L5 disc herniated around last November.
Finally had the balls to get the op because the pain hadn't gone away; June 6th was that special day.
We're now in early Sept and things are going well. I've got my Physio regularly and I've got a neuro. The neuro is of course very conservative, whereas the Physio has a more flexible attitude and is taking a slow, but 'see what it feels like at a light weight first' approach.
In other words, the Physio refuses to proscribe a list of lifts to avoid, whereas the neuro is just wanting me to get out of lifting all together.
From my own research, and from what the Physio harps on about, I'm building and I've got to continue to develop a strong core, so I've been doing some basic/intermediate core work. I've been focussing a lot on stretches - particularly the hamstrings which are tight as.
Because I've got to shift the weight I put on from the 6 months of idleness, I've done a 6 week programme of cutting (3 days a week doing HIIT in the gym and every Sunday doing swimming alng with circuits of the resistance machines). I took a week off, and now I'm onto my second 6 weaker now doing similar stuff.
The only aches I'm feeling are after the horizontal leg press, which is annoying my back, but I think that's my hamstrings being tight, since the more I'm stretching, the less painful that's getting.
I've been told by the neuro that I can go back to free weights in Jan. And he's said 'avoid lifting things over your head'. He's also mentioned the whole thing about 'not loading the spine'.
So I'm thinking that things like military press is out along with:
- standing bent over rows
- front squats
- 45 degree LP
- all types of power lifts like cleans
Am I right with this?
Or should these lifts be viewed with more of 'something to progress to'?
I know there are alternatives like hack squats to the front squats etc. but I know the situation I've got myself in.
Can/has anyone progress(ed) to these after building up the muscle and the lower back that these exercises require? Or is it just a 'set in stone' thing where you should never try these lifts again?
Like can you build up a strong core, get your hamstrings fully loosened and strengthened, and then go back to squats after good progress and a reasonable length of rehab?
My physio has said that the lumber spine does harden and the injury does heal with a good training regimen.
Finally, in the short term:
- Should I avoid shrugs and upright rows?
- Can I do a seated versions of lifts, such as the military press, or does that put the same amount of pressure on the spine?
(I've been doing resistance shoulder press machine and I've got no back aches)
- Are there any other lifts I've missed off that list, which load the spine, and I should thus avoid for the short term at least ?
- are dumbbell versions of lifts better than barbell?
- should I use a smith machine to build my calves?
So, I've got the medical side of things.... now I want to hear what those with actual experience and specific knowledge have to share.
(P.S. I know it's a long post but I've been needing to ask these questions for a week now and I can't find much on the internet that's helped.)