Exercising strengthens and stabilizes your low back muscles and can prevent further injury. Strong muscles take unnecessary pressure off your spine by supporting your body weight and bones.
But even so, if you’re overweight, you have to lose it. Extra fat and body weight for you frame, age and height (thus-OVERweight) is too much for your back – it’s like heavy lifting all the time with a bad back! Being the weight and being in a healthy range of body-fat percentage will reduce your pain and keep your spine stronger and healthier.
If you have a herniated or bulging disc, or several, do resistance but don’t do anything intense. This may include H.I.I.T, CrossFit, Insanity or anything with a series of Plyo. You should use light to moderate free weights with lots of reps. This includes dumbbells, lighter kettle bells, resistance bands, lighter plates on cable machines and your own body weight. You should also work on stretching and light impact cardio that does not add to your herniated disc pain.
Stretching through yoga and Pilates can help with your general core strength and flexibility, and often relieves acute pain in your legs and low back.
A good personal trainer will also show you how to do dynamic lumbar stabilization exercises. That target your abdominal and back muscles (core) and focuses on your posture, flexibility, and strength.
Recumbent bikes and swimming, also help relieve pain. Some other cardio might be better suited to your specific condition. Walking may or may not be good for your herniated disc pain. A personal trainer can help you find out.
Exercise does not have to hurt when you have a herniated or bulging disc and in fact should help you treat the symptoms, reduce your pain and be - if not fun – at least enjoyable! Again, you, your doctor and a good personal trainer can work together to develop a program that you’ll like, And if you like it, you’re more than likely to stick to it! - Ronnie Loaiza Certified Personal Trainer