08 July, 2011
Exercises for a Herniated Disk at 16 Weeks Pregnant
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons indicates that 60 percent to 80 percent of people experience lower back pain in their lifetime. Pregnant women are no exception to lower back pain or herniated disks. Herniated disks in pregnant women are caused by excessive pressure placed on the back -- most commonly the lower back. Back exercises can help alleviate the pain and pressure caused by a herniated disk even if you're 16 weeks pregnant.
Pelvic tilt exercises help alleviate back pain while strengthening your lower back and abdominal muscles. Lie on your back with your knees bent so that your feet can rest flat on the floor. Position your hands underneath your lower back where you notice a space between the floor and your back -- the small of your back. Slowly tighten your abdominal muscles and flatten the lower portion of your back to the ground. Hold this position for a count of five seconds. Relax and repeat 10 times.
Kegel exercises can help strengthen your pelvic floor and alleviate pain in your lower back. To exercise your pelvic muscles, slowly tighten the muscles in your vaginal area. Avoid tightening your thighs, buttocks and abdominals as you complete this exercise. Let your vaginal muscles do all of the work. Tighten as hard as you comfortably can and hold this position for 10 seconds. Relax and repeat this exercise 10 times.
Arm raises can help straighten your spine and provide relief from the pain of a herniated disk. Assume the pelvic tilt position. As you complete a pelvic tilt, lift your arms in the air so that they are completely in line with your spine. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Slowly lower your arms to the ground and repeat. Complete 10 times.
Leg raises can also help strengthen your back and ease pain. Assume the pelvic tilt position. As you complete a pelvic tilt, hold this position. Slowly extend one of your legs in the air. Try to straighten your leg as far as you comfortably can. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Return your leg to the ground and relax from the pelvic tilt position. Repeat using your opposite leg. Complete one set of 10 repetitions while alternating legs.
- Spine Health: Exercise for Back Pain During Pregancy
- NASM: Essentials of Personal Fitness Training; 2008
- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: Lumbar Disk Herniation
- Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images