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Lifting After Back Injuries

I recently have had a back injury, bulging disk, arthritis, and degenerative disc disease.My siatic nerve is preventing my foot from being able to flex fully, giving me drop foot.I was lifting heavy, and playing hockey as well, and i think my back became overworked.

My doc says it will just take time but i am going nuts, i am doing physical therapy but i want some kind of a training program, that will allow me back in the gym, I have also become a little out of shape and have been eating like crap, maybe a little depressed too, any way H E L P! M E! any suggestions would be great

i got two cracked vertebres that are heeled now, to tell you the truth your back is a very valuable thing. I would let it heal before you start lifting heavy again.You can mess it up bad.But you can get and inversion rack or table. tThere soppose to be really good for your back and help you heal quicker. if your going to lift keep it light and consult your doc before.

Listen to your Dr and yourself. The back is a tough thing to rehab and everyone is differant. I hurt mine and I am slowly working it back in, real light on all the big lifts. Definitley work back slowly, just do everything light and get back in the gym so you aren’t sitting on your but. Good Luck.

[quote]sk8tergirl wrote:
I recently have had a back injury, bulging disk, arthritis, and degenerative disc disease.My siatic nerve is preventing my foot from being able to flex fully, giving me drop foot.I was lifting heavy, and playing hockey as well, and i think my back became overworked.

My doc says it will just take time but i am going nuts, i am doing physical therapy but i want some kind of a training program, that will allow me back in the gym, I have also become a little out of shape and have been eating like crap, maybe a little depressed too, any way H E L P! M E! any suggestions would be great[/quote]

I agree with the posts already. I’ll add that I have some back issues as well so I feel your “pain”. Throwing the hammer in college didn’t help, but I learned to train it to avoid further injury. Still to this day, I cannot DL heavy nor landscape my yard for more than a few hours unless I want to be lay-out for a couple days.

To be flat out frankly honest with you, you need to take a YEAR or MORE and rehab the crap out of your back!! To be ignorant and rush back is a fools choice. Make sure the glutes and hams are beefed up and firing properly, while getting VERY flexible. NO HEAVY LIFTS FOR A YEAR OR MORE!! You only have ONE back - once you have permanent damage you’re screwed for life. You don’t want fused vertebrae - they are no fun.

In addition to the things I mentioned and listening to EVERY single word your PT tells you, I would work in things like hip sled (leg press) where the spine bares ZERO stress (grip the handles firmly and keep your butt plastered into the pad). Then, work ham curls and hip extension machine just as long as your hips are supported. I don’t know where you are at with your rehab/healing. But, eventually, work in some posterior chain movers, like glute-ham raises with BW only, LIGHT pull-thrus, and BW only squats with you arms over your head (to keep the lordic curve very pronounced).

FORGET about getting under a loaded barbell or dead lifting a couple hundred pounds. In a year or so, maybe re-introduce those lifts at a snails pace. But, again to be real with you, depending on your healing (I would get a diagnostic MRI after rehab if possible) you may be retired from Oly/Power lifting.

A lot of us former athletes, specially at the upper levels, have to come to the realization that we might have to “wind it down” because of all the years of sport-abuse. Sometimes no matter how much PT you go through or pre-hab/re-hab, the damage is there to stay. Depending on your age and past training, you might be able to make a come back. But, I know for me with my degenerative discs and growth spurs, torn ACLs and meniscus, and God know what else, I put my focus on training others now and just maintaining a decent physique for health reasons.

But, try the protocol I mentioned first and then decide where to go in a year or so.

Best of luck,

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