T Nation

Hernia Survivor & Better Than Ever

I've been surfing the internet lately looking for different success stories about herniated discs cases and people returning to functionally pain free living. I havn't found many. Most have pretty sad endings.  I've been a personal trainer for 15 years and 4 years ago I had a herniated disc between the L5 and L4.  The pain was so great I honestly wanted to die to have some relief.

I'm now pain free and helping people prevent and recover from disc problems. What types of approaches are you all useing with your personal or professional lower back problems.


Great to hear you're pain free. Did you have surgery or was PT effective?

I, fortunately, haven't had to deal with such problems myself, but my wife has. She had a herniated disc between C6 and C7, and nearly lost function of her left arm. The first few doctors said it was muscular, so the problem lingered much longer than it should have. Once we saw the right doctor, he scheduled her for a discectomy and bone fusion immediately.

The pain of the herniation was so bad that after surgery I could barely keep her in bed because she felt so much better. The doctor did a great job, and she's now doing much better. The biggest issue was rebuilding the strength she had lost in her arm. But with a gradual ramp up in her workout intensity, she's in better shape now, 1 year later, than she was before the herniation.

Having watched her go through what she did, I now really feel for those that must deal with similar problems. The pain can be just incapacitating, probably more so than most people realize. Congrats on being pain free yourself.


I wasn't operated on. I had an injection on my spine which dehydrated the disc and decresed the bulging. But the integrity of the disc was still very susceptible to coming out again. I also had all of the dysfunctional movement patterns that I had developed along the way favoring my back so much.

ONe of the best things that I have learned while training is to use the joints as they where made to be used. For example squating down only to 90% as to not hurt my knees. Then when I bend over to lift something off the ground my body has no idea as to how to do it correctly.