If you suffer from lumbar degenerative disc disease pain, these 2 easy exercises may help you find meaningful relief:

See Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease Treatment

1. Towel Hamstring Stretch

Tight hamstrings limit the motion in your pelvis, which in turn can place additional stress on your lower back and therefore exacerbate your symptoms.

See Specific Hamstring Stretches for Back Pain Relief


To help alleviate your degenerative disc pain, you can perform the towel hamstring stretch at home or the office:

  • Begin by lying flat on your back with both legs flat on the floor.
  • Next, bring your right knee towards your body and support your right thigh with your hands—or wrap a towel around your thigh and firmly hold each end of the towel.
  • Raise your right foot towards the ceiling with the goal of placing your right leg in a perpendicular position. You can gently pull on the towel to bring your leg closer to your body.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds, and then repeat on your opposite leg.

See Easy Hamstring Stretches

2. Stationary Biking

If you are like most people, you don’t get enough aerobic exercise during the week. This is a problem not only because aerobic exercise is important for maintaining a healthy weight, but it can also prevent future flare-ups of degenerative disc disease pain (and you may experience less pain when a flare-up does occur).

See Exercise and Back Pain

One aerobic option that is easy on your lower back is stationary biking. If you are new to aerobic exercise, I suggest that you begin with 10 minute sessions 3 to 4 times a week. You can then slowly work your way up to 30 - 40 minute exercise sessions.

When using a stationary bike, make sure to be mindful of your posture—as leaning forward can place additional stress on your lower back. You will likely benefit from sitting tall with your shoulders back and your head level over your spine.

See Good Posture Helps Reduce Back Pain

If riding an exercise bike isn’t for you, you can also try other low-impact aerobic options like walking, water therapy, or using an elliptical machine.

A regular exercise program can provide temporary pain relief by spurring the release of pain-fighting endorphins. In addition, it can deliver long-term degenerative disc pain relief by both increasing your flexibility and encouraging the flow of healing oxygen and nutrients to your lower back.

But before beginning any exercise program it is important to receive a proper diagnosis from your doctor. The wrong kinds of exercises may cause injury or make your degenerative disc disease symptoms worse.

See Getting an Accurate Back Pain Diagnosis

Learn more:

Diagnosing Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease

What Is Degenerative Disc Disease?

Dr. Kevin Ju is an orthopedic surgeon at the Texas Back Institute He has written multiple chapters in medical textbooks and has authored several scientific articles published in peer-reviewed journals, such as The Spine Journal and the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. Dr. Ju has given several presentations at meetings and conferences around the world.