Pilates for an L4/L5 Posterior Herniation Client

by Maalini
(Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia)

I would like to know what type of exercises will help relieve or strengthen a client with an L4/L5 posterior herniation with a pain scale VAS of 6?


Jennifer's Response:

With a hernia of this type the disc is bulging out the back of the spine so extension exercises would aggravate this condition.

Avoid doing many of the prone exercises such as swimming, dart, lifting the legs or upper body in a prone or face down position.

Flexion exercises such as the spine stretch forward, single leg stretch, hundreds with bent knees, and a pelvic lift would be suitable. Be careful with bridging to high as the spine can go in to extension.

Check out some of the pages below for more information on how to do these exercises properly.

Finding the best exercise for an injured back.

Spine Stretch Forward for the lower back muscles.

Pilates Cat Stretch to relieve your back pain and tension.

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Buldging Disc and Coccyx Fracture

by Lisa

I have a lower buldging disc in my back, and 2 worn discs plus a fracture to my coccyx.

My question is; will Pilates help this?

I have been incredibly active in the past but have recently been unable to exersice comfortably for the past year and a half.

I used to run, Spin, and spend many hours in the gym of which I am unable to now do.

I have been reduced to weeks off work and at times unable to move at all.

I have refused surgery as at 34 years old I believe I am too young for this and feel there are other options.

I have tried Yoga and have to say I actually was in agony afterwards and could not move much at all.

I have been advised to avoid any twisting motions as this aggravates my injury.

I am grateful for any support you could offer.


Hello Lisa,

I'm sorry to hear of your spinal problems at such a young age. It must be very frustrating for you to live this way having been so active.

I work with an older adult population and find these degenerative disc conditions very common in my clientele.

We very successfully do Pilates Equipment exercises that can strengthen and stabilize the spine so they can function without pain.

My work with them usually prevents further deterioration and helps to keep them functional and independent living.

At your age you should be able to recover almost fully from the buldging discs.

The Pilates Equipment is more gentle and varied to get started on rather than jumping to the mat. It is spring loaded, which is gentle on the joints and very effective at stretching and strengthening weak and tight muscles.

Check out this page to find out more about how the Pilates equipment works.

I know they have very qualified Pilates Instructors in England and I would recommend you interview and find someone who is familiar with your condition and plan to spend some time working individually on the equipment with the goal of working towards your prior activity level.

You may not be comfortable lying on your coccyx to begin with, but with padding or modifications the instructor should be able to make you comfortable.

Look up some certified studios in your area under the Pilates Method Alliance website to get started and go from there.

Let me know how you progress.



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Sep 22, 2011
thank you
by: Anonymous

Helpful information

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