Anyone have a bulging back disk? How do you deal with it?

Discussion in 'Fitness & Nutrition' started by Mitchj, Apr 7, 2010.

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  1. Mitchj

    Mitchj OT Supporter

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    I got diagnosed yesterday with a bulging disk in my lower back, i must say, the pain so far has only been fairly moderate, ive had about 5 weeks out of the gym this year due to back pain, and i assume this was the cause most of the time

    the doctor gave me a massive 'NO GYM" spill, but this was the same doctor who told me after 3 visits that it was muscular until i demanded a CT scan, so safe to sayi dont really care what he thinks

    does anyone here have experience with this type of injury and how serious it is?
     
  2. Acciaio

    Acciaio New Member

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    You could either lay off weight lifting for a few weeks while stretching everyday and let it heal by itself. Or keep lifting and eventually you may need surgery.
     
  3. jmezz

    jmezz layin in bed stretchin my pumped quads for hours

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    What does a bulging disk feel like?
     
  4. Jeff Merr

    Jeff Merr Elite Member

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    Yes. I have a L5 severe disc bulge which has pinched the S1 nerve root. The L5 is also completely degenerated. I've spent about the past 2 years researching and studying lower back disorders and anatomy.

    Is there any way that your doctor can request an MRI? Do you know if you have any nerve pain? Which disc is bulged?


    Wrong, wrong, and wrong. Please don't respond when you obviously have no clue what you're talking about.
     
  5. Jeff Merr

    Jeff Merr Elite Member

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    Different for everyone, depends on which disc, how severe the bulge, whether or not the disc is torn, leaking fluid, any nerve association, etc.
     
  6. Mitchj

    Mitchj OT Supporter

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    l5 like yours, touching on my s1 nerve root.

    and i have tingling in my legs, but no real pain no apart from the back.

    Would the MRI help? The CT shows pretty clearly that its the L5. But yes, ill go see a physio today about it, i saw a second doctor and they told me it will heal, over time :o
     
  7. Mitchj

    Mitchj OT Supporter

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    mild back pain usually shooting down your legs
     
  8. Mitchj

    Mitchj OT Supporter

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    Also jeff, based on your knowledge what did you find the best ways to combat and heal this?
     
  9. forum95

    forum95 Come see bout us OT Supporter

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    Hopefully out of this crew :hs:
     
  10. saosko

    saosko OT Supporter

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    deadlift more, should help.
     
  11. Jeff Merr

    Jeff Merr Elite Member

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    MRI would just give you a more clear picture of your condition, you can make sure there are no tears in the disc etc. It's not crucial but it would be good to have.

    Your first move should be purchasing both of Stuart McGill's books; Lower Back Disorders and Lower Back Fitness and Performance. I cannot begin to explain how much I have taken and utilized from these two books.

    Your most important focus needs to be on strengthening your core, glutes, and lower back. Stay away from spinal loading and flexion, this includes back squats, seated exercises etc.

    As saosko suggested, Deadlifting with correct form can do wonders for your lower back. I would also suggest doing core training 2-3 times a week and glute-specific training 1-2 times a week. Make sure you're foam rolling regularly, hit the piriformis especially hard to ease your S1 nerve pain.
     
  12. Oh its me 20

    Oh its me 20 New Member

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    I have a bulging disc in my L4 and L5 vertebrae. I injured it initially going too heavy on a squat and the weight came over on me (basically ended up doing a good morning instead of just dumping the weight). I went and got an MRI, did physical therapy (which did nothing) and stretched a lot mixed with minor RX pain meds for a few weeks.

    All was good for about 2 years until I injured it again. I had just finished a set of squats and was switching over to the deadlift and pinched/tweaked a nerve. I wasn't even going heavy (just on my second warm up) when it happened.

    Since then I have stopped going heavy on squats and stopped Deadlifts all together. When I want to go heavy I will use the leg press machine where my spine is pressed against the back of the seat. For squats I will go light and usually do front squats. I also occasionally mix in dumbell step ups and lunges as well as machine work.

    I'm not saying this is what you should do, but rather just sharing my experience. The pain has never gone away and definitely hurts more after going for a run or shoulder press days (where there is a lot of weight on my spine), but I would rather be able to walk for the rest of my life then be the guy in the gym who can squat the most.
     
  13. Mitchj

    Mitchj OT Supporter

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    read all the replies and thanks

    i went to a physio, they seem confident that it will completely heal itself within 6 weeks and gave me a pretty vigarious stretching regime in order to help put the back back in place and losen up my lower body (which is very tight).

    jeff, im not sure if this is all a load of shit or not, i never really trust what doctors say, especiaally since last week they were telling me "oh its just muscular" and now "oh its a bulging disk but it will heal" and some say go to physio others say chryopractors.

    I still have full lower strength and good reflex's, so it cant be that serious? Either way, i dunno, ill try the stretching.

    Does the pain get better from here? Like its at its worst now i hope, and im not going to have to live like this long term? She feels that it will completely recover within 6 weeks, and i must say right now the gym is not high on my list of priorities, more so healing this back condition before it gets worse.

    If the blame in the gym was to be somewere i would have to say going heavy on seated smith shoulder press would be it, i always felt that movement hurt in my lower back when i went hard, i just felt it compress my lower back, im willing to bet this is a long term injury that ive just agitated.
     
  14. Request.

    Request. OT Supporter

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    See a fucking chiropractor.

    Dependent on severity (and it doesn't sound like youre a surgical case) will determine treatment time.

    I just got done with a rotation at the Dallas VA where that's mostly what I saw for various reasons.

    Saw really good results.

    The good news is that based on your age and physical fitness levels you should see a pretty quick turn around time.

    PM me if you have any questions on what treatment might consist of and the why's behind them.
     
  15. Request.

    Request. OT Supporter

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    BTW you dont need an MRI if you've had a CT done. It's incredibly diagnostic and if you're already seeing a PT that knows what they're doing you should be in good shape.

    They obviously already have a treatment plan in place. If you see results in the first two weeks, you're in the right place.

    If not, fire them and see someone else.
     
  16. DTR rex

    DTR rex New Member

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    Not sure actually.

    I messed up my back squatting some years back and it was BAD. I was bed ridden for a while and hopped up on powerful meds for nearly a month.
    The doc I saw said I pulled a lumbar muscle and the inflammation/swelling was putting pressure on the nerves and causing intense pain.
    The pain would radiate around my lower back, hips, legs, and my nuts hurt really bad too.

    I still have the pain sometimes though so I am thinking maybe the doc was wrong.

    The pain is not nearly as bad, but if I sleep with my back twisted, sleep too long, etc... I will get some slight annoying pain. Easily manageable, but still. It's only on one side too.

    Not sure if it's a bulging disk or just that the lumbar muscle that I pulled will never be the same.

    Stretching has helped a lot and when my back is tight is when the pain is usually the worst. Few minutes of toe touches in a hot shower everyone morning helps a lot.
     
  17. Mitchj

    Mitchj OT Supporter

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    is it possible that physio could make it worse? Thats the only question, it appeared to be healing pretty nicely with no intervention, than after physio my legs and back are quite sore.

    Or is that just because we are playing with the muscles?
     
  18. Mitchj

    Mitchj OT Supporter

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    oh and kungfool, they are mostly arching back and hamstring exercises.
     
  19. Request.

    Request. OT Supporter

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    You're going to be sore, but soreness doesn't mean you're getting worse. It only means that you're stretching muscles that have been in spasm in order to protect an injury. They also more than likely are strengthening weak muscles due to muscle imbablance.

    I'm not there to see what they're doing, but my guess is that the treatment protocols wont make you worse.

    Obviously I'm biased and still think you should get adjusted to speed the healing process, but do what you're comfortable with.
     
  20. Request.

    Request. OT Supporter

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    These are pretty standard for most disc injuries.
     
  21. Buzz Killington

    Buzz Killington nunc fortunatus sum

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    I have had two bulging discs that blew open and I had two seperate surgeries to fix them and IIRC two that bulged but didn't require surgery.

    Whenever I aggravate my back, I start walking. Moderate speed/slight incline. I do whatever else I can that will not aggravate it (arms, chest, shoulders, etc.) Depending on how bad it is, it might take a few days or a couple months.

    I do side planks and planks, elevated. I do tons of direct ab work. Sometimes I have days dedicated to abs. I do side bends, I do bird dogs, supermans, and stretches.

    I take a lot of soaking baths, too :mamoru:

    My docs advice has consistently been garbage so I do what feels right to me. You really have to start to listen to your body.

    edit: my simple philosphy is that I need as much muscle as possible to stabilize and strengthen my back and core; that includes glutes and hams to balance things out
     
  22. Mitchj

    Mitchj OT Supporter

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    thats good advise

    i think this is the price i pay for neglecting my lower flexibility for so long, as the doctor said, my upper half is very flexible but my lower body, particularly my hamstrings are super tight. Probably due to many years of lifting weights with little to no stretching :hs:

    Buzz is a bulging disk that blows open called a ruptured disk?
     
  23. Buzz Killington

    Buzz Killington nunc fortunatus sum

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    I do a lot of ham/hip stretches before and during squats and deads. I also do direct glute work (little homo). Nothing significant or at my full ROM, but enough to get limbered up.

    A bulging disc that blows up open is a ruptured or herniated disc. You don't want that to happen. TRUST ME.
     
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