Does anyone know of any activities I can do in that first hour to hasten or ensure draining of excess fluid from the discs?
I just reread parts of Dr. Stuart McGill’s widely-respected book “Low Back Disorders” to see if he answers your question.
The short answer is, no, he doesn’t suggest any methods for draining fluid from disks more quickly, which is what you specifically asked about.
His recommendation is simply “because the discs generally lose 90% of the fluid that they will lose over the course of a day within the first hour after rising from bed, we suggest simply avoiding this period for exercise (that is, bending exercise) either for rehabilitation or performance training” (page 220).
However, with regard to people who have no choice (people like fire fighters, for example, who must carry heavy objects soon after waking), he recommends that they attempt to allow the nuclear material in the disks to equilibrate by sitting very upright or standing tall for a while before bending or loading the spine.
With regard to the advice you’ve been given here about mobility and stretching, Dr. McGill advises against bending the spine soon after waking. He says flatly:
“Don’t perform bending exercises in the first hour or two after rising” (page 220).[/quote]
This is spot on but if AM training is a must then we need to prepare your lumbar spine for activity. This is why you need to activate those muscles rather than try and increase mobility/flexibility - which isn’t necessary. So as mentioned, I would seek to activate your stabilizers as best as possible in preparation for exercise.
Hope this helps.