T Nation

Bulging Disc, No Relief

Hello everyone, I’m new on here. I know this is a really old thread, but I’ve been researching and here I am . I have just received by 3rd epidural shot for a bulging disk…L5/S1 surgeon recommended I’d have one last try on a different angle, after having no relief from first 2. Hopefully you are doing well and hopefully you’re still on T NATION…I’m wondering if you had the surgery and what was the outcome? I’d appreciate it if any other members who had or have similar issues could chime in too. Thanks a lot, it’s great to be on this forum…can’t believe I’ve never come across it before. Btw I’m 51.

Physiotherapy/physical therapy is worth a go but may take months and is no sure solution. Even if you’ve already seen a physical therapist its worth trying with another practitioner because the skills, experience and treatment approaches can vary even among specialists.

Short of this surgery seems like your only option. Can’t speak from personal experience but people I know have had success, experiencing relief from their symptoms. Surgery may seem a bit extreme but it is rather common and low risk and for the benefit of relieving symptoms and just overall better quality of life for years to come it’s worth it.

Your healthcare practitioner or surgeon is a great source of information on the topic and will probably gladly answer any questions you have. Online much information on procedures can be found

What treatments have you tried? Seen a good chiro knowledgabe of weight training populations?

Basically exhaust all options before you go under the knife.

Check out a bunch of vids on this guys channel -has lots of good ideas for freeing up the back…

Thanks for your reply…I’ve done 8 weeks of pt…also went to a chiropractor who gave me more or less the same exercises as pt. He also had a hand held massage device… like a carpenters jigsaw with a rubber ball on it… anyway it felt good for about an hour and then back to normal… I do my exercises religiously every day which help me get by. I haven’t tried reverse hypers yet, but will right away. Thanks again. Now I shall watch your video.

Lumbar disc bulges can now be reduced with stem cell and PRP procedures. Check it out:


Very interesting, but don’t have resources for that kind of treatment.

How’s it going?

Good man everything is great…

(I was referring to your back, in case it looked like I meant your overall being lol.)

Did you get surgery? Just wondering, cause my buddy’s dealt with similar issues.

Well thanks for asking. . I had my fusion surgery 9 months ago… I’m happy to say I’m 100% recovered.maybe I should say 110% cause I can’t ever remember my back feeling this good… first few days post surgery were fairly rough… wondering… wtf did I do … I couldn’t imagine getting back to myself again… but slowly I felt stronger. Everyday I could feel a difference… walking only the first week. 2nd week I was back in the gym… Of course I wasn’t going crazy or anything… preacher curls and tricep push downs. Anything I could do that wouldn’t stress my back. Fast forward to now… I’m benching 275… front squat 250 ( I changed to front squats because you have to keep perfect form to complete them) when I’m a full year post surgery I’m going to try deadlifting again.
The key is slowly does it… and plenty of core work… also my doc doesn’t have his patients wear a back brace. That way your core is engaged from the beginning…

Awesome! Glad to hear it. My buddy (18 yr old) has had a bulging disc since our elementary years when he got into an accident, and has been dealing with it since. Had 3-4 years of on-and-off P.T., which rarely did much, and had to take breaks in almost every season of football and track throughout high school because of it.

Started some training this summer, basically doing every possible thing to activate his glutes and strengthen his entire posterior chain without compressing his spine (reverse hypers, GHR’s, back extensions, chinups, pull-throughs, hip thrusts, etc) and stretching the heck out of his hip flexors and quads, and felt real relief for the first time ever.

Worked a pretty physical farm job all summer, and has actually quit lifting now that college started for us (I guess a better term would just be that he hasn’t gotten around to it) and still hasn’t felt much pain, besides achiness after waking up from a night of sleeping on his stomach.

The doc told him he’d never be able to squat, deadlift, or even do barbell rows, and that P.T. would fix it, but he’s hoping to get back into and take advantage of the new, pain-free back. So I don’t know if it was his youth or not, but I do think the injury was pretty bad, to have the amount of pain he had, and to have multiple doctors say that.

And, this is just something interesting - I read a theory of someone’s once…maybe Louie Simmons? Said an injury hurts as it “enters” the body, and so it might hurt as it “leaves” (or heals) the body. I remember he was doing reverse hypers with 1 leg at a time, just to get used to the motion, for 2-3 workouts. Then one day, I had him use both legs for the first time. Said he had pretty bad back pain for a few days afterwards, and then it all went away. Not sure if using the machine the right way really did help heal it and that theory happened to be accurate, but I thought that was pretty cool.

Anyway, that a lot of unnecessary info, but thanks for the response and I’m glad to hear you’re doing so much better!