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Badly Herniated Disc. Recovery Options?

Hi there.

About 15 days ago I woke up in the morning with a numb leg, and agony in my lower back. I could not walk. I had/ have shooting pains in my legs, feet, and back, and extreme weakness in my legs. I went to the hospital and they gave me opiates and physio treatment and advised I speak to my GP.

I live in Canada. My family doctor rushed a CT scan and it showed a badly herniated/ruptured disc protruding into my spinal canal and interfering with my nerves. I also have a second disc above the herniated disc that is bulging. I’ve since had an MRI done and the MRI shows in detail what the CT showed. Nothing I can point to caused this.

I’m on a large amount of prescription drugs at the moment including OxyContin which I would like to get off of as soon as possible. I am waiting to speak a specialist/surgeon and also waiting for cortisone epidurals. I will likely face a choice of surgery or not, but either way I’m in for a painful recovery.

Has anyone on this forum had any help from using anabolics for recovery from a herniated disc (surgery or not) or other back injury? I’ve read studies that show testosterone, HGH, and nandrolone have vastly improved recovery and pain in trial patients (on their own or in combinations) for herniated discs and chronic lumbar pain.

Any experience with this type of problem would be much appreciated to comment. It has been 15 days already of pain and not being able to walk 20 feet. I am basically stuck in bed 90% of the time at the moment.

As I await a specialist I am told to avoid physio until the specialist/surgeon speaks to me.

I lift weights 2-3 times a week but haven’t hurt myself in the gym and I hadn’t even been in the gym for about 10 days prior to waking up in my current condition.

I have no clue what my current hormone levels are, I assume normal. But my body is a wreck.

At this point I am considering any option to get me back on my feet and feeling good again. The desperation is real. I will speak to my doctor about this but if anyone has experience please let me know any advice or comments you might have to offer.

Hi themetalhead. Sorry for your predicament. I am the “proud” owner of 5 herniated discs with the added insult of severe spinal stenosis at L4 - S1. I went through my acute phase years ago and have been in chronic pain for about 10 years. I never used opiates (thankfully) for my pain and still do not. About 3 years ago I discovered kratom. If you search in the forum section on kratom you’ll find a long post from me going over my experiences with it. Long story short, many people use this legal (in most states; not sure about Canada) powder to either step down or replace opiate use. Do your research here and you’ll have another option for pain. You’re right to want to step down from your opiate use.

As for your primary question, aside from the supporting help you’d get from a strengthening of your muscles, ligaments and surrounding structures, I’ve not heard of anabolics as a primary strategy in dealing with issues such as yours.

Once you exit the acute phase (not sure how long this will take, how much inflation you have, etc) you’ll have a better handle on what you’re looking at in terms of non acute/chronic type pain. At any rate, sorry you’re experiencing this. Feel free to ask additional questions and i’m sure other will chime in.


Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

I herniated two disks previously. Ten years later I still have back issues that flair up every now and again. For me I needed lots of hip and glute work as those muscles were weak and causing me to lift incorrectly (day to day stuff not gym weights).

After my many years of flair ups I don’t squat, only use the hammer strength hack squat and other exercises like lunges and only do RDLs rather than normal ones.

I’d be prepared for a long time In physio and change your gym programme up a bit.

I do things like chest supported rows now rather than bent over rows for example,just little things to help get back in the gym without any pain.

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Great tips. Thank you.

I herniated mine and was in bed for 6 weeks being unable to move. It did slightly improve over that time, and when it did I tried moving. End result I had to have the disc removed (and the neurosurgeon took a piece of the spine so he could get to it).
So my advice is sit out the intense pain phase and make sure it’s a lot better before you put any stress on it.

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