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Stretching "right" hurts -- stretching "wrong" stops my pain...

Started by mathuec on 01/17/2011 10:33pm

I have a herniated disc and sciatica. Squatting and lowering my head brings will temporarily relieve the pain completely, while the type of stretching that is typically advised (lying on stomach and pressing up and extending my arms to raise my upper body off the ground) immediately INCREASES the pain and seems to have no long-term effect whatsoever.

It's as if my spine is backwards! Has anyone else experienced this?

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2 Responses


If something hurts, don't do it. If you have found an exercise or stretch that helps your pain, do it. Your body will tell you if you are doing something wrong. When my back gets bad, I will up in a fetal position on my back and rock myself for a couple of minutes. That always help, no matter how bad my back pain and spasms. Never ignore your body and do something that really hurts. Granted that almost everything hurts and we all need to walk and do some things that hurt, but any exercise that increases your pain or causes sudden pain, should not be done. Just my nickels worth of advice.


Flymomrn -- thanks for the response.

I've been doing the "painful" stretches because I thought they were necessary to minimize my disc herniation... "no pain, no gain," if you will...

But, after several hours on this and other sites, I realize that I have ALL the symptoms of spinal stenosis, which explains why bending forward brings sweet relief while arching backwards makes me see stars.

My doctor never mentioned spinal stenosis, but I will be discussing it with him soon.

Thanks, again.