T Nation

17 Years Old, L5-S1 Herniation

I don’t know exactly how long I’ve had the herniation for but I’ve had sciatic pain running down my right leg for about a year. I had an MRI done last summer and it confirmed an L5-S1 disc herniation. The sciatic pain is concentrated on a specific spot on my hamstring. I have been lifting for about two years. Since the time I started lifting in eighth grade I was able to reach around a 350 lb squat and deadlift but I feel like the improper form really held back my progress.

I am almost certain I injured my back from deadlifting and squatting with a hyper extended lower back. I have tried physical therapy which did nothing to help it. Reverse Hyperextensions aggravate the sciatic pain even further. The only thing that makes the pain go away is Ibuprofen and an inversion table. I do 10 minutes of inversion every day and it helps the pain to go away. Some days the pain is really bad and other days there is almost no pain.

I had a cortisone injection which made the pain go away for about 2 months but it is back now. For the past two months I did very little lifting because I was in season with football but the condition of my back didn’t change. I am wondering if I should get a microdiscectomy to eradicate all of the pain. What do you guys think? Thank you so much for the help.

Man that sucks at only 17, what kind of exercises did your PT give you? Things like bird dogs, planking, dead bug would be the top exercises I think of not reverse hypers. From what I’ve read if you’re still in a world of pain this long after and the PT isn’t working the surgery seems to be the best route albeit a last resort. I would say getting opinions from multiple therapists before going the surgery route would be in your best interest. Do some research and try and find someone with a background/specialty in disc herniations. Positive note the success of the surgery appears to be very high at 90-95%, and low re-occurance rates.