Home Blog Core Stability: Training Around Disc Herniations and Bulges

Core Stability: Training Around Disc Herniations and Bulges

Written on April 17, 2012 at 10:20 am, by Eric Cressey

With the recent release of our Functional Stability Training resource, I thought you might be interested to check out this preview from one of my sections.  In the two minute video below, I discuss how one can manage clients with a history of intervertebral disc issues:

To learn more about this resource, head here.  To purchase, head here.

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13 Responses to “Core Stability: Training Around Disc Herniations and Bulges”

  1. Conor Says:

    That was just 2 minutes, but still informative. Looks like this will be yet another great product of yours.

  2. Dale Giessman, DC Says:

    Good info Eric and as you know 2 minutes doesn’t cover enough info on spinal discs. You should also consider the study done many years ago by Nachemson who found much higher disc loads in the seated vs. standing positions. This is easy to incorporate and change for those training even ordinary folks. Get off your behind especially when loading the spine.

  3. Michael Says:

    This is exactly what I have been looking for. I just got back from learning from Nick Winkelman and Mark verstegen in AZ and these were the types of concepts they put a high emphasis on at Athletes’ Performance. I have assess and correct and 3 of your other products and they haven’t let me down yet. I’m all in!

  4. Philipp Wessely Says:

    Hi Eric

    Another interesting video of your website – although I don t agree completely!
    One recent huge study showed that the most relaxed (which means – lowest pressure on discs) position during sitting is leaning with your back on a chair with lumbar flexion!My point is: Lumbar Flexion is natural – if we always prevent doing it – the tissue around the lower spine will get weaker and weaker – as a consequence there is a great chance for an injury. From my experience a lot of lower back problems develop because of 3 reasons: 1: limited ROM of facet joints! 2: extremely atrophy of tissue capacity around the lower spine because of constant hollow back posture (if you train the hollow back your re supposed to do it the other way too – imagine a world class skier in downhill – if he jumps he does that with a extremely flexed back – you can t train that with a hollow back!) 3: weakness and especially lack of coordination of lower abdominals! However I always enjoy your exercises videos – already got really good ideas from doing that! All the best Philipp

  5. Haddon Says:

    Great info! What are your views on using a gravity inversion table for rehab?

  6. Eric Cressey Says:


    Traction can work for some individuals, but you’d need to see a qualified health care professional to determine whether it’s a good fit.

  7. David Says:

    Hi Eric,

    We have good evidence-informed back care that supports the neutral-spine with back and knee sparing strategies and when these concepts are transmitted effectively they will help a lot of people. If they become dogmatic and exaggerated there is a risk of creating impairments in physically able bodies. Your explanation on the right path.

  8. Gene Zeitler Says:

    Hi Phillip,

    Can you please direct me
    To the study you are talking about I would like to read it. Relaxed & reduced pressure don’t necessarily equate. The muscles may be more relaxed b/c the spine
    May be more
    Supported against a back rest in that position. When the spine is flexed it increases and concentrates
    The pressure of the anterior portion of the disc. In neutral the pressure is dispersed over the whole surface area of the disc which according to McGill and others makes it a less risky position. If there is
    New research I would love to see it. Thanks!

  9. David Says:

    Sorry about the last post. There is additional youtube video that was played after this one about spinal injuries, but it was in spanish. Looks real interesting.

  10. Eric Cressey Says:


    Are you referring to the study that shows the prevalence of disc issues in the asymptomatic population? If so, it’s this one:


  11. Pedro Correia Says:

    Hello Eric,
    You mention people go over some lumbar flexion when they perform a squat. What about when people go over lumbar extension when they lack some shoulder mobility? For example when they front squat, clean or do some exercise that involves external rotation at the shoulder. Isn’t that a big issue to get low back pain as well? Many thanks.

  12. Philipp Wessely Says:

    HI Eric

    I just have the german version of the study but it originally it was a British study (published november 2011) – I will get back to you when I ve found it!
    However, it mainly says that there is far less pressure on your spine during a sitting posture (with 135grade) compared to a 90(grade) position.From a biomechanical point of view they also state that many disc problems could be avoided by applying this posture into practice. It may be from interest for you that this was the FIRST study where the participants were in a sitting position during the whole spin tomography.

    all the best philipp

    take care

  13. Philipp Wessely Says:

    PS: english article about the study: http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/news/20061129/back-pain-eased-by-sitting-back

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