How To Exercise With A Disc Bulge

Hello again this is Sam Visnic from
and today what were going to cover is a fantastic exercise for those of you who may be suffering
from disc herniation. It is called the McKenzie press-up. Now I do not take credit for this
movement at all. It is formulated by a physical therapist a world renowned one called Robin
McKenzie who has a fantastic approach for disc herniation and this exercise only represents
a very small portion of his entire his system. But I found it to be extremely effective if
you’re only going to choose one movement to do, to assist with decreasing disk herniation
pain. Now this motion as we discussed in many of
the videos and sections of my blog. The movement that you absolutely want to avoid at all costs
if you have a posterior disc herniation is flexion which is rounding the spine forward.
The corrected motion is going to be extension of the spine which we can perform in a prone
position meaning laying face down. What we’re tending to do here is to do an extension type
motion without using any of the muscles and the lower back of the hips. So we want to
make sure that you’re in a complete resting state. Many times if you had a significant
amount of pain from your disk herniation just lying down in the prone position can give
you a tremendous amount of relief. Individuals who have an interior or pelvic tilt which
is causing their pain laying face down can actually cause them pain. But if you have
a posterior disc bulge this position allows you to have a significant amount of decreased
disc pressure which means less pressure on the nerve IE. less pain. As you can see here Karen is laying down in
the prone position. The spine is at a nice arrested extension position. That would be
step one of the motion. Step two of the motion would be if she was just supporting herself
actually up on her elbows. Which is what I’m going to have her do. So in this position
here if she is just supporting her elbows just like a child would be watching television.
This position increases the amount of extension in the spine. It is very helpful provided
she is completely relax in this position. This she can hold wanted this position for
anywhere between 60 seconds to two minutes at a time depending upon how it feels. Some
of those stretches in the spine may become adaptively shortened out of having a lot of
flexion in the spine for long period of time so this might take a little bit of time to
get used to. I urge you that if you are attempting these exercise always to consult your physician
prior to doing any of this to make sure if they are right or not for you. Don’t go and
do anything that may increase your pain that is not the intention. This is for education so that you understand
where you’re going with these types of motions. So we always start with the prone position
first and then propping up on top of the elbows. The full McKenzie Press-up is if Karen were
to go all the way back down again. If I were to have her put her hands underneath her shoulders
as if doing a closed stance push-up and she allows her entire lower by two completely
relax takes a breath and then slowly extends as she pushes herself up right into her arms
are pretty much straight. From that position their her back muscles are completely hanging
in what I call a sagging position. None of the muscles in the glutes or the lower back
are turned on. She gets to the top it holds for a brief second or two and then the herself
back down again. Again keeping all the weight on the hands. This process can be repeated
for about 10 repetitions and many times I have clients perform it every hour on the
hour or to tolerance.

100 Replies to “How To Exercise With A Disc Bulge”

  1. this vid was great! being 22 with lumbar herniated disc is really unnecessary…I hope to fix this soon and I will not deadlift without a belt again when I go back to the gym!

  2. OMG thank you so much Sam, I've been suffering for 4 days now and after a couple hours doing these exercise I had about 50% improvement. I was able to get out of bed in under 1 minute lol. thank you so much.

  3. i have upper back and thorax bulging disks ive had them for a long time now i worked with them for about 6 months its been about 2 months since ive been going to a chiropractor what type of stuff can i do?

  4. @TheXFrame Great question!! This position is great if you have a disc problem but for a healthy spine we don't sleep like this mostly because sleeping on the stomach means having to twist your neck 90 degrees to rest on the pillow. This twisted neck will then put strain on the nerves and blood vessels up to the head. So yes for a temporary solution, this position helps 'suck' the disc fluid back inward but this does us no favours for an 8 hour sleep with a twisted spine. Hope that helps.

  5. Please could you advise me any operation ? coz its been 2yrs m sufferung from DB. n m doing exercises i get relief at times but pain comes again.. n can i workout freehand at home ?? i tried weight for arms but it started to pain so i stopped..

  6. hi sam, can you help me understand my MRI results and what should i do??( "There is Degenerative disc disease with mild disc space loss and a shallow central disc protrusion and annulus tear which may abut but not efface bilateral S1 nerve root. No significant neural foraminal compromise noted".) For the most part throughout the day i have a dull pain around the center of my lower spin. with a sudden movement i feel a sharp pop and it literally puts me down!!! im 29 y/o. could u help explain?

  7. I got up this morning with all the symptoms of a herniated disc that Iv`e had for three weeks now , after carrying a 175 lbs washer up 85 flights of stairs.I could not even stand up straight,so I searched for pain relief ,and found your sight. So I tried this exercise , and IT WORKED ! Five minuets of this exercise and I`m waking around straight, with no pain . THANK YOU so much for this video . I`m gonna keep using your advice

  8. I'm in a lot of pain right now; the last time I felt this way was 30 years ago. So grateful you have these exercises. I'm sleeping in the wrong position (left side is my favorite), so I'll try this one to see how it works for me. Thank you!

  9. Hello! I 'm 23 and I play handball, I was diagnosed a posterior hernia between L4-L5, 6 weeks ago. I am in pain all day, no matter what I do. I go to phyisical therapy 5 days a week and I feel no improvement at all. My therapist told me that we should increase my pain threshold first and then start working out the rest of my body on the gym. The thing is that, after watching your videos, you say that we have to avoid bending forward. And that's all I do. I would like to know what to do…

  10. The pain is killing me and I just want to be able to play handball again. It's really frustraiting 'cuz i can beraly do anything. I would really appreciate i you could tell me anything about getting this cured. Right now i have taping and i feel no difference. Is there any effective alternative treatment for this? Again, i just want to be able to play and practice again. Thank you so very much, in the meantime i'll start applying your recomendations. cheers

  11. How often does a pretrusion usually heal w/out having surgery? I have a small posterior T-9 pretrusion and I wonder if it's possible it would heal with holistic treatment, and if so, how long does the recovery take?

  12. I have been diagnosed with disk herniation at L5 and 2 other protrusio . My comfortable position recently was exactly opposite i had to push my pervis in when standing or walking and stretching other way round, stretching forward feels more comfortable for me. Is that normal??

  13. i have a slight disc bulge in L4-L5 and L5-S1 area…and doing the same kind of exercise 3 times a day…how long does it take to heal completely

  14. I'm 6'5" tall with a history of back spasm. McKenzie's first little book was a wonderful revelation for me in the 1990s. My recovery time was shortened to days instead of weeks or even months.
    I expect his stretching ideas to keep my spine healthy well into my late life.

  15. Thanks for this Sam, I have had a problem with a disc bulge for about 4 months (as a cyclist it keeps flairing up). I will continue with the exercises you suggest but can you suggest any other exercises? Would core strength exercises help?

  16. I just had this "slip disk" happen to me last night after falling backward on a mat. I've been dealing with the pain and deciding weather or not to go to the ER. In the past when I have felt really tight I stretch it out by standing and bending over touching my toes for 3 min…Now that this has happened I cant do that without severe pain. Should I go to the ER?

  17. Traction for sciatic pain due to herniated disk good, however if you don't get at least 4 hours of deep R.E.M. sleep while in traction, results will be modest and short lived. In R.E.M. sleep the brain paralyses the body, So in order to have gravity really work long term you need to add 2 more ingredients, time, and sleep. D.I.Y. For about $20 in materials a few common tools and some time, pain relief may be just a day or 2 away GravInducedSleepTrac

  18. Hi, i have Diffuse disc bulge with small sized posteroentral disc protrusion at L4-5 level causing mild to moderate thecal sac compression, what is your recommendation . What exercise i should , pls suggest. Epidural injection was injected.

  19. I have an L4 L5 posterior disc herniation, I understand this concept, but this movement is the movement i try to stay away from. This movement pinches my sciatic. ???

  20. Guys I must say that there are many many physiotherapists (including mine) who say that flexion is also a good stretch for LUMBAR DISC HERNIATION as you're opening the vertebrae up and allowing the herniated disc room to mov back where it should be. In fact nearly all the videos I watch and advice I'm given says that this is a BETTER exercise than extension. Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts?

  21. Question Sir, with a left paracentral disc protrusion with compression of left s1 nerve rootlets which is causing extreme pain and tingling throughout the left leg – is this exercise safe ? I'm led to believe that I need to exercise in the opposite direction of the prolapse – ie lying on my back and knees up to my chest. Any help would be appreciated 😉

  22. Sam, my results from the MRI say AP central protrusion/herniation.  Should I be bending forward or arching my back throughout the day to counteract the protrusion and relieve the pain?

  23. hi …. i'm 25 years old and i have slightly disk bulge l5 s1 since tree months ago it make a pain in my left leg …. is this exercises curing disk bulge(remove it) or hut it only? …. and if it curing disk bulge how often to curing approximately?

  24. Can somebody help me ? I haves bulge in my lower back , I get really bad pains in my legs and feet !! I'm 19 years off age , I went to the doctor with my ct scan they said stretch it ? Is this the way if giving it ?

  25. js one Question.. is this exercise a substitute of surgery ? bcoz my doc suggested me an immediate surgery. should i go for surgery or do this exercising stuff?

  26. How are you guys feeling now? I'm only 16 and just today I was told by my doctor that i have a bulging disc at l4-l5. I've played football this last season and i have noticed an unusual stiff, sore feeling in my back and i just brushed it off thinking it was nothing and played the rest of the season. And from the past 6 months i have been feeling excruciating pain on my lower left back going down my leg. What also made it worse was improperly doing heavy weight on Sqauts (that i don't do anymore since i stopped doing excersizes) and a car accident that I've gotten into recently. I'd appreciate it if you guys could help me out on my problem or maybe give me advice because this has been ruining my daily life and making me a little depressed.

  27. Sam, I recently came across your channel and I'm so happy I did. I'm a 33 yo male with a previous L4-5 discectomy when i was 21. I had a very successful surgery and have experienced zero complications for the last 12 years, although the healing process and timeframe was horrible. I am a competitive crossfit athlete and 2 weeks ago I really jacked up my back during a heavy deadlift workout. Immediately the symptoms from my first injury returned: unable to bend over to pick anything up or tie my shoes, excruciation pain sitting or driving, shooting pain down right leg. I was crushed depressed. I started doing extensive research and found an article by Dave Lipson, a top crossfit athlete, which led me to the Mckenzie protocol and ultimately to your channel. It has been 4 days of utilizing the Mckenzie protocol and the relief in last couple days has been unbelievable. I do the stretch 8 times per day 10-15 reps at 1-2 sec up/down intervals. In addition i have been using your taping technique during the day to keep the anterior tilt in the proper position which really really helps to not accidentally aggravate the compromised disc. Everyday things are slowly getting better and i am confident i will be able to recover 100% using these methods. Anyone even considering surgery should really commit to these methods first. Trust me you don't want surgery until all other measures have been completely exhausted. Thank you for paying it forward. Im sure you have helped countless other like me and its awesome!

    i have back pain since last 15 years ,when i fallen from first floor of my school building.
    since then I always have mild back pain, but some time it goes beyond tolerate and need medication like ibrofen.

    Now I am feeling my pain is spreading on my all over back and also sciatic pain in my legs, so i met doctors and they done MRI test last week , 

    finding is:
    AT T11/12 disc level, there is small focal disc bulge mildly denting ventral aspect of CFS filled subarachnoid space.

    Currently they are just giving me some pain killer massage cream and tablets which is only giving me relief for one or two days only.

    please let me know what should I do in exercise or any treatment ,so that i can fix this. 

  29. first you gotta know in which direction the bulge is going, if it directs to the front part of the body this excercise will kill you

  30. Sir, I am really very thankful to you. I 'm 29 years of age.
    I have low back pain problem from one & half years. I can't stand straight at one position for even 5 minutes. I have a severe pain in my lower back. This exercise helps me lot to heel my lower back muscles. Now I can stand long hours without pain.
    I want to thank you once again…

  31. Hi, I have 2 herniated disks… L5-L4,    L5-S1   and    a disk bulge I think it's L4-L3.
    I have seen many doctors, done several weeks of physiotherapy… No one can answer this following question:

    Is there potential of fully healing? Can a disk bulge heal? Can a herniated disk heal? Could I potentially get back to the way I was before?

    I am 33 years old, very active, very athletic…

  32. Hi, I'm a personal trainer & I have recently had a client come to me who had L3 & L4 replaced about 12 months ago and has a slight prolapse in L5. I'm just wondering if I could get your opinion on the best exercises to do to improve core strength & ease back troubles?

  33. Is it weird that I feel PAIN while doing this exercise .. then I feel better 5 minutes after that ? am I doing hurting other things while fixing my disc bulge if I feel pain during the exercise ?

    I have a posterior disc bulge.

  34. Sam, my results from the xray and ct scan were L4 – 5 facet hyperthrophy and loss of disc height resulting in mild bilateral foraminal narrowing. L5 – S1 mild disc bulge and facet hyperthrophy resulting in no significant canal compromise. There is mild foraminal narrowing narrowing. IMPRESSION: mild degenerative changes with no evidence of fracture. Please your professional advice and input will be greatly appreciated and for the sake of the conversation I injured myself performing deadlifts at the gym.Thank you in advice

  35. Thank you so much for sharing these exercises. It's a little painful to do but after sometime, the relief it gives me is worth that little pain.

  36. Hi

    Surely doing a plank BADLY (.e. allowiing your back to sag) would also help as this would arc the back as with your model except instead of legs relaxing they'd be mantaining height.

  37. What's the goal with any of the exercises? To relieve pain or to help the disk? I haven't found an exercise yet that doesn't cause pain. It's like my body is telling me not to do them.

  38. can you sell your product from website ' Back To Stability Program Access ' on online shopping sites such as flipkart and in india

  39. Great video, thanks for sharing. I have recently reherniated my L4/L5 discs, and this "exercise" is helpful for pain management. FYI if it hurts to even lay flat, put a pillow underneath your pelvis. then work your way up to lay flat.

  40. Greatly Appreciated Sam,

    Two days ago while brushing my teeth I simply felt a pull in my right side, and today being Friday I'm actually rolling around in a wheelchair to get relief, but I'm going to incorporate this. Being its very difficult to even get out of bed, and the pain is radiating in the front part of my leg not so much the glue or hamstring. Additionally it is all on the right side, the left side is unaffected by walking and so forth.
    I've also subscribed and am looking at the other videos.

    My Most Thanks!


  41. I have disc bulges at L5 S1, L4, L3. For the past 5 months I have lived in complete misery. My life has completely changed. I have been going to a PT who is Dip MDT in the Mckenzie Method. These are the exercises he has me perform. At first they were so painful. I am now able to go all the way back with minimal pain. However, I really don't seem to get any better. I cannot sit down. Other than go to my PT appointments in my car, which I cannot drive. I walk all day and if I take breaks, I have to lie down flat on my back. Not only do I have lower back issues, I also suffered from 4 middle back spasms that mess up my upper back and prevent me from sleeping on my side and stomach. I feel like I'm stuck in this awful bubble of pain and misery and see little improvement through PT. My back has literally been immobile for 4 months. I'm terrified to try and do normal things due to pain and back spasms. I also have been suffering with tingling, numbness, pain and cramps inboth legs and feet. This has slowly subsided with these prone press ups but my back still feels like a twisted mangled tree. I feel like it's going to drive me crazy at times. I so sympathize with others who are limited by their backs. It's completely life changing and is a SLOW road to recovery. I want to be normal again so badly that I get discouraged with the tiny improvements I am making. They are so small, I don't feel like I'm making any progress. But I Am thankful I have an amazing PT who is willing to work with my limitations and is understanding.

  42. I have right side disc extrusion. early sponylotic and degenerative changes involving lower lumbar spine.any exercise?

  43. I'm confused. This position compresses the lumbar spine. The opposite motion, such as in child's pose, increases space in between the lumbar vertebrae. How would this compression of the lumbar area provide relief for a lumbar herniation? It seems the opposite would be true.

  44. Hi Dr,

    Below is my "Lumber Spine" MRI report's Impression
    – Right Far Lateral Bulge of L4-L5 disc indents the right L4 Nerve Root
    – Whole Spine Screening reveals mild posterior bulges of C4-C5, C5-C6 & D7-D8 discs

    Is your exercises shown in Video applicable/helpful for me?

  45. Yes, that's a Yoga pose. I have this in a Yoga book from the 70's! Mackenzie my butt. Both versions are in the book – the easy starter version and the more advanced, full-extension version. The author describes these as very old techniques. It's called Bhujangasana, or the Cobra in Western lingo. Robin Mackenzie wasn't even born yet when this was invented

  46. Sir I m suffering from slip disk ,back pain and right leg also affected with this pls tell me solutio

  47. i have a herniated disc l5 s1 but i dont get any pain when i bend foward. however, i do get pain when i perform the cobra.

  48. i have central disk protrusion and spinal de generative dis order which causes severe sciatica ….do these exercises help or make it worse..?…and do you suggest surgery.?….Tee at 661 326 1604

  49. Hi i have l5_s1 l4_5 bulding disc i did this exercise it causes pain please help me which exercise is good for me

  50. pls tell me doctor i am ill in 3 years for tb spine.and my spinel cord d10 d11 d12 is damaged.pls give me simple suggestion

  51. It's hard to predict which exercises are going to set off my back but once it goes out I'm in hell for several weeks. I did some Pilates prescribed by a physical therapist for my knee. Nothing happened during the exercises. It never does. It never happened during my 20 years lifting patients as a nurse. I was just standing looking out the window when it let go. It's a build up. I'm really careful now what I'm doing

  52. That particular exercise i did and I felt pinching pain. Laying flat knees bent, pillow under knees and a pillow under the small of my back works best.

  53. is there any permanent cure to disc pbms doing xcetcize for temporary, so plz tell the permanent remedy thank sir

  54. I have disc bulge at l4 l5.. doctor suggested me to undergo spine surgery that is microdisectomy.. is it safe… is there Reccurence after surgery.. I'm 22

  55. Hii sir my name is manikanta iam seafaring sciatica in more than 8 years at present 27 years old please cure my pain sir please sir please

  56. Hi. I'm having nerve pain in my right leg n Slightly back pain from last 1 yr. At starting it was hurting a lot bt now it has reduced bt still I'm having the pain. So what should I do now?? Will this exercise help me to get back to normal?

  57. No good you could really hurt yourself with this if you don’t know we’re the bulging disc is bulging

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