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L4-L5 Disc Herniation

SAD

SAD

TID Board Of Directors
Feb 3, 2011
3,034
1,187
#1
I made a post yesterday about getting more flexible and then joked about getting hurt.

Then I picked up a sock off the ground and never got back up.

Went to the hospital, left leg numb and tingling, spine and hip on fire.

Found out I have a moderate herniation of the disc between L4-L5 and I ruptured it enough for it to be leaking onto the surrounding nerves that feed my left leg.

Gave me a bunch of steroids and muscle relaxers and painkillers.

First back injury. Neurosurgeon said to take a few MONTHS off of everything. Which I absolutely can’t freaking do.

They told me that the herniation has likely been there for a while, but the rupture was why I suddenly felt so much pain and weakness from it.

Anybody have any experience with this bullshite? I have a qualifying tournament in a sport that I have a chance to go pro in. It’s end of March and I need to be able to be explosive and have tremendous speed and twisting power.
 
Zomb131

Zomb131

VIP Member
Jan 31, 2011
1,074
217
#2
You got a MRI I assume to confirm the disc lesion? What does it say? Depending on the severity of the disc herniation, there are alternative ways to treat it WITHOUT surgery.
 
SAD

SAD

TID Board Of Directors
Feb 3, 2011
3,034
1,187
#3
You got a MRI I assume to confirm the disc lesion? What does it say? Depending on the severity of the disc herniation, there are alternative ways to treat it WITHOUT surgery.
Ct scan first showed an issue and an mri backed it up with more detail.

“At L4-L5, a disk bulge with left foraminal annular fissure and central disk protrusion results in effacement of the left subarticular recess with compression of the traversing L5 nerve root. There is mild to moderate spinal cord stenosis at this level as well as moderate left neural foraminal stenosis.”

Surgeon was consulted and recommended no surgery. So now what? They just gave me drugs and said take it easy for 3 months. Um, nope.

Not sure what is good for this in terms of stretching and exercise. The info out there is bipolar as hell, and I’ve never had a back injury before.

Massage? Acupuncture? Chiropractic? Yoga?
 
Zomb131

Zomb131

VIP Member
Jan 31, 2011
1,074
217
#5
Ct scan first showed an issue and an mri backed it up with more detail.

“At L4-L5, a disk bulge with left foraminal annular fissure and central disk protrusion results in effacement of the left subarticular recess with compression of the traversing L5 nerve root. There is mild to moderate spinal cord stenosis at this level as well as moderate left neural foraminal stenosis.”

Surgeon was consulted and recommended no surgery. So now what? They just gave me drugs and said take it easy for 3 months. Um, nope.

Not sure what is good for this in terms of stretching and exercise. The info out there is bipolar as hell, and I’ve never had a back injury before.

Massage? Acupuncture? Chiropractic? Yoga?
Disc protrusion is better than the others you could have. It's not bad, but I know it sucks. L5 nerve root would effect the feeling in the 2nd-5th toes on that side & the muscles that extend the big toe up (dorsiflexion).

Find a chiro or PT who offers Cox Flexion and/or lumbar traction therapy. If you can find a doc who does both, perfect. If not, try one then the other. Give each treatment at least 4 months. Adhere to the treatment plan that they lay out. Disc injuries heal with time, rehab helps accelerate the process. Also chiropractic adjustments will help alleviate the pressure in the spine furthers helping the disc heal.

For now, you need to NOT aggravate it. Work around it if you're going to still go to the gym. Squats & deadlifts are out of the question. Stretch daily and start with core strengthening exercises; google McGill's 3 exercises. Dr. McGill developed 3 core exercises that strengthen the core without flexing the lumbar spine exacerbating lumbar pathologies.
 
SAD

SAD

TID Board Of Directors
Feb 3, 2011
3,034
1,187
#6
Disc protrusion is better than the others you could have. It's not bad, but I know it sucks. L5 nerve root would effect the feeling in the 2nd-5th toes on that side & the muscles that extend the big toe up (dorsiflexion).

Find a chiro or PT who offers Cox Flexion and/or lumbar traction therapy. If you can find a doc who does both, perfect. If not, try one then the other. Give each treatment at least 4 months. Adhere to the treatment plan that they lay out. Disc injuries heal with time, rehab helps accelerate the process. Also chiropractic adjustments will help alleviate the pressure in the spine furthers helping the disc heal.

For now, you need to NOT aggravate it. Work around it if you're going to still go to the gym. Squats & deadlifts are out of the question. Stretch daily and start with core strengthening exercises; google McGill's 3 exercises. Dr. McGill developed 3 core exercises that strengthen the core without flexing the lumbar spine exacerbating lumbar pathologies.
Wish I could thank you more for this.
 
macgyver

macgyver

TID Board Of Directors
Nov 24, 2011
1,404
711
#7
@SAD I have been dealing with L5S1 issues for 5 months. I got rear ended pulling in my drive way.

After 2 months of chiro and no real progress, my GP finally ordered a MRI. I have two bulging disks and my lowest is partially displaced (not herniated meaning torn) and pushing on my S1.

A herniation is worse as it is actually torn. Mine is just smashed out like playdoh and he thinks it will go back in time if allowed to heal. I did PT for 2 months and that really did not get me much.

I am now doing my own PT. I bought a pair of Teeter gravity boots and am hanging. (the decompression helps a lot). I also bought a reverse hyperextension machine for my home. I can feel immediate relief doing those with light weight.

People swear by the reverse hyper. I bought the cheaper titan version. https://www.titan.fitness/econpnd1-econpnd2.html
It is still super heavy duty....just 2" instead of 3" steel. Still rock solid and I got it for $329 shipped.

I am worked back up to some bent rows going all the way up to 405x5 the other day and went up to 455x5 squatting. The weird thing was the next week, warming up with just 225 squatting my back went out again. So I am just taking it slow. My PT showed my how keeping my core pressure up helps support my back and almost takes the pain away. I could not get up from laying down without rolling on my side. If I raised my core pressure like I were getting ready to squat, I could sit right up. It was pretty cool. I am going to function more on keeping a tight core and letting the weight come with time.
 
SAD

SAD

TID Board Of Directors
Feb 3, 2011
3,034
1,187
#8
@SAD I have been dealing with L5S1 issues for 5 months. I got rear ended pulling in my drive way.

After 2 months of chiro and no real progress, my GP finally ordered a MRI. I have two bulging disks and my lowest is partially displaced (not herniated meaning torn) and pushing on my S1.

A herniation is worse as it is actually torn. Mine is just smashed out like playdoh and he thinks it will go back in time if allowed to heal. I did PT for 2 months and that really did not get me much.

I am now doing my own PT. I bought a pair of Teeter gravity boots and am hanging. (the decompression helps a lot). I also bought a reverse hyperextension machine for my home. I can feel immediate relief doing those with light weight.

People swear by the reverse hyper. I bought the cheaper titan version. https://www.titan.fitness/econpnd1-econpnd2.html
It is still super heavy duty....just 2" instead of 3" steel. Still rock solid and I got it for $329 shipped.

I am worked back up to some bent rows going all the way up to 405x5 the other day and went up to 455x5 squatting. The weird thing was the next week, warming up with just 225 squatting my back went out again. So I am just taking it slow. My PT showed my how keeping my core pressure up helps support my back and almost takes the pain away. I could not get up from laying down without rolling on my side. If I raised my core pressure like I were getting ready to squat, I could sit right up. It was pretty cool. I am going to function more on keeping a tight core and letting the weight come with time.
Well damn. I’m hoping mine isn’t all that bad. It’s only been 4 days now and I’m not on any pain meds or muscle relaxers and I’m only having minor discomfort at brief periods throughout the day.

Been doing my McGills 3 without pain and it also cues me how to move and maintain core stability without pain. Basically training me to know the proper alignment and pressure from surrounding muscles to keep it protected but mobile.

I’ve read horror stories of people never coming back from something similar to what I’m diagnosed with, but I’m not average so I’m betting on odds that I’ll be back and better than ever. I don’t care if I have to pay out of pocket for stem cell injections, I’ll take it that far if necessary.
 
macgyver

macgyver

TID Board Of Directors
Nov 24, 2011
1,404
711
#9
Watch this vid with Louie Simmons


I am surprised they got you in that quick for imaging. I was pretty bad off for a while. I have had some significant injuries, broken neck, broken collar bone, torn muscles...etc, but NOTHING even came close to how bad my back felt.

At it's worst, I woke up one night and had to pee and I could not will myself to move. Anything I tried, my body would spasm and groan like when the wind is knocked out of you. My wife woke up and helped me get to my feet to use the toilet. On the way back I told her to grab a trash pail as the pain was so bad I just started to throw up and I sat and dry heaved for about 5 minutes after I threw up everything I had in my stomach.

For the next 3 weeks, it was 600-800 mg of motrin an hour before trying to get out of bed, then hydrocodones during the day and I would take xanax to sleep at night. It was terrible.

Using the PT exercises, I got a lot of relief and I think I got rid of most of the nerve contact. My GP put my on Cymbalta which is an SSRI but it is also great at treating nerve pain. Without going into too much, the pain from the accident triggered PTSD from my accident in 09 where I broke my neck and suffered a brain injury. I was in a really bad place. I was still going to the gym 4 times a week but really just trying to do the best I could. People overuse the 'badge' PTSD but it is nothing anyone would ever wish to have. I never even really had it 'full blown' but for a few months after my accident 10 years ago. But the overwhelming amount of pain I was in brought me way back and I realized I needed to get some help. It can really box you in if you let it. I am lucky to have a supportive wife and she convinced me to get help rather than try to fight through it.

On the back thing....my PT guy was smart as hell. He showed me how connected or bodies. My right side of my body was in spasm when it would flare up. My ROM of my right hamstring was 6" shorter than my left. Using a series of different (very easy stretching movements) he figured out which way I had to work my back to reduce the spasm. (it was easy to see by laying in my back and seeing how far each leg would go back.) We tried 6 or 7 different things and figured out which ones to focus on. It got me out of the bad place very fast, but did not get me back to where I felt 'normal'.

So now I am working on my own to stretch out my back. I did heavy bent rows again tonight and concentrated on building up lots of inter-abdominal pressure during the movements. Wearing a belt makes this easier. (and I dont ever wear a belt except maybe 1-2rm )which I have not done in the past 2+ years.

I am holding out the most hope for the reverse hyper. I am also going to let my bodyfat drift up a little. I have been staying pretty well under 10% for a while now and letting my fat rise up a touch and carry more fluid will help comfort for a while during the healing. I had even thought of working in some DECA but I dont think I have the time until I have to do a check in blood work with my GP for TRT.
 
DieYoungStrong

DieYoungStrong

VIP Member
May 27, 2013
1,074
442
#10
I've done it.

Go to a chiro who does spinal decompression like zomb said. It worked for me.

March is going to be very tight. It takes time. Don't over do anything. Set backs will kill you.
 
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