Senior (66), lifetime athletics, contact sports, weightlifting, etc. Now. Partially handicap/disabled.
Degenerative Discs, multi level stenosis, surgery lower back, cervical fusion.
Cervical fusion due to disc rupture and collapse resulting in paralysis. 2 year recover and regained use of left arm and neck. Chronic low level pain and limited ROM.
Lower spine surgery due to disc rupture and severe nerve impingement resulting in left leg paralysis and wasting, disability. 3 year tough recovery. Chronic low level pain, limited ROM.
Overall, vulnerable to spasms, pain and disabling flareups with over activity.
Weight bearing limitations and movement limitations.
Suggestion: Seek a team of spine doctors, neurologists, sports docs, etc, that can be your advocate (not quick visit docs), real MD’s, not Chiropractors, etc.
Have them review your MRI’s. Do repeat MRI’s and scans because the condition changes over the months as you go to rehab and PT.
Be careful of PT because not all protocols might be fit for you. Here, pain is not something to push through but to avoid so you don’t further damage things.
Realize that discs do not heal per se, but do take a very very long time to “recover”. Get a huge education on vertebral structures and the progression of disc damage and how it “heals”. Think of a crack in a jelly donut. The inside is highly acidic. When it leaks out it irritates nerves and causes inflammation. When you rest the crack solidifies a bit, the leaked out jelly get’s absorbed, you feel better. Then lift weights or do dumb things, and then it’s like stepping on that broken jelly donut again.
So, the correct rehab protocol and monitoring needs to be personalized to you by someone that works (usually the best people) with post spine surgery people or spine problem folks.
You may need to go outside of the standard 12 visit PT insurance coverage to get the care you need. You may need to push for the docs you need outside of your primary care doc roladex. The point here is you really need to take charge of this and get very educated on your condition because everyone is different. And, generic advice from forums and such is helpful, but not necessarily exactly for you.
Again, avoid chiropractic adjustments that might put you into the ER for now.
Self Therapy is fine if it is part of a comprehensive long term strategy put together with the help of a medical team of MD’s. But, I’ve known many, including myself, that have gone the trial and error route with all of the books and forums available. Do yourself a favor and find a medical spine center with real MD’s that specialize in spine injury recover. Think. . . 25 million dollar NFL player with a smashed disc. Who does he get for diagnosis and therapy? Do that.
In the meantime, stay off the weights! Until you get diagnosed better and formulate a plan. Also, for now, no surgery!
And, see a sports MD for pain management and rehab. Something to control spasms and inflammation. Not just pain killers. Rotate ice and heat. Rest. Light stretching and activity. Get in the water and move around (huge!!!). Aqua therapy is not weight bearing.
Hope this helps.
Lot’s of ways to do these things and so many different experiences.