T Nation

Herniated Disc, Can't Squat


#1

So I herniated my L4-L5 disc. The herniation is minor in nature and the doctor feels that it will heal with rest. He does not want me to do anything that loads my spine for 8-10 weeks. What can I do to work my legs over the next 10 weeks to work my legs without loading my spine. I work out in a home gym so I am limited on equipment that I have access to. I was thinking of pulling a sled, walking, using my lifting belt low on my hips. That not load the spine. I also that about limited range of motion leg press.

Any other thoughts or ideas?

Symptoms:
-original injury was a small pain in my lower back but no pain there now.
-I have tingling in my foot where my toes connect to my foot
-If I sit for more than 20 minutes the outside portion of my calve feels like it is on fire.
-I have what feels like a huge knot in my piriformis muscle.
-All symptoms are worse in the morning. The more I move throughout the day the better it feels.

EDIT: I do have a reverse hyper machine.


#2

Sled will go a long way. That’s a good choice. You could also look into belt squats. Get some chain, loop it through your belt, clip it to a carabineer and thread a dumbbell through it. If you can stand on an elevated surface, it’ll extend the ROM.


#3

I have a Elite FTS belt squat belt I can use. I forgot to mention that.

I also have a TENS unit. I don’t know if that would be helpful in anyway.


#4

walk up a hill or run up some steps


#5

-Dumbbell Bulgarian split squats
-Hip Thrusts (careful not to hyperextend at the top)
-Glute-Ham Raise

Those are my go-to exercises for training around back pain. Also, like T3Pwnisher mentioned, sled work is great for loading up your legs without loading the spine. Can push it forward for more hip extension or drag it backwards for more quads.


#6

also, get a lacrosse ball into that piriformis. Can you say “ouch”? Because you will when the ball hits the knot…


#7

I have been using the lacrosse ball quite a bit. I also have been going to a massage therapy to do trigger point massage to get the knots out.


#8

What are your stats strength levels etc? Avoid surgery if possible, once you get cut you will be back every 5 year’s. I had something similar when i was 25,good chiropractor helped me. I specialized on upper body and put on over half inch on arms in three months , wish you luck.


#9

No surgery is planned the doctor believes it will heal with no long term issues. I just have to take it easy for 10 weeks. He doesn’t want me doing anything that might put any shear on the disc. I have a bunch of rehab stuff he gave me but I need to get some leg work in.


#10

just don’t get too stuck on the pain meds if you’re taking them at all. I have the doctor say wow you don’t have to work out no more, now you have an excuse not to work out I wanted to choke the s*** out of them. It might seem like a long time when you are trained aggressively. Muscle memory is real, make sure you are good before you train legs, my sister injured ACL doing CrossFit came back to soon and reinjured, instead of waiting, even her mom a doctor couldn’t convince her to wait. Good luck to ya!


#11

Not really taking pain meds, maybe an Alieve is it really sore that day. My doctor said after 4-5 he wants me to start light exercise. He said the worst thing to do is just lay around and do nothing. He just said not exercise that load put a bunch of load on my spine, squat, deadlift, goodmornings, log press.