The cat cow stretch is overrated.
Why this matters:
A herniated disc will get more irritated with lumbar flexion (aka bending). Why is the cat cow stretch recommended for a herniated disc? The cow position puts the spine into gentle extension (arching), but the cat position actually rounds the back. Truth is, if you’re dealing with a herniated disc, you may benefit from a different set of movements.
Action steps:If you don’t want to abandon the cat cow position, but are still dealing with some irritation, the cow stretch may be helpful. It allows the spine to move into extension gently, but I also added in a hip hinge, allowing you to focus on hip flexion. Hip flexion without rounding of the back will allow the disc to heal, and allow you to sit properly. This video is a great reference.