5 Easy Stretches to Manage Slip Disc Pain for a Healthier Spine

Did you know that slip disc conditions have become increasingly common in young adults today? The pain and healing process from an episode can be excruciating. However, if it’s something you’re managing with stretches and exercises, we’ve got a few recommended movements for you.

Myth: Slip disc is an occurrence that happens in people over the age of 60. 

Fact: You can get a slipped disc at any age due to a variety of reasons. An accident, overexertion from carrying something heavy and so much more. 

image credit: Orchard Clinic

Additionally, as many of us continue to work from home over an extended period of time, this could mean  an increase in poor posture and lack of movement. The hours we spend hunched over our laptops and phones can contribute to the development of postural related aches and pains. Have you noticed a tightness in your shoulders or that nagging pain in your back? If yes, these exercises are great for you too! 

Note: if you have a slip disc or notice an increase in symptoms, please get clearance from your doctor or physiotherapist to perform these exercises. 

Cat Cow 

This is a common yoga pose that increases mobility and flexibility of the spine. For someone with a slip disc, it relieves pressure on the compressed disc as the movements open intervertebral disc space.

  1. Start by getting down on your knees with palms on the floor
  2. As you inhale, look up and drop your abdomen towards the floor
  3. Hold for 5 seconds
  4. As you exhale, imitate a cat by pushing against the floor as you slowly round your back and raise your spine towards the ceiling 
  5. Repeat each movement 10 times 

The McKenzie Method / Cobra Pose

Also a yoga pose, the repetition of this movement helps alleviate slip disc pain as it encourages movement of the disc. The goal of this is to centralize pain that may be running down your leg or foot, to your lower back. 

  1. Lie flat on your stomach
  2. Push your upper body up, propped on your elbows
  3. Hold for 5 seconds
  4. Repeat 10 times

Advance option:  

  • Movement: Push your upper body up, propped on your palms 
  • Hold: Gradually increase to 30 seconds 


This is a simple yet powerful exercise. It strengthens your lower back, core muscles,  glutes and hamstrings. A great way to strengthen the muscle group that supports the lower part of your spine. Did we mention it’s great for your glutes? 

  1. Lie flat on your back, palms facing the ground
  2. Bend your knees
  3. Keeping your feet flat on the ground, raise your glutes to form a straight line from shoulders to pelvis
  4. Hold for 10 seconds 
  5. Repeat 10 times 

Advance option: 

  • Movement: Lift one foot off the ground, extending the leg with toes pointing forward. This is also known as the single leg bridge. 
  • Hold: Increase to 20 seconds and tighten core muscles 

Bird Dog

Here’s a great exercise option to strengthen and stabilise your spine while encouraging the development of good posture. It’s especially beneficial in avoiding irritation to existing spinal conditions whether it’s a slip disc, spondylosis or more. 

  1. Start on your knees with your palms on the floor, ensuring your hands are under your shoulders and knees under your hips. 
  2. Maintain a straight and neutral spine 
  3. Lift your left arm straight in front of you then lift your left leg backwards simultaneously 
  4. Ensure your arm and leg are aligned with your torso
  5. Hold for 3-5 seconds and return to your original position
  6. Repeat on the right side
  7. Alternate each side 10 times

Back Flexion Stretch 

Here’s one you can do in bed! It helps reduce muscular tension, increase flexibility and promotes a healthy and happy spine. 

  1. Lie on your back and bring both knees to your chest
  2. Hug your knees and gently bring your forehead forward towards your knees
  3. Stop at a range that is most comfortable for you
  4. Repeat 10 times 

Alternative option: 

  1. Lie down with your knees bent
  2. Bring knee to chest, one leg at a time while maintaining a neutral, straight neck 

Giving these exercises a try? These movements are not just for slip disc conditions, they’re great for anyone who wants to strengthen their spine, relax their muscles and improve their mobility. These are simple, gentle movements that can be done on a daily or alternate basis. After all, a 10-minute exercise routine can do wonders, not just for your body but your mind and overall wellbeing too! 

Image and content sourced from: https://backintelligence.com/herniated-disc-exercises/