Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Bulging Disc is a condition which can cause severe pain, especially if it is the lumbar spine which is affected and majority of the people have lumbar disc bulge. This is because the lumbar spine is under constant pressure when we perform our day to day activities at home or at work.

Driving long distances also causes immense pressure on the lumbar spine which is one of the reasons why a bulging disc develops. While there are many treatments both conservative as well as surgical for bulging disc, post treatment exercises and a good rehab program plays a vital role in recovery of an individual.
While there are quite a few exercises that help a patient recover from a bulging disc there are also certain exercises which one needs to avoid in order to prevent an aggravation of the condition with resultant worsening pain and discomfort due to Bulging Disc.

Citing an example, an individual with bulging disc will be recommended to avoid running and jogging till the time the condition is fully treated as running and other exercises may irritate the lumbar spine and put extra pressure on it which may worsen the bulging disc.

There are also some exercises in which the individual needs to avoid doing any form of stretches or exercises where he or she has to keep the knee straight as this again puts extra pressure on the spine and tends to aggravate bulging disc.

Same goes for avid weightlifters that have a bulging disc as lifting weight is a big no-no when it comes to treating bulging disc. This article gives a brief overview of some of the exercises that an individual needs to avoid if he or she has a bulging disc.

8 Exercises to Avoid for Bulging Disc

8 Exercises to Avoid for Bulging Disc

Below mentioned are some of the exercises that one needs to avoid in cases of a bulging disc:

  1. Crunches: This exercise is usually done to strengthen the abdominal muscles. This exercise is done by lying down on a floor and keeping the knees bent and lifting up the back. This may strengthen the abdominal muscle but it puts immense pressure on the lumbar spine. Hence, if you have a Bulging Disc then one must avoid doing this exercise as this exercise will not only tend to aggravate the condition but may also potentially worsen it causing more discomfort and pain.

  2. Leg Presses: This is a weight training exercise in which the individual pushes some weight with the use of his or her legs away from the body. While this exercise is good for the hip and knee joints, but it puts excessive pressure on the lumbar spine. If the individual has a bulging disc then it will tend to get worse and may exacerbate the symptoms of back pain and discomfort to such an extent that the individual may not be able to carry out other activities of daily living. It is advisable to avoid doing leg press exercise for bulging disc.

  3. Seated Exercises: These exercises not only strengthen the shoulder and neck but also strengthen the thighs and the legs. In cases of bulging discs, what these exercises do is create a rounded back which kind of exacerbates the condition and in no time worsens the bulging disc with pain and discomfort to such an extent that it becomes difficult for the individual to carry out activities at work or home and even drive due to pain and discomfort as a result of bulging disc.

  4. Weighted Lateral Bends: Lateral bending is something that needs to be avoided in individuals with bulging disc. When doing a lateral bend, the individual will put stretch to the side putting a lot of body weight on the side of the bend. This will again create pressure on the back which aggravates a bulging disc and aggravates the pain and discomfort felt as a result of a disc bulge.

  5. Deadlifts: This is a weight training exercise in which the individual has to lift weight from a standing position without any support. When the individual bends down to lift the weight and actually is in the process of lifting then it creates a rounded back meaning that the lumbar spine is completely bent.

    As the individual lifts the weight, immense pressure is put on the lumbar spine and if the individual has a bulging disc then this exercise will certainly aggravate and even worsen the symptoms of disc bulge. The individual may end up having a severely damaged spine if he or she does not stop doing this exercise knowing that they have a lumbar disc bulge.

  6. Squatting: Squatting is yet another exercise that is best avoided for bulging disc. When an individual does a squat, the entire body weight shifts to the lower back and when getting back up with all the body weight on the lower back it creates too much pressure for the lumbar spine to handle especially if the individual already has a bulging disc. Thus squatting is something that needs to be avoided at all costs when it comes to preventing aggravation of bulging discs and the severe pain and discomfort that accompanies it.

  7. Seated Rowing: These are exercises that are usually done for the shoulders. While it may strengthen the shoulder muscles it again creates a rounded back with immense pressure on the lumbar spine which tends to worsen a bulging disc and cause more pain and discomfort to the affected individual.

  8. Preacher Curls: This is yet another exercise that should be avoided for bulging disc. Preacher curls involves lifting weights while seated. This may be good for the shoulders and the arms but it tends to create too much pressure on the back due to the weight transfer while lifting and tends to worsen a back condition like bulging disc.

8 Exercises To Avoid For A Bulging Disc

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: March 30, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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