T Nation

Blown Disc


Well Fuck . . . turns out I have a blown disc (herniation moderate in size) at the L 4 level which is causing mild sciatica, does anyone have any training advice to offer specifically for legs, im kinda walking on eggshells so anyone with knowledge or experience dont hesitate to post



How about giving me a little background regarding the injury and any pertinent lifting history.



If it?s a herniation then you'll be fine with a little time and a lot of core work. Ruptures are worse but still not the end of time for lifting.

When I herniated two of my discs in football a couple years ago it took me a few months to feel comfortable pushing myself again. Then I re-injured myself a few times after that because I wasn't as diligent with my core strength as I should have been.

I did end up getting a couple epidurals to reduce swelling and speed up recovery. But I would suggest you use options like that as last resorts.

As far as keeping my leg strength; I did a lot of dumbbell lunges. All different types of lunges; every once in awhile I did leg press but even that would hurt on occasion. Then I stuck to machines for everything else. It was pretty depressing for a while. But I can't stress enough how important core work is with back injuries.

Good luck
PM me if you have any other questions.


Hey- I had a ruptured disc and had part of it removed when I was 17 (now I'm 27). This is the best book on the topic, I recommend it to everyone I know with back issues...

"Healing Back Pain" by Dr. Sarno


Don't fuck about with your spine. Give Dr Ryan the info he needs and he can probably help you out.

The type of herniation, location, direction and a whole bunch of other shit will affect the way you rehab it. Get this attended to by a professional as quickly as practical. The quicker you get some appropriate rehab, the better your results will be.


Ok heres about all the info I have,

History; casual weight lifter for 5 years, 5'10" 190 lbs 14 % BF. had minor sciatica that I foolishly ignored for 6 months. Had a CT scan last week on my lower back, here are the results verbatim;

The L4-L5 disc shows mild to moderate circumferential bulging without focal herniation. This and the ligamentum flavum are producing very mild soft tissue stenosis at this level

At the L4-L5, there is a moderate sized central and left sided disc herniation which effaces and displaces the nerve root. It projects into the spinal canal by 9 mm.

The lumbosacral disc is transitional being sacralized on the left size. There is no disc herniation at this level. There are no bony lesions although the facts are hypoplastic as the result of the disc developmental hernvariation.


hey man i got the same problem. i got in a car wreck a couple years ago and broke my t-9 and herniated my disc, and these still bug me bad today. i cant be on my feet very long at all. from what i hear, i have to get corotozone (sp) shots to reduce the inflammation. im hopefully gettin into the hospital now that i finally got insurance goin again!



Sorry to be a pain about this, but in your reply you mentioned the L4/5 disc twice.

On the disc with the herniation, does it say that the disc protrudes 9mm into the canal or that the canal is narrowed to 9 mm?

Is the leg pain constant and where is it located?

What kind of doctor have you seen? Any treatment so far?

If in fact the disc is protruding into the canal by 9 mm, that is a large herniation. Fortunately, you have not indicated that your pain is that severe, so that is a good sign.

Also, the transitional segment could potentially affect normal lumbar spine mechanics. A transitional segment is a congenital condition.

If you are interested in learning about the low back and how to prevent injury and develop a RH program, then you should get the Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance book by Stuart McGill.

Take care,



Sorry the first paragraph with mild bulging refers to the L3-L4,the pain is intermittent and aggrevated by straight legged motion, long sitting periods and compound motion like the squat and deadlift (interestingly not as much with front squat and stiff legged deads) certain lunging motions, and forward leaning