Herniated Disc Tips And How I Healed My Back

Jul 16, 2011 by

Herniated Disc Treatment


About a year and a half ago I severely injured my back. It was the most intense physical pain I ever had to deal with in my life. The weird thing about it was that I could walk ( through some pain ), but I couldn’t sit or lie down without pain going from my back all the way down my leg.
What I had was a herniated disc in my lower back, which I was told will require surgery to fix. Since I don’t believe in traditional medicine, surgery wasn’t an option. I personally prefer Chinese Medicine such as acupuncture and homeopathy, because the principles of this type of medicine makes the most sense to me.
I am obviously not a doctor, and the methods that I am about to share with you worked for me, but it might not work for everyone.
What I do know is, our bodies are very smart. When there is an illness present in our body, it immediately recognizes it and begins to the healing process. If you try to trick your body by treating the symptoms and not the root of the problem, the body looses the ability to heal it self.


Here is the step by step guide of how I healed my back:

1. I went to the acupuncturist ( you can go about once a month, more if you can ).  Acupuncture works  with nerves and harmony in your body. When you go to the acupuncturist be prepared to answer a lot of questions, very personal questions. I found this cool web site about Chinese Medicine and acupuncture ( it’s free ), check it out, this way you can get familiar with how they make a diagnosis and why it works.  You can also have a free Online Diagnosis, which is pretty cool ( I am not promoting that website, and I am not affiliated with them in any way, I just found it very interesting and helpful )

2. Exercises for the disc you can do at home

  • a. March in place ( not too fast ) with your knees high for about 5 minutes a day. Your hands should be by your sides. This really helps to align the spine and relieve the pain in your back.
  • b. Using a balance ball appropriate for your height ( your knees should be at 90 degrees angle while sitting on a ball ), and perform mini bounces on the ball, also for 5 minutes, with your hands by your sides as well. This helps with pumping the blood to your discs, and also to relieve the pressure.
  • c. Laying on your stomach, place your hands by your chest and lift your back as high as you can. Do 10 reps of that lift several times a day. I found this exercise to be in the top 3 for healing the disc. Every time I did it, it helped me with the pain.  The exercise looks like this:


Herniated Disc Treatment


Here is also a very helpful pain relieving position, if you can lay like this for as long as you can, this will help you to relieve the pain even further and align your spine. Like this:


Herniated Disc Treatment



Back stretches should be done everyday regardless if you have problems with your back or not. Our spine takes a huge toll while we stand or sit.  Stretching your back not only will release the pain and tension, but it will also prevent problems in the future. It is the best thing you can do for your back. The stretches should be performed in the morning, mid day and evening.

Knee-to-chest stretches  specifically stretch the muscles of the low and mid back and glutes.  The key to knee-to-chest stretching is to relax before beginning to pull.  Gently clasp your hands just below your knees, and pull with your arms, relaxing your low back, hold for 10 – 15 seconds and release.


Sleeping in the right position

If you have a foam roller you can use it underneath your back while you are sleeping, this will help to keep your spine in right position while you sleep. If you don’t have a foam roller, you can roll a towel, this works just fine. I actually still sleep like that every day. Don’ t sleep on your sides, this really deviates the spine.


Strengthen your abdominal muscles

The abdominal muscles provide approximately fifty percent of the support for the back. It is very important to keep these muscles strong. Every time you can find a couple of minutes a day ( let’s set on a commercial break while watching TV ), you can do few abs strengthening exercises. I recommend Myostatic Crunch, or anything similar to this exercise. Just as long as you keep using your abs. Tighten your abs while walking and sitting as much as you can, it becomes a habit after a while. This will really help you keep your back strong.


Your mind is everything

Remember that our body and mind is connected. The mind is a very powerful tool, once the illness effects the mind, the body will follow. So it’s very important to free your self from the root of your mind. It’s not always easy for us to do because the physical illness and pain makes it very real. I remember laying down on the floor and feeling so much pain, but I kept telling my self ” My body will heal “. It was an ongoing struggle with my mind.
Sometimes I did give inn to the pain, and I realized the more I gave inn, the longer it lived inside of me.

It’s been about 4 or 5 month’s since I recovered, sometimes I still can’t believe that I did, because I was told it’s impossible to recover unless I had the surgery. But here I am, healthy and loving fit ;).



Related Posts


Share This

  • Nattaya_55

    Hi there
    i have an injured disc myself its been going on for 5-6 months now.. i am very glad that i came across your blog because it gives me hope! im only 21.. im not really sure how i got this pain but possibly from over working my body with too much sport etc i started an office job during the time i injured my back so im always sitting infront of the computer. Iv been going to the chiropractor and had MRI scan and all that. my specialist thinks its something that will ‘heal in time’ but im too impatient to sit around carrying this pain. I really want to know how long did you have the pain for before you saw results? it started with a lumbar sprain for me, particularly painful on my left lower back, i seekd traditional chinese acupunture which helped but then my right lower back became painfull too and then the sciatic pain started down my right leg..i found it really painfull doing acupuncture with that pain..but does it actually help? i then went to see physio because i didnt think acupunture would help, he used some neuro-magnet which helped abit but sciatic pain still exists..and now chiro.. i really want to get back to playing sports (i had to stop playing tennis netball and soccer) my chiropractor said i would definately be able to play sports again (didnt tell me when). I hope you can help me answer my questions, my doctors dont really tell me much, i am confused and kinda lost confidence in myself..al though this blog gave me lots of tips and i am really looking forward to trying them out! :)Nat

    • Hello Nattayaa,

      I am very sorry to hear about your pain. I definitely understand how painful it can be especially with the sciatic nerve pain, I had one going down my right let as well. And the doctors of course were not able to do much.
      When I went to acupuncturist, I had them give me a homeopathic shot into my back and also underneath my knee, ( that nerve is connected all the way down ).
      What helped me with the pain in the sciatic nerve is the stretching, here is the link to the video from youtube, ( this stretch is the best at helping with the pain )


      It will take at least 8 month’s to a year to heal, but if you take care of it, and do the exercises that I recommended it will heal, and you will be able to play sports again.

      I understand how frustrating it is for you, I was going crazy because I am a very active person as well.

      Since you have a sitting job, try to get up every 20 minutes or so and stretch, this will help you to recover faster. Keep me updated on how you are doing, the pain will go away with time.

  • Don


    Any recommendations on a large cervical herniation? I am
    finding a lot of recommendations about healing lower back herniation but not
    much about cervical. Got my MRI back and my C6/C7 is herniated. Possible cause
    is a combination of P90X and way too much golf (like 4 to 5 rounds

    I have an epidural this coming Monday followed by a lot
    of PT. Surgeons are talking about an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion in
    January if things do not get better.

    I am of course trying to do anything to avoid


    Don S

    • Hi Don,
      You probably did get injured from too much physical activity. I never usually go to regular doctors, because they always seem to recommend things that might not always be necessary to do.
      I personally don’t know much about cervical herniation.
      But I do recommend you try a homeopathic doctor in your area, because they provide different treatment.
      You can also try a physical therapist, these days physical therapists can treat most herniated disc problems.
      Definitely look at all of your options before proceeding with any type of surgical procedures.

      • Don

        Hi,I just wanted to share what has transpired over the past year. I tried many different exercises, physical therapy, etc., but nothing worked. I lost about 50% of the strength in my right arm and grip, and my fingers went completely numb. The pain in my arm was compared to hitting your funny bone extremely hard, and that feeling was 24/7. I decided to not have the anterior cervical discectomy and fusion. Instead, I found a neurosurgeon in Beverly Hills that does minimally invasive surgery where he makes a 2mm incision and just removes the herniated material. I flew out there for surgery at the end of September 2011. I’m lucky I chose that route. The morning of the surgery he said after looking at the CT Scans that the herniated material broke off and got lodged in my main nerve going down my arm. He could not do the nano-surgery and the 2mm incision and instead had to make a larger incision to give him room to work, but the surgery was still much less invasive and successful. I was back in the hotel room that night, on a plane for home three days later, and back in PT a couple days after my return. A couple months of PT. No working out, running, or golf until a few months ago, but today I feel great. I have 100% of my strength back in my arm and hand. I am back to my normal workouts and playing golf a couple times a week. I learned two very important things from this experience: First, if something hurts and does not feel right STOP! Do not push yourself through the pain. That is most likely how I turned a herniated disc into material breaking off lodging in my nerve. Your body will tell you when something is wrong. Listen to it. Second, there are options. Pathology is unfortunately based on your zip code. Do not let them cut you open and install hardware until you have exhausted everything possibility. Lastly thank you Tatiana. Now that I am healthy your website has been invaluable to staying healthy! Don S.

        • jmsrebar

          Don, please PLEASE share with me the name of neurosurgeon in Beverly Hills you visited that does minimally invasive surgery and just removes the herniated material. email to jmstandish at gmail dot com Thank you!

  • Jolie Adelmund

    Wow Tati I am so glad I found your website.  It’s like no other site I have come across. 
    Thank you so much for this post – I am really going to start taking care of myself so as to not cause injury while working out.

    • You are so sweet Jolie 🙂

      I am so glad I can be helpful.  Before I had my injury I was like a non stop robot, and I am glad that I had to go through that because it really taught me to take care of my self more.  Now I am trying to teach others that as well, cause we only have one body in this life time and it’s not like we can migrate into new body when this one get’s tired.  So we have to do our best to provide our body with proper care.

  • I’m glad I can help 🙂

  • Unc73

    What was the total time that it took you to recover after you were out of the acute phase of your injury?

  • Amy

    Hello Tatianna,
    I too have been diagnosed with herniated disc l4,l5 and at l5,s1. I have been doing physical therapy and that has helped quite a bit but still suffer from the sciatic pain. I am unable to sit more than 5-10 mins so I can’t work (i’m a software developer ) nor am I able to do dishes as the pain gets worse during sitting too long or standing and bending too. Ive been told to continue with Physical therapy, hyrdro therapy and bed rest. I have a 2 1/2 year old toddler. I have some questions
    Where you able to do some light chores everyday during your healing time ? It gets boring if I can;t do anything.
    Did you completely heal from herniated disc?
    Can I a have a second child in the future after the healing process ?
    Please let me know what I can do. I am in pain and doing all the stretches good for herniation. While I do the stretches , i feel good, but after I am done, my pain is back again.

    • Joe

      Get a kneeling chair. That helped me when I couldn’t sit.

  • Robert

    Hello Tatianna,
    I do stretches every day and the other exercises you have shown me. My question is that my work place from home requires me to drive a car. It is an automatic car and i want to get better soon.Are there rules on herniated disc that forbids or directs how best to drive?

    • Hi Robert,

      You can still drive, of course if you have a sitting job, I recommend you doing stretches every few hours, stretching it will relieve the pain.

  • Hi Jess,

    I completely recovered from it, I had it for about a year and a half but now it’s completely gone.

    I recommend you do the exercises that I talked about in the post, that is what I did and it really helped me, I never had to take any pain killers, the doctors did try to give them to me but I don’t like how those things made me feel, so I just felt the pain all the time.

    I recommend you try a homeopathic doctor, these doctors will really help you to heal it.

    • Jesse

      i know this was 9 months ago but i also have a disc injury in my lower back and i do find it hard to get fully in shape again but none the less im trying and not quitting on my bodies capabilities to heal itself, but im rather curious to if you really read his post as it says he has a disc problem in his neck, which means the workouts you told him to do would do nothing but probably hurt him more if not be helpless to his needs in its process. So i do question the validity of your testament on your injury.

  • Thank you Roq,

    Yes back problems are the worst, I’ve never appreciated my body being healthy so much only after I got my back pain, now that I am healed I woke up to a whole new understanding.

  • McKenzie press up is actually very effective, I’ve done that as well. Yes, I was told by the doctors that I won’t recover from this and that it will only get worst, but here I am not only did I recover but I am able to completely comeback to high intensity training without any pain. So many things in this world is completely unexplainable by our doctors, just yesterday one of my readers shared a link with me of one woman ( and I’ve seen a lot of stories like this ) was seriously ill with cancer, her organs failed and she was clinically dead. Well, she did go into a coma, after she woke up she told an amazing story about what was happening to her while she was in this coma and she was also telling the doctors things that she couldn’t of possibly known because she wasn’t physically alive, after she woke up her cancer cleared in 4 days, and the doctors couldn’t explain it.

    • Raj

      My question is, why have I not had any improvement yet? I started doing the prone press up often everyday since September 29th. I’m 17 years old and my posterior L5-S1 bulging disc is far less severe than yours was. I don’t even have any pain anywhere else but the low back.

      You have stated in your post that about a year and a half ago you herniated a disc and that it’s been 4 or 5 months since you’ve been pain free. Did it really take you 12-13 months to recover by doing the exercises listed above?

      I don’t know if this is a hindrance to my recovery, but I workout every other day. But only because Elliot Hulse claims that it’s okay to in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLaSuDQh5kY

      Thank you for your time.

      • Yes it took me about a year and a half to completely recover and I am fully recovered. You are gonna have to develop some patience. You can workout a little, but nothing explosive and you always have to do stretches as well.

  • you cannot heal a disc you can only relieve the symptoms.

    • I healed my disc, 2 of them actually 100% percent. I haven’t had any pain or symptoms of pain in over a year and a half. And as you can see in my videos I workout full force ever since ;),

      No surgery, did it all the natural way. Even the doctors were surprised!

      • sherice

        The info I looked up because I thought this was what was going on with my back but I think it’s just really severely pulled tight muscles from my back being out for so long and one leg being 4 cm shorter than the other.. said that only about 10% of herniated discs need surgery.. your body will absorb the fluid that has bulged out and heal itself.. and also that people can have a herniated disc and not know it because a lot of the time there is NO pain.. only pain when it compresses the sciatic nerve..

      • I am curious did you get another MRI to support that you were healed 100% or are you basing it on a tighter core with no pain?

  • Hi Joe,

    You will definitely recover! Just remember, MIND OVER MATTER! My back has been recovered 100% about 2 years ago now, never had a problem since. I’ve never tried ginger compression, but for pain relief I used stretching, it always worked. Our bodies have this amazing ability to heal them selves, but it can’t do it without the mind, mind creates everything. Everytime I stumble on an obstacle in my life, I remember the pain in my back and how it’s completely gone due to me knowing that I was going to heal.

    • mikeubvic .

      Hi Tatianna, yes it is MIND OVER MATTER, all you positive posts is giving me hope, thanks you so much.
      I just have one question?
      when you say 100% recovered do you mean like a normal persons back, do you mean no slip disk, i mean there is no swelling (herniation)any more in the disk??
      kindly answer me back, please.

  • bill

    Hi Tatianna,

    I was diagnosed with L5/S1 disc herniation, and two more bulging discs. I am a construction worker and have been working with the pain, but it became too much. I am doing P.T. for about two months and doing core excersises. It has seems to be helping but I can not help but think I will not be able to perform my job anymore. It has really has become a mental strain on me. I try to stay positive but some days I cant. Do you have any words of advice?

  • Kat

    Hi Tatianna, I have been in traction every month for the past two years for my bulging L1-S5 disc. I have been running, spinning and using weights as per normal, but relying on anti-inflammatories, so I have managed rather well. However, I stopped using them 3 days ago as I am detoxing and I am now really feeling the pain. I want to self heal – the healthy way, but I also want to train. What training did you do when you were recovering other than what you have posted? Do your current programmes allow for such conditions? Thanks Kat

    • Humie1965

      Kat – You need to stop running and spinning for a bit. You weren’t “coping” you were masking the real issue. When you stopped taking the anti-inflammatories the ‘true” reality of your situation hit. Everything is relative, listen to your body, it will tell you clearly what you can and cant do with exercise, start gradually and build up, ceasing whatever causes pain. This process is 12-24 months before a full recovery can be expected and that is if you don’t reset the clock by damaging your back. Shared in love from another fitness junkie who thought he knew best…:-)

  • John

    Hi Tatianna,

    I’m a 38 year old male who has always suffered from back pain from bulging disks. About 6 months ago I started playing tennis and golf without strengthening my back firstly, and payed the price with 2 herniated disks and a couple of bulging disks also. Initially, I took med’s to deal with the pain and have since been doing physio twice a week and daily stretching at home. I have improved quite a lot, in that I no longer have sciatica and the chronic pain has been replaced with discomfort. Sitting gives me the most problems and I have to drive about 80km a day to travel to and from work. I also have a long haul flight in two weeks time which I’m dreading:((

    Anyways, my question Tatianna is,’My recovery seems ‘stuck’ at a certain point and I’ve seen little improvement now for about 6 weeks, did you have a similar experience in your recovery?’

    I’m also very weary about over-exerting myself and worsening my condition.

    Any tips for flying long-haul?


  • Ken

    Hi Tatianna, Thanks for this. It gives me hope. I am 52 and I have a herniated l5s1 disc and was on prednisone that seemed to help the achyness in my leg but I still have weakness in knee and have started having skin sensitivity pain and burning sensations both on my lower leg. I was wondering if you knew anyone who had the skin sensitivity pain or burning sensations and if they will eventually go away. I am told the next thing I should try is an epidoral and if that doesn’t work the next stop is surgery which I am scared to death of. Not so much surgery but back surgery. I have done some of what you recommend already but now that I saw your site and your success I will continue to do them. Thanks

  • Jessie

    hi tatianna

    i have a curved spine and slipped disc in my lower back from having children to close together im 25 by the way with 3 children. i find it hard to get up and walk almost everyday. is there any suggestions to get instant relief? i stretch all the time but something as simple as a sneeze or stress can set me back

  • hitekmastr

    About 15 years ago I discovered a muscle relaxant that specifically targets lower lumbar when I was diagnosed with a herniated disc. My physician said I might need microsurgery but I talked to many friends and one of them said to try this. When I looked it up in the “drug bible” at the pharmacy it said it went directly to the lower lumbar to relax the muscles there. It was originally called “Tolectin” and since then the name has changed and it is now called Tolmetin – it is an ORANGE CAPSULE. Today, whenever I strain my back or start to get symptoms, I take one of these pills and typically it only takes one pill. For the past 15 years I have not had a serious problem and here is what I did: 1) I took Tolmetin to relax my lower back muscles, 2) when my muscles were relaxed using this drug, I did situps and exercises to relieve herniated disc problems, and 3) I have been careful how I lift or twist. Recently I over-exercised at a fitness center doing twisting exercises on an exercise machine, which aggravated my herniated disc and resulted in a painful strain, so I have been taking these pills to relax the region and doing lower back exercises – which is working again as it did 15 yrs. ago. I should mention that this pill should be taken with food, and may upset your stomach if you have a weak stomach. I have never had a serious stomach problem myself but my friend who originally recommended it mentioned this. I consider this a solution that definitely worked for me. Not sure it will work for you but it’s worth trying and hopefully it will help some people avoid surgery.

  • Rhodagi Yago

    Hi! I was recently diagnosed with cervical and lumbar herniations. I’m off work 6wks. I’m a nurse but I’m afraid when I get back to work I might hurt again, i might give up my job Bec of my back. Thanks for sharing the exercises

  • Laurie

    Hey Tatiana,
    I always read your blog and wish I could do our workouts. But last night Googling I found this old post. I have suffered from a herniated disc at L5-S1 since I was 19. Now 28 I still can’t find true relief. I’ve had 7 epidurals in this time and nothing. I do have a leg that is 1.7cm shorter so I guess that makes things worse but I wear a lift now. I want to know if you didn’t workout in that year and a half and if you didn’t have lift heavy things? I love to workout but I have to be careful with what I do so I wonder what you did because I can’t get rid of this.

    • Hey Laurie,

      During that year and a half when I had my herniated disc I didn’t workout at the intensity that I do now, I did do light stuff such as work on the floor and walking. I did daily stretches for my back and the exercises that I talk about in this post. With these kind of pains, or any kind of decease that our body attains we have to understand that the pain will be there as long as you believe it’s there. Once you shift your belief into recovery, your body will shift with it.

      That is how I truly healed my self, the exercises and stretches help for your brain to hold on to something, because we are analytical creatures, but the true healing is within the mind, it’s outside of our selves, something we cannot rationally explain but its’ there. I know this because I’ve witnessed this my self, I’ve know people who got rid of cancer this way at a point where they were told by doctors that they are going to die and nothing can be done.
      So, my advice to you is do everything you can to shift your mind.

      • Laurie

        I will take your advice. I’ll try to see the light at the end of this tunnel! I always watch your workouts and and say to myself “wish I could do that, but with my back no way”..I’ll keep the faith and hopefully get rid of it!:-) Thanks!

      • mikeubvic .

        True Tatianna True its all in our mind, kindly read my previous post to Heather.

    • lee

      So many of these posts are so sad. Get away from the doctor. Your leg is shorter because of a hip misalignment. A heal lift will hurt your low back, the problem has not been solved. See a very holistic chiropractor. They will help with the hip alignment. They may recommened very gentle tractioning 20 minutes several times a week. Take herbs to ease inflammation, internal and external. Do the excersise in this article. Get acupunture. Get massage. Get length back between the discs. Buldging disc can retract. Most importantly do not go the western route. Once interventions, like shots, have taken place the body will have a hard time healing on its own. Be prepared for a long recovery.

  • Cosmus Tseu

    Hey Tatiana, just curious of your diet during your disc injury. Did you increase intake for certain nutrients etc? I agree with you that a change in mindset is definitely one of the key factors in recovery. The body and mind combined is a powerful entity

  • Heather

    Thank you Tatianna! I am 33 and have four young children and have been dealing with a herniated lumbar and pain in the low back/right leg. It’s so hard!! I try to keep a positive attitude and do all my stretches/exercises and keep my appts with my chiropractor. I see small improvements but also I’m learning that this is quite a two steps forward/one step back process. I’ll feel better, then overdo it a little while taking care of my kids, etc. The internet says “one to six months” for a disc to heal and for me it’s already been almost 5 months. I know I have a long way to go. I love to work out, it’s a stress relief for me, and right now I can’t do it and it’s hard. It’s been quite the lesson in patience and it’s painful (both physically and mentally!!). Some days it’s hard to believe the pain really will be gone some day and i’ll get my health back, but posts like yours give me hope. If you can do it for a year and a half, I can too. If you can keep a positive attitude, I can too. If your disc can heal, MINE CAN TOO! 🙂 This too, shall pass. I can and will do this and I will come out of this challenge a better, stronger person. Thanks, Tatianna, for giving so many people hope during what is no doubt a painful, lonely, challenging, and often dark time in their lives. God bless.

    • mikeubvic .

      Hi Heather, I am 31 years old (male)and i am suffering from slip disk L4 and L5 from past 9 years, i understand you pain, loneliness and yes very day is a challange if one has herniated lumbar and certainly is dark times. however i think there is hope, after reading Tatianna’s experiance, it certainly gives me hope.
      Yoga also helps (i used to do it but i stopped doing it, its my own fault,a lot happned its hard to explain in words right now)
      You can seek help from BKS Iyengar (he is Yoga guru, very famous in india, a true master, a legend) Yoga institute.
      I am going for learn Yoga again and start doing it and also i’ll try Tatianna’s exercises and acupunctur.
      You are not alone Heather, yes some days it’s hard to believe the pain really will be gone some day and i’ll get my health back, and i can’t beleive i am going through this it is very depressing and totally de-motivating.
      And like Tatianna said it’s very important to free your self from the root of your mind. Its about our mind (attitude i guess, we have to beleive we can do it)
      I wrote this because when i red your post i could relate to you, i know the pain and the struggle.
      GOD BLESS.

  • robn12

    Hi All,

    I just stumbled across this site while doing some research of my own. I too have a Very Large herniated disc at L4/L5 causing extreme pain down my right leg and into my foot. I’m 3 months into the severe pain but have turned a corner this week.
    Initially my DR. said I would require surgery but got referred to a spinal Surgeon and had a MRI scan done which showed up what was feared, A very large herniated disc compressing on the spinal canal.
    While I agree with Tatianna in some aspects I disagree with her in others. I was very reluctant to go to a surgeon at the start but in hinsight it was the best decision i made, My Doctor had me convinced that my only hope was surgery but to my suprise and delight the Surgeon was very reluctant to rush into surgery and told me it was a last resort. He also told me that 9 times out of ten a herniated disc will be dissolved naturally by the body with time( 6 to 12 months) if your not improving after the 6 month mark you might have to consider surgery and it’s the persons ability to manage the pain that decides there initial future.
    I was sceptical to say the least, I was on 8 pain killers a day and they just took the edge of the pain. I was still in agony nearly all of the time ( i was a very active person up to this, playing physical sports and have broken many a bone and damaged many ligaments but this was pain I never expereinced before).
    I could not walk or could not stand without the aid of a crutch, even with the crutch I could only manage 50 metres or so at a time until I had to sit down. I was only getting a few hours sleep a night but I could sit down fairly comfortably. I think at this stage I was getting depressed as well.
    The surgeon told me not to do any exercises, not one and take it easy, He booked me in for a spinal injection and hoped I’d get relief out of it. I Went in very optimistic and I did get a small bit of relief for about 2 weeks, I reduced the tablets( as I felt they weren’t helping anyway) and started to do short walks without the crutch. 20 metres at a time, then maybe 50 metres and sit down and continued this during the 2 weeks after the injection. He told me at this stage not to do any stretches or exercise but do as much light walking as I could mange but don’t over do it and more importantly don’t under do it either.
    Here is where I agree with Tatianna, a positive frame of mind is crucial, I almost cracked on more than 1 ocassion but I could see an improvement,not all of the time but even once a week was enough, others around me couldn’t see it and kept telling me ”You have to get something done, You can’t stay going around like that, you are bent over in pain and walking sideways”
    I did not panic and stayed doing what I could, walking a little further each day. i was beginging to get a little sorere and sorer as the week went on but I put that down to being a little more active but Then I had a relapse, The most excruciating pain I had ever felt. 2 days of absolute agony. I was in tears. I couldn’t sit, I couldn’t stand and I most certainly couldn’t walk. I was annoyed, angry, and frustrated to add to the pain. I went to my Dr. the first morning and asked for stronger pain meds. He gave me the strongest he could without getting morphine. It didn’t help……. I was at family gathering that day and had a few drinks ( i haven’t been able to go to anything for a long time with the pain) Probably had a few too many drinks and that mixed with the pain killers helped me sleep that night. All I can remember going to bed was being afraid to wake up in the morning with the pain.
    Morning came around and I had slept for more than 8 hours. longest in a while and to my surprise when I got up out of bed and walked I wasn’t in as much pain, I wasn’t sure what was going on or what had happened. ‘maybe the meds have worked, I said’ or ‘it’ll probably get bad again’ but as a few days went on I stopped the meds and I was still not feeling the extreme pain, I was back to the level of pain after I got the injection.
    That was 4 weeks ago, I’m no way out of the woods but I have drastically improved, Each day I can go a bit further and do a bit more around the house- I have a 1yr old toddler who is full of life, I can do more and more with him. I’m now able to walk around a mile or a little less with out pain, tightness and leg heavyness kick in first but its huge improvments, I can stand for 10 or 15 minutes now , although I’m leaning a bit, but I dont mind, its an improvement.
    I’m no expert as I said but I’m going through it as we speak and this is what I would reccomend- remember, no 2 backs are the same, so no injury is the same, the can be simliar but as Tatianna said she couldn’t sit but could walk- I was the opposite, I couldn’t walk but could sit. We both have lower back herniated disc’s…..
    1/ Go to a surgeon- get his opinion. You don’t have to go with it but he is a specialist and know’s what he’s talking about
    2/Be careful with the exercises and stretches. I wasn’t aloud do any by my surgeon because if I did the floor exercise Tatianna was doing it would cause me more pain, Because the disc can move 2 ways, back where it came from or further into the spianl canal. By doing the above mentioned exercise You need the disc to be going back towards the spine. This exercise narrows the spianl canl forcing the idsc to move back towards it home, giving relief, but BE VERY careful, If like me and the disc is protruding towards the spinal canal by doing this exercise will cause more damage and pain.. So just a word of warning. These exercise won’t work for everyone
    3/ Avoid Chiro’s if You are this bad. They cannot guarentee You they will manipulate the disc in the right direction. They are taking a chance! with your back and Your life.
    4/ Drink loads of water. Try get in 3 or 4 litres a day.
    5/ lose some wait, if needed. although exercise isn’t possible, watch what You eat and it’ll speed up the recovery.
    6/ Take Omega 3 fish oils.
    7/ Sleep: Again I dis-agree with the above. For me it was Lying on my side, placing a pillow between my knees. This maintains a neutral spine position.
    I hope my story will be of use to someone. Be positive, no matter how tough it gets. There’s light at the end of the tunnel!!

  • Raj

    I think you should all look into Dr. Sarno’s tension myositis syndrome (TMS) theory. When all conventional methods have failed, what have you got to lose at this point? The condition might seem ridiculous to some, but just have an open mind and a positive attitude. Doesn’t it seem weird that many have bulging or herniated discs but are asymptomatic? I’d recommend taking a look at this video, which is how I discovered him. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsR4wydiIBI

    • Eden Rose

      Thank you very much for sharing 🙂

    • Kit

      Thank you very much for this share. Ever since my herniated disc, I realized my knees gotten weak, joints feel weak… my entire body feels fragile. Probably my mind is fragile……

  • Eden Rose

    I had discovered last year that I have herniated L5-S1 disc but I was also diagnosed with lordosis.
    Do you think I could practice this routine?

  • Tbert

    I want to thank you for putting your story out there. My husband (23) has already had 4 cortisone shots and one back surgery. He had a herniated disk that was so bad that he actually lost all feeling in his bottom half of his body (which happened at the hospital the day after our 3rd child was born…) anyways he also had a couple more that weren’t as bad but he is now starting to have shooting pains down his right leg again. His father has had so many you can’t count them. So showing him this has helped him see my way of letting your body do its job. My dad had broke his back and he never went to the doctor. It healed all by itself and he recently went to the doc for another reason and got an X-ray and the doc was amazed his back had formed new bone around the broken to fix it! The body works wonders if you let it! Hopefully this works for him and its not too late. Ill let you know if it works!

    • Thank you for sharing this, our body is definitely extremely intuitive, and I believe we have the ability to heal our self without any outside influence, it’s all a matter of our beliefs. Our mind body connection is a lot more powerful than many can even understand, but I know with time more and more people will come to realize their own potential for healing and creating their reality in general.

  • Rampot

    Dear tatianna,

    You are an example of confidence : ) Ya i too had suffered from L5-S1 herinated disc last year and after had homeopathic medicines with suggested excersies ,i can’t believe in my eyes that i forget my pain around 6 months from now[i did swimming,cycling,many more activities].I am gonna to enter the marriage life soon,but unfortunately again i got the pain ,its really impacted my mind,soul everthing…now i thought to postponed my marriage or drop the marriage plan..Becoz how i can believe the same pain will not come after my marriage?.I too analysed the cause the pain back,but unable to catch it.Please advice me what i can do now?Good things is that i dont have severe pain now when compared to earlir 🙂 ..even though it gives me lot of pain in my heart..dont know how to elimiate it. 🙁 …

  • Ana Mercedes Limon

    Thank you for posting this. You have given me hope. I am 26 and this will be my 3rd herniated disc.. I have had 2 bcck surgeries already… the last one being Dec 18, 2013 and I thought I would get to live a normal life after. Now I am back at square 1 and have to sit at work all day and when I get up my back locks up and it takes me about 4 or 5 minutes to be able to walk and stand straight.. the pain down my leg is back also. I am done with surgeries. I am going to try acupuncture and everything you suggested because obviously surgery isn’t working.

  • Thanks for sharing your story. I too, am rehabilitating a disc after rupturing it sometime last year. I’m somewhere around 6 to 8 months into the process and so far, my progress although slow, has been steady. It is encouraging to read about someone else’s story and how they are able to do everything they used to do. I’m 53, so maybe I’m a little slower to heal. But I do lead an active life and was so glad to see your story. Thanks for the encouragement!

  • jdub13

    Hi there. I just want to thank you so much for sharing your story about how you healed your back. It’s inspirational! Please don’t ever remove your post about how you overcame this 🙂 My story – about 20 months ago, I was struck down with awful back pain / sciatica. An MRI revealed a disc problem at L4 / L5. I was depressed, could barely walk, had lost a considerable amount of power in my right foot and the pain was horrible. My doctor said I might not get better and 2 consultants could not give me a definitive answer as to whether I would get better or not. Anyhow I decided to go the conservative route (no injections / surgery) as I know that studies show your result will be the same 5 years post injury whether you have surgery or not. I also have learned that the results of back surgery are terrible and medicine still cannot explain why. Anyway, I followed the physio exercises I was given over the last 2 years, fixed all of my bad posture habits and I stretched regularly at work (my job involves sitting for hours!). I kept getting set backs. For no reason whatsoever, one day the pain would just get worse. It was so disheartening, especially considering I was doing everything I was told by the physio. Then one day recently, I reassessed my situation and started to convince myself that my pain is not caused by a structural (disc) problem. I remember I was in terrible pain yet again and I was stretching at home. Where I would normally say ‘This is so frustrating… I’m not getting better’, I said to myself ‘I have no pain. The pain is gone. My back is perfect. It is not damaged. I will get better’. This took every single ounce of my mental strength as the pain was bad and I was upset. But strangely, as soon as I had said that to myself, in that exact moment, something clicked in my mind. I had achieved something – I had told myself I will get better, whereas normally I was so pessimistic. In other words, I had attacked my normal way of thinking and had interrupted my negative thought patterns about my pain. And what do you know? Nearly 2 weeks later, I am pain free. I cannot believe it, nor can I explain it, but I am pain free. I remember reading about these types of stories before, and thinking ‘That’s rubbish. You can’t just abolish the pain by changing your thought pattern as the pain is real…’, well I have. So to summarize, I want to thank you again. You are in part responsible for my recovery. I read your post above anytime I had set backs and felt down about the pain and it helped me through. I really only focused on the first parts of your post – the physical aspect of the pain, not the mental. However I now realize that how you think about the pain mentally is critical to recovery. Once again, thank you.

  • Guest

    Hi there. I just want to thank you for sharing this story. Back in 2012 I was hit with chronic back pain and sciatica which lasted up until very recently. An MRI revealed a disc problem at L4/L5, but nothing else. The pain was horrible and I became very depressed. I had to take pain killers just to lie on the floor, I could barely walk and I thought I would never be able to work again – I have a desk job which requires hours of sitting. Anyway I came across this blog post and decided I was not going to have surgery / injections. I got myself off the pain killers too as they gave me terrible stomach problems, and at times they didn’t even work, which was bizarre. There was no quick fix. The worst thing of all, was that at times when I felt I was making a little progress, for no explicable reason, the pain would just get worse. It was so frustrating, but when this did happen, I would read this blog and realize that I will recover. Anyway, very recently, the pain disappeared 🙂 It was a eureka moment! One day a few weeks back, my pain got worse over the course of a few days. I remember one morning waking up and stretching out of bed and even though the pain was really bad, I told myself “I have no pain. My back is completely pain free. I am healthy”. This was something I was never able to do as I was angry and I sincerely believed my pain was caused by a herniated disc – the MRI showed it, right? – yet my physio told me that the results of back surgery are terrible, there are people with herniated discs who have no pain, etc. etc. How can this be, I kept asking myself? So in the moment when I finally confronted the pain directly, by telling myself “I have no pain. It’s not real” – something in my mind clicked. It’s difficult to explain it, but it completely changed how I thought about the pain. Over the next few days, anytime I felt pain, or realized I was focusing on it, I would tell myself 3 times in my mind – I have no pain, I am pain free. Then over the course of the next few days… the pain disappeared 🙂 Nearly 2 years of chronic back pain and sciatica, gone. I now realize what you were referring to in the last part of your blog post about the mind. You can change how you think about the pain and thus make your body react accordingly. I want to thank you again – You are partly responsible for helping me to get better. I am forever grateful for this blog post! 🙂 Keep up the good work, Ken

  • Helen R.

    I suffered in horrible pain for 6 months while my DR. Gave me pain pills and muscle relaxers and told me I had to keep walking and sent me to p physical therapy. After 6 months I had a MRI that showed 7 ruptured discs. I went to a chiropractor and started decompression therapy 4 days a week. I was back on my feet and pain free within 3 weeks. And quit all the pain and relaxer meds when I started decompression. I also took more vitamins and minerals during the healing process. For anyone reading this with back pain being treated by a general practitioner—you should seriously consider decompression therapy before you have surgery

  • David

    Hi Tatianna,

    I am just wondering how your recovering experience felt like, did you recover gradually little by little within that year and a half or did the pain gone away quickly during a specific period.

  • rocker2000

    i was in a similar position – was still in pain after 2 open discectomies and 2 herniated discs l4/l5 l5/s1 .. i was considering a fusion till i found the sumo squat exercise…

    this exercise – the sumo squat (NOT the normal squat) – has helped me immensely get back to normal days.. this article discusses it in detail… particularly practising the “getting into sumo” position he talks about… i do them unweighted or light weights..


    i also combine it with the “couch stretch” for anterior pelvic tilt and hanging from a chino bar

  • cakezula

    I just went through 5 weeks of physical therapy and my back is not better. Finding your site has given me some hope, as we didn’t do any of the above routines. I’m going to order a balance ball and try these out. Thanks!

  • Aaron Long

    Hello All,
    I had some lower back pain after lifting a heavy object, the pain went away for a few months but then returned after a long run followed by weakness in my left leg and numbness in my foot. Had an MRI to show a L5 S1 herniation. I no longer have back pain but I walk with a limp because I can’t push off my left foot. I’ve been to several orthopedics (some of the best in the country) and they said that since of the weakness in the leg and the pressure and damage the herniation is causing to the nerve, I need a micro discectomy. Really would like to avoid this. My question is, have you Tatianna or anyone had a herniation followed by an inflammed S1 nerve causing leg pain and weakness regain leg strengh without surgery?

    • I can’t answer your question but if you Google “Disc Resorbtion” ( I hope I spelled it correctly) you’ll discover that over 80% of the time, the discs will resorb back into the body and the pressure on the sciatic never will subside. In my case, it took about a year before I had just as many good days as bad days, It took mine about 2 years total to heal. You should also read a book called “the Great pain Deception” about how the subconscious mid can affect pain. It helped me a lot.

    • Tricia Smith

      Hi Aaron,
      I had the exact same experience as you….lifted heavy object, severe pain, about a month in symptoms improved. Increased back to close to normal activity and had a relapse. Started physio and chiro treatments again and then the issue progressed to leg pain and eventually loss of ability to do a heel raise (push off). With physio twice a week and chiro (ART therapy for leg and buttock muscles), the strength in my lower leg returned to normal in about 3-4 weeks. I still have the pain, though it’s improving, but the strength is back. That said, my physio was surprised that it came back so fast. So, be patient and stick with the physio, if you are doing it. He was doing traction and IMS (intramuscular stimulation), as well as several exercises for core strength, back extensions to “put the disc back” so to speak.
      It has been 4 full months since my injury. I am no where near 100%, but making improvements. Surgery is certainly a last resort when considering the relapse rate and related risks, but conservative treatment does take time. Very frustrating when you are normally an active person – I can relate. Hope that helps.

  • Danielle

    Hi Tati, your website gives me hope. I have a bulging disc that is pressing on my siatic nerve and the pain is intense. It is the worst pain I have ever experienced, only someone who has gone there can understand. I can so relate to your experience, including the pain down and into the leg. I read on the internet that it may never heal, that it will be there the rest of my life, and it is so discouraging which is why I love your site so much. I want this to be a turning point in my life and begin to take care of and respect my body for the rest of my life. How long did you experience the pain for? I’m at 2 mos today and have done two injections. I really only began doing exercises 1 week ago because the pain was TOO bad but after the last injection, I was able to move enough to do them. So, religiously I am doing them 4 times a day. I’m still in a lot of pain though so I was wondering when you started to have relief? I so need some hope that it will start getting better soon.

  • Chik

    Hello Tatianna. i experienced a severe pain hours after New Year’s Eve, it was so painful that my body cannot move. I was admitted in the ER and they gave me high dosage of painkillers. I did therapy at first,the first to the fourth session did do wonders but after that it didn’t improved. I switch doctors and the Dr. requested that I get an MRI, in the results I have a bulge discs from L3-S1. the Dr. gave me meds and exercises to do,it was helpful at first then I got depressed in my situation,every movement I make has to be calculated, have to act carefully. I missed doing stuff before this. reading everyone’s messages helped me,knowing that there are people who can relate to what I’m going through. I hope we’re all going to get better.

  • Kit

    Dear Tatianna, I was diagnosed with slipped disc 3 months ago as I had electrifying sciatica pain down my leg. Initially orthopedic said my disc bulge is large and likely require surgery. After two weeks, my sciatica went away and I had improvement. (I can still feel pinched nerve)
    I am thankful for your sharing as i do feel that my mind is leaning towards feeling negative. I used to enjoy Vinyasa Yoga weekly and now I am unable to. Life has changed for me. Thanks for the reminder on keeping possible and our mind is definitely powerful in the healing process.

    Right now, it is aching on my butt and feeling the nerve near the outside of my knee (at the sides/back)….

    I have two questions for you..

    1) For the lifting of your back as shown in the above photo, do you use your arm strength entirely because I doubt I have the sheer back strength to lift as high?
    2) Did your herniated disc seem to affect your knee(s)? My knee seem to feel weaken and not sure if wear and tear is taking place faster than usual inside due to a poor back.

    Thank you again…..
    May all of us heal naturally and become strong again.