Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Have confirmed L4-L5 herniated disc what exercises?

I have recently discovered that my previously diagnosed Piriformis syndrome is actually herniated L4-L5 disc left side. Had been doing exercises to try and stretch piriformis muscle by lying on back pulling knee to chest and then slowly moving knee across to opposite shoulder. Felt the stretch and was able to get more flexible over time (2 weeks). However pain getting from bed in mornings and getting going is/was horrific, made head swim etc. Sought second opinion, had MRI and discovered aforementioned herniated disc.
Now I have different exercises to do mostly lying on stomach, raise up on elbows, keep hips on ground and increase duration of holding this position. Another is next step by doing slow pressup also with keeping pelvis on ground and hold for short duration. These are designed, they say to move pain from lower extremities back into the lumbar region of the actual injury, in my case from central buttocks region to anywhere and including tips of toes. This varies considerably from dull constant ache in calf, to the sensation of someone touching a match to ankle bone, sharp stabbing pain of different durations and regions, you name it. Problem is these stretches are, along with simple core exercises are failing to produce these results (3 weeks). Even in the stretch itself when the disc is supposedly moving away from nerve root, I still feel these sensations in lower leg (left).
I guess my question is could I be battling 2 conditions with the first diagnosed Piriformis syndrome preventing the relief that was suggested. I did a careful trial and attempted to do a slight stretch on the piriformis muscle again and indeed found this seemed very tight again with nowhere near the flexibility I had achieved with it before Herniation diagnosis. Not sure if these knee to chest exercises may undo all the good the disk exercises may have done. Anyone have any ideas or similar issues?


  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,373
    edited 02/13/2014 - 11:37 AM
    Welcome to Spine Health. We are a friendly bunch and are happy to share our own experiences with you. Being able to chat with others in a similar position is a great support and it helps to know that there are others who understand.

    We are not able to advice you on exercises for your herniated disc. I suspect that even a trained physiotherapist would not want to do that without examining you first.

    It does sound like you have seen someone who has given you some exercises to do. Do you have a follow up appointment where you will be able to ask your questions. Any answer you get from them will be far more helpful and accurate than someone here trying to help.

    I see this is your first post so I am giving you some links to areas that should be useful to you.


    I do think that exercise can be very helpful for back pain but it needs to be done carefully.

  • Did your PT or whoever prescribed your exercise plans give you an idea of how long it would take to see improvement? Three weeks doesn't seem like a very long time to me.

    I have a different condition to you but my doc says I need to keep doing exercises for six months before judging whether they are working. I do similar stretches to the ones you have described plus a few others. It might just be a case of needing to be patient.

    I don't know much about piriformis syndrome or whether you might have that in addition to your herniated disc but I think your doc would have told you if you did. Maybe ask about that at your next appointment.
  • Unfortunately I am unable to attend physio etc as I am currently out of the country and am in fact at sea at present time. According to the second set of info I was given the back stretches should relieve the pain down the legs etc, while in the stretch temporarily and would come back once you come out of stretch. Over a longer period of time the pain should move up the leg to become more isolated in lumbar region once you come out of stretch. I think they call it centralizing.
    The issue that weights on me is that I do not even get that small amount of relief while in the stretch. The only way it seems to get better is moving about during the day and keeping as carefully active as possible. I try to take as little meds as possible, Ibuprofen in the morn to help get going. Will be back in country at end of Feb, as I am still traveling for work initial piriformis diagnosis was performed out of country as was the second confirmed (MRI) diagnosis (in Mexico) of the herniated disk. will just nurse it and do whatever brings most relief and helps me sleep till I get home.
Sign In or Register to comment.