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Is Yoga Good for a Herniated Disc?

Posted by Dr. Eben Davis Doctor of Chiropracty

Nri00131 Yoga is very popular these days...and there are many different kinds. Some methods of Yoga are very gentle...some are advanced...and everything in between.

Anyway...I am often asked...Is it is OK to do Yoga with a herniated disc?

My answer is depends. It depends on your particular condition.  There are Yoga postures that might be perfect for you and actually enhance the healing process...and there are Yoga postures that may hurt you.

This is where an experienced Yoga teacher comes in. I used to have an onsite Yoga instructor at my Financial District Chiropractic Center. Sometimes Yoga made sense for herniated disc repair...sometimes it didn't.

I did a little research online and came up with this article on the Yoga Journal website entitled:

Yoga With A Herniated Disc

It's an excellent read. Check it out. Let me know if you have any experience with Yoga and disc herniations and if you know any really good instructors here in downtown San Francisco that I can refer patients to.

Answers (3)
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Hello Eben.

Are you citing a chiro or are YOU a chiro? It is unclear to me from your post.

Never the less, I'll respond to the question posed.

The answer specifically depends on the yoga protocols being employed. Yoga itself is not inherently "good" for disk issues. Some manifestations of yoga practice (which may mean asana, though that is NOT yoga) would be absolutely contraindicated for herniated, bulging, or slipped discs.

A well trained therapeutically oriented yoga teacher can craft a custom protocol for a student with disc issues (or many other issues) thereby supplying support to the body's own healing prowess.

I would not however tell a patient "go do yoga" as they are likely to walk in to the first place with a visible sign and there's no way to know what will be delivered there. 

well let us not ignore the various stages of Disc disease. and exercises are the best medicine to the disc health and joint health and the muscle health.

regards Dr. Ahmad Javaid 

Hi Gordon, I'm not sure why the blog post that was streamed into my account was framed as a "question"? Because I also provided the "answer" or my opinion (and a Yoga Journal article that does the same) as a practicing chiropractor for 18 years, specializing in herniated disc treatment. In fact, it's just part of my opinion. I have an entire category on Yoga on my back and wrist pain blog at I agree with you that it would not make sense for an acute herniated disc patient to "go do yoga". However, as Dr. Ahmad Javaid mentions...there are various stages of healing and yoga (the right kind) can make sense at the right time. I hope this clarifies the blog post. 
NOTICE: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on Wellsphere. If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
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