Microdiscectomy Exercises

Updated April 17, 2017

A microdiscectomy is surgery that takes out the disc material from a herniated disc that has been putting pressure on the spinal cord or on a nerve root. Sometimes the lamina, which is a small bone piece, is removed. This is done so that the surgeon can better look at and have access to the disc herniation area. This part of the surgery is called a laminectomy or a laminotomy. Performing microdiscectomy exercises as soon as possible after spine surgery is essential to recovery.

Microdiscectomy Exercise Benefits

The more quickly one gets mobile, the sooner one can be back into the swing of things. Becoming more active also assists with pain reduction. Microdiscectomy exercises increase range of motion, which allows patients to recover faster. Before surgery, patients might have a limited range of motion due to pain. With surgery and microdiscectomy exercises, pain is lessened. Microdiscectomy exercises and getting back to a normal routine also help the soft tissue heal, which in turn also helps with pain.

Microdiscectomy Stretching Exercises

Stretching can begin 2 to 3 weeks after a microdiscectomy and should take place up to 6 times a day for 6 to 12 weeks. The stretching microdiscectomy exercises will reduce the scarring that can occur during that time frame.

To stretch, lie down on the back. Flex the hips as much as possible by bringing the bent knees into the chest. Extend the right knee by straightening the right leg and holding onto the left (bent) knee. Hold for several seconds. This will help strengthen the back muscles as well as the hamstrings. Switch and stretch the left leg. The stretching microdiscectomy exercises should be done up to the point of pain but not beyond. Otherwise, there is the risk of nerve inflammation.

Microdiscectomy Walking Exercises

Another microdiscectomy exercise is walking. In fact, walking is the single most important and beneficial exercise a patient can do to speed healing and recovery. Patients are encouraged to begin walking and moving around as soon as possible after surgery. This is particularly essential with disc surgery (again, to avoid too much scar tissue forming on the nerve).

Microdiscectomy Stabilization Exercises

Stabilisation microdiscectomy exercises should also be performed. To do this type of exercise, kneel on the ground and place the palms of the hands on the ground in front of you. Then, raise the right arm straight out and parallel to the ground and raise the left (opposite) leg straight out in back of you. Hold for a few seconds and then switch arms and legs. This helps to strengthen the back and train the back muscles.


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About the Author

Bonnie Bruneau is a freelance writer and editor living in Maine. Her work has been featured on several online venues, including HappyNews,, TheHealthBlog and Bruneau received her Bachelor of Arts in computer science from Barrington University.