Yoga Poses For Healing Herniated Discs

A bulging disc, herniated disc, or a slipped disc as it is most commonly called is really not a slipping or moving of the bones that make up the spinal column or the discs that cushion the spaces between the bones. The term ‘slipped disc’ is actually a misnomer as it is medically inaccurate.

What really happens is that the soft, jelly-like substance that makes up the intervertebral discs protrudes outside because of a rupture in the outer ring of the disc.


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Depending on the extent of the rupture, the severity of the bulge is also different. The actual disc itself is fixed between the bones and does not slip at all. The rupture in the outer ring of the disc can be due to any reason, starting from trauma and heavy lifting to a genetic predisposition to such problems.

Usually, small tears heal by themselves within a couple of weeks, but large tears will take more time and may sometimes become so severe that they will require surgery to correct. Currently, this problem is treated by physiotherapy. Traction is one of the best treatment methods, and when traction is exerted at the site of the rupture, the negative pressure exerted on the inside of the spine causes the soft jelly that makes up the inside of the disc to go back inside. Medication is more for pain relief than anything else.

Nowadays, however, most people resort to certain exercises that are almost as effective as traction, if not more, for healing herniated discs. Moreover, the advantage of exercising is that it also helps to strengthen the muscles of the back, ensuring that the condition does not worsen or extend to other vertebrae. Yoga, because it is such a gentle form of exercise, is becoming very common in the treatment of back pain.

Yoga for disc bulge

The different poses (asanas) that make up yogic exercises are very different from normal exercises because they not only contract the muscles but also extend them. Rather than concentrate on big muscles that may look good but do not offer much physical strength, yoga concentrates on improving stamina and strengthening the core, helping to treat a number of physical ailments.

Some asanas for healing herniated discs are given below.

All these poses are especially good for back pain and help strengthen the muscles of the spine, thus giving you good posture. A good posture is very important in preventing future recurrences of a slipped disc.


Although some of these poses are not very difficult, others put tremendous strain on the muscles of the back. It is therefore advised that people who already have herniated discs approach a yoga instructor who is experienced in dealing with people who have such problems.

If you cannot go for formal training, it is always best to start with the simplest exercises and take things slowly. One of the tenants of yoga is that you never push your body beyond its limit and instead concentrate on doing what it is able to do. Over time, the body gets stronger doing simple exercises, so that you can move on to more difficult ones. In fact, most of the difficult ones take months of practice to master.

There are a number of other poses that are also equally beneficial, but put a lot of flexion on the spine. While this is good in keeping the spine strong while being supple, it is really not recommended that anyone with a herniated disc do these poses as there is a possibility that it may worsen the condition.

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