T Nation

Blew Out My Back


#1

Not to brag. So last thursday evening I did some pulling including rows and a little bit of zercher'ish squats. My grip gave in surprisingly early that night and I could only get one good set of rows in, with the bar nearly crashing out of my hands.

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I felt a little twinge for the couple times I had to pull the barbell off the floor again but that was all. Finishing, I got out and walked back to my place for some PC time and soon enough my right erector area started to flare up very bad. I took some painkillers but soon could hardly walk, just drag my right foot along like a limp. I tried to lie down and took the pain for half of the night.

There was not anywhere I could go to so I ended up calling the ambulance. I got a shot which did not do anything and was deemed too fit to be hauled away.

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I waited four more hours for the health center to open and crawled in a cab to get there. I managed to get a MD's attention fairly soon but she would not show any mercy or common sense. I was asked what's wrong and whether I'm doing narcotics like a million times and probed for 'overactive reflexes'. Lied on the table for five hours, requesting something for the pain without success.

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Then got sent to a proper hospital and lied there. Had the same weird studies carried out and then laid on the bed to receive more powerful painkillers upon the night. Three days passed with me lying there until a doc walked in and said I was sent in the department of neurology for 'abnormal behaviour' and that I'm seemingly in the wrong place and that he'll take the message to the dept. of surgery.

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Another day of wishful promises, meds and waiting followed until another doc walked in and said they will image my back but only within weeks from here so I'll better leave and go lie somewhere else which felt relieving as I could at least walk somewhat normally now.

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So now I'm taking everything very easy, hardly raising my right foot to knee height as that's what kills me. My left side is just fine. Future seems uncertain. Needless to say, I feel vulnerable and frustrated, wondering if I'll dare go back to regular training after I hopefully recover. And how much will I lose.

Thoughts?


#2

WOW! Socialized medicine anyone?


#3

Sounds like the efficiency of a government run institution to me


#4

Did they not tell you exactly what was up? I imagine they did some tests. Please don't tell me your healthcare is as bad as ours where they leave you there until you're nearly dead, and only then do they do something about it.

Badger them as much as you can. Keep hassling until they notice you again. Ask them if there are cancellations with scans, and ask to be scanned asap.

I hope it improves. Don't overdo it right now, but also, don't sit on it! Gentle stretches and testing to see if you can perform basic activities. Ramp your activities up ever so slightly every day.


#5

Sounds like what I have. Herniated discs in the spine that put pressure on the nerve.
Do you feel numbness anywhere? Is the pain localized to your lower back or does it extend down the leg(s)? If it's what I have, the pain does eventually go away after each incident but it comes back after any instances of "abuse" (ie: long periods of bad posture, carrying something with bad form, long periods of non-activity, etc.)?

Once the pain subsides, I've found that:
1.) Going to a chiropractor is a waste of time and money.
2.) Exercise keeps the pain away.
3.) Lifting (so long as it's with proper form) does not agitate the condition.
4.) Having a strong back and abdominal muscles will act as a girdle to support your spinal column.
5.) They have surgical procedures to reconstruct/repair the discs (haven't needed to resort to that yet).
Hope that helps and that what you have isn't too serious.


#6

Thanks for the responses. I have had very suggestive symptoms of herniation for a while but have toughed it out as it did not affect my training. I had sciatica pain shooting down my leg, pretty hard, some time ago but this only happened for few seconds of a day. And it's been weeks. Right now the pain is localized in my (rigt) lower back and I can't put on trousers or socks without carefully supporting my right leg with my arms which takes pressure off the back, otherwise the pain would be mind altering. I feel like it's getting better but I'm not going to risk anything yet.

I actually went and lifted today, just did dips and machine military press which did not affect my back. The pulling will be more complex...it would really suck having to switch to machines especially as the machines in the gyms I frequent are not plate loaded so progression is difficult to track. Not to mention there will be no riskless quad exercise in sight. I'm not sure if I believe in proper form anymore. Everything involving heavy free weights and pulling and legs seems pretty risky.

I believe a part of it is definitely lifting and a part may be getting too flexible for my own good, or more accurately stressing the discs by doing extreme frontbending which I'm not naturally built for, I guess. Maybe I just did not balance it with enough backbending. Who knows. If I was ever disabled, I would at least know that I pushed myself and managed a decent level for a while, even if it's only a memory.


#7

Initially you probably need to take it easy until the pain completely subsides. If you've been bulking, you could use this time to cut. I wouldn't recommend continuing your training till the pain goes away.

Building your lower back and abdomenals will support the spinal column and take pressure off of the discs thus causing them not to bulge against the nerve.

I think I've been where you are (3 herniated discs). The pain will slowly subside and you'll be back to lifting.


#8

so, you told them that you were in bad pain... and they threw you in the looney-bin?


#9

I have a disc bulge and mild degenerative disc in my right lower back. I had similar issues with not being able to bend over without severe pain. After MRIs and fruitless PT I did some research on this site and began agressive foam rolling of my lower body along with excercises to strengthen my glutes and lengthen my hamstrings. All pain has since gone.