Movements Exacerbating Interstitial Bulge

Some movements can aggravate septal bulge, while others can help improve it. In this article, we present three movements you should avoid and explain why this is the case.
Movements exacerbating interstitial bulge

Although exercise appears to be a good way to treat back problems,  some exercise exercises can exacerbate interstitial bulge  due to the complexity of the disease. As the researchers report in this article in Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine, interstitial bulge is one of the main causes of back pain.

Although it is advisable to rest at the first signs of this problem to prevent possible further complications, light exercise is beneficial after a few days as it activates the muscles. This reduces the pressure on the diaphragms, strengthens the middle body and helps maintain a healthy weight.

However, keep in mind that not all movements are suitable for treating septal bulge. So what movements should be avoided and why? Below we share some recommendations.

What is a septal bulge?

Before we begin, it is important to report that the vertebrae of the spine are differentiated by cartilage discs. These plates act as shock absorbers and are responsible for preventing friction between the bones. They also act as ligaments and bring flexibility as well as mobility to the spine.

The plates consist of two parts, both of which have a special function. We have listed these tasks below:

  • Core:  the central part of the plate that dampens the pressure between the vertebrae.
  • Perimeter: The outer part of the plate that limits rotation.

Spacer bulge occurs when the core is compressed and bulges outward due to a rupture in the circumference. This can cause an uncomfortable or pinching sensation near the nerve, which in turn can lead to either pain or numbness.

Spacer bulge can be caused by the following reasons, among others:

  • Natural deterioration caused by aging
  • Improper movements or excessive physical exertion
  • Trauma
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Job description (activities that require a lot of physical effort)
  • Physical activities or sports

Painkillers, rest, lifestyle changes, and certain exercises can help treat interstitial bulge. In rare cases, surgery may also be required. Despite the seriousness of the problem, certain preventive measures should be taken, such as avoiding some exercise.

Treat the disc bulge with various movements.
Interstitial bulge can occur due to, among other things, trauma, natural degeneration, and overexertion during physical activity.

Which exercise exercises can aggravate septal bulge?

Numerous studies published by the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy identify the importance of exercise as part of the rehabilitation method for interstitial bulge. Of course, it is important to follow only the exercise program for that problem  and make sure you avoid the following movements in the event of a disc bulge:

1. Weightlifting

First, you should avoid exercises that create pressure on the vertical axes of the spine. This is done when doing squats, where the knees are bent and the bar is usually held behind the neck.

We also do not recommend doing exercises where you hold weights above your head, such as vertical barbell weighting. In this exercise, you grab the rod with a shoulder-width grip. You then bring the bar to shoulder height and you push up above your head by straightening your elbows.

Alternative exercises

The squat is a good option where the weight is removed from the lower back while the middle body and other important muscles remain active. The front squats thus keep the weight at the level of the clavicle and not behind the head. However, it is best to avoid all squat movements with weights until the septal bulge improves.

However, if you want to improve muscle strength, you can use a leg press. In this exercise, you support the weight with your legs while sitting your buttocks in the right way against the chair. This will reduce the effect of the movement on your lower back as you push the weight away from you.

You can also do shotgun rowing as an alternative movement to vertical weightlifting. During this time, you support your knee and arm on the bench while holding the weight in the other hand. By keeping your middle body active and your back straight, you can pull your elbow next to your side. In this way, the weight is evenly distributed and does not affect the lower back much.

2. Abdominal muscles exacerbating interstitial bulge

The septal bulge in the lower back usually also affects the sciatic nerve. Because of this, you may feel pain extending from the waist to the hips, buttocks and legs.

Most abdominal muscle movements force the lower part of the spine to bend and create tension at that point. This tension arises both in abdominal exercises where the body is lifted (upper abdominal muscles) and in movements where the legs are lifted (lower abdominal muscles).

So abdominal movements should be avoided altogether, whether you use weights or not. We do not even recommend movements that are done with the help of instruments, as they naturally bend the lower back to maintain the correct posture.

Alternative abdominal movements

Planking is the best option for activating the muscles of the middle body. The planks allow the extensor muscles to be strengthened while the spine remains in a neutral position. There are also several types of planks. The following movements have a smaller effect:

  • Anaerobic plank. This is done with the face towards the floor and the weight is applied to the arms as well as the feet to keep the body horizontal.
  • Side plank. In this movement, the ground is sideways with your legs together and your body lifted up so you can support your body with your elbows placed just below your shoulders. Stay in this position for a few seconds.
Be careful when doing abdominal movements, as some movements may increase the pressure on your lower back.

3. Spacer bulging is exacerbated by stretches, twists and overstretching

Spinal stretching, twists and stretches are often ideal ways to start exercising. However, caution should be exercised when treating lumbar interstitial bulge.

Stretching, instructing to bring the knees against the chest or touch the toes with the legs completely straight, can aggravate septal bulge. This is because that position can create more stress and friction on the discs. And if you suffer from septal bulge, this area should not have to carry extra weight.

Alternative stretches

Another way to avoid affecting the spine too much is to do stretches while lying on the ground, such as in piriformis syndrome. In this way, you strengthen the spine while working the muscles around the spine and reducing the pressure on the lower back.

Oblique stretching, which is also done while lying on the ground, is a safe movement for stretching the legs. While lying on your back on the mat with your legs bent, bring your knees left and right alternately.

Is it good to exercise during interstitial bulge?

Spacer bulge does not mean you cannot stay active. On the contrary, we recommend continuing to do physical activities with certain precautions. It is important to remember to avoid the above movements if you suffer from a disc bulge. Also, be sure to do movements with light weights and without placing weight on your spine.

The most important thing in treating septal bulge is to avoid a passive lifestyle, as it is usually detrimental to this problem. Of course, it is ideal to make movements with a professional instructor or physiotherapist to prevent the risk of misuse and further injury. You can also do low-impact activities such as yoga, swimming or pilates.

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