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Posture and Strengthening for herniated disc?-need help!

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Last seen:
3 years 1 month ago
05/10/2014 - 10:44pm
Posture and Strengthening for herniated disc?-need help!


I am 43 years old, diagnosed with herniated disc L5-S1 and two bulging discs above, L3-L4, L4-L5.  I've had pain in my lower back and leg for over a year.  I also tore a hamstring muscle the year before I herniated the disc.  During my 15-20 year stint working as a land surveyor, I've spent most of my working life outside standing, hiking, climbing, carrying equipment, and bent over.  My treatment has included chiropractic, steroid injections, massage and a discectomy, nothing has helped much.  I am currently doing physical therapy.  My therapist is trying to help me incorporate Egoscue method exercises, based on my urging.  At the same time, she seems unsure on how to proceed with me.  So, I recently purchased the 8 steps book, and I'm a bit overwhelmed.  I know that I need to strengthen my torso muscles AND lengthen my spine also.  On the website it says to be especially careful with a L5-S1 herniation, because anteverting the pelvis could cause the protrusion to get pinched even worse.  However, I don't want to tuck my pelvis either, right?  Should I focus on stretch-lying and stretch-sitting first?  Which exercises in the appendix of the book can I do with my condition?  The nerve pain is so random, and sometimes I won't feel the pain resulting from certain movements until later.

I know that Esther had the same condition, and I would be curious to know exactly how she dealt with it.  Also, would it be possible to get some feedback from her?  How much "regular work" can I do around the home, even though I'm not performing my professional work duties at this time?

Thank you so much for any replies!

PS Would you suggest an online consult and how does that work?


Last seen:
10 min 2 sec ago
09/10/2008 - 8:36pm

Hi there! Yes I would definitely suggest working with a teacher - in person is best, but online works surprisingly well with a videocamera both ways. When you're working on your own, focus on all the lengthening measures - stretchlying, stretchsitting, and inner corset. You do want to learn to antevert your pelvis but not by sticking your bum back. It gets complex around this juncture, and there's no room for doing things poorly, so after the intial techniques which you can do safely on your own, I woudl recommend you reach out to a teacher. You're right, this was my problem - your route will be a lot more rapid than mine, thanks to the thousands of people our teachers and I have worked with and learned from. Don't lose heart! 

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