29, 2017 at 6:54 pm

          When I say active I mean: Is your AS ankylosing spondylitis in the inflammatory phase? If the AS is in the inflammatory stage or “active” then physical therapy will make you worse. ie. Most if not all exercises will make you worse. If you can do all those things like shovel snow, carry wood etc… then you are not in the inflammatory or “active” phase of AS. After 20 years you are likely fused in the lower back and or sacroiliac joint. With fusion, you can still improve mobility but it will be slow and limited. Good luck.

          Hope that helps. The above is an opinion and not a recommendation.

  • Cris says:
    June 26, 2017 at 8:27 am

    Thank you Dr. Nakamura! I sincerely appreciate your reply.
    I hesitate to see a chiropractor. Although I had been tempted.

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      June 28, 2017 at 3:20 am

      You are welcome. Cris, there are bad chiropractors, business chiropractors and good chiropractors that care. Referrals will more likely get you in touch with a good chiropractor. Reviews often help but again no guarantee. It is easier to find a good medical doctor than a good chiropractor but the same rules apply. Nothing is guaranteed. Really the profession doesn’t matter. There are good, bad and business mechanics.

      Hope you find someone good to treat your herniated disc.

  • Adams Kunambi says:
    June 26, 2017 at 3:50 am

    Hello Dr. is it okay/safe to add planks (both sides and normal planks) on above exercises for a person with L5/S1 disc herniation?

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      June 28, 2017 at 3:13 am

      Thanks for your question Kunambi. Yes for the vast majority of people it is safe but I cannot say that it is safe in your specific case as it is generic. This is an opinion and not a recommendation. Hope that helps your herniated disc. If you have any more questions for this downtown Toronto chiropractor I will do my best to answer your question.

  • Cris says:
    June 23, 2017 at 7:27 am

    I have bulging disc at
    Mild/moderate (left side)
    Since April 2012 and I have not been able to heal this. I was doing back extensions and ab exercises for 1 year solid and that didn’t help. Then back extensions and abs on/off which seemed to at least relieve it here/there.

    I have good days and bad days with different symptoms on/off, wet or burning left foot sensation, lower back pain, etc. Do I try the herniated exercises?

    Are there any vitamins that may help (B, B12, magnesium) or diet? I have also heard of turmeric supplements possibly helping as well. Would bulging disc cause or affect tinnitus (left side)? Also any suggestions on best ways to sleep?

    Thank you! Appreciate your assistance.

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      June 24, 2017 at 9:05 pm

      Thanks for your question Cris. I have plenty of people tell me they are doing their exercises that are patients of mine. Even when I show them, explain it to them and get them to show me a set they come back the next appointment with a variation of the exercise. I’m saying most people don’t do the exercises properly. If you are doing what you learned in Yoga then it’s wrong. Also, the ab exercises often make things worse. Even if the extensions are done perfectly and frequently enough (another potential problem) you might be doing “ab” exercises that are making you worse.

      So you could be doing the exercises wrong. Your ab exercises could be making you worse or your posture could be bad enough like most people that your back gets quickly aggravated.

      This is an opinion and not a recommendation. If you have any questions for this downtown Toronto Chiropractor I will do my best to give you a great answer.

      Hope that helps your herniated disc.

  • Saurabh pal says:
    June 18, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    Sir , my name is Saurabh.my age is 22 years.
    I have a little curve in lower back.it looks like so funny.it is lumber lordosis . I want to come back natural posture .plz sir help me.

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      June 20, 2017 at 6:37 pm

      Thanks for your question Saurabh. I think you mean you have too much of a curve in your lower back, which is called hyperlordosis, since a “lordosis” in your lower back is normal to have. “Hyper” means too much. You may benefit from these exercises. http://www.bodiempowerment.com/posture-correct-your-exaggerated-low-back-arch/

      This is an opinion and not a recommendation.

      Hope that helps your posture.

      • Gerald says:
        September 22, 2017 at 4:42 pm

        Doc I had large herniated dic l4-l5, with l5 right nerve root medium compression result in my MRI,I have no leg pain b4 that after 2 weeks of PT, i drive in a jeep for 1.5 hrs back and fourth, and my back pain come back and pretty worst, I continue PT, it seems it improve, after 1 month of PT i feel pain in my right leg and almost 1.5 months it dis appear.I been on PT for 2 months and i am improving, but i can still feel some very small pain in the side of my back. After four months i am in a plane for 13 hrs flight and i feel not comfortable to sit after that, i feel tingling in my buttock. And now I feel pain again in my back and I cannot sit for a long time because when i sit their is pain in my buttock! But no leg pain. I am affected for my work now! I am a seafarer and i am 3 months onboard with this pain and difficult to sit!what would you suggest?i will go home now?i have herniated disc last november 2016 due to lifting of ropes, and started pt december. This is almost 10 months from me. What would you suggest for my?

        • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
          September 24, 2017 at 3:39 am

          Thanks for your question Gerald. You should try the exercises in this article.

          Hope that helps your disc Gerald.

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