Lifting for Sanity w/ Herniated Disc

I have a centrally herniated disc, L4/L5, and I have two pinched nerves because of it. I feel a constant sharp, throbbing pain in my lower back, my legs and sometimes my toes go numb. The cause of the injury was a set of good mornings.

At the time I had just gotten out of school and went from having a free, well equiped gym to working out in my garage until i had the money for a membership for the summer. That was May 1st 2008. I have done physical therapy a few times and I try to do the core exercises they gave me but i always seem to stop when my back feels better then after a few weeks I hurt my back again. I know that I should continue with them so I finally started them again.

Here is the deal, I have a lot of held up energy and I suffer from anxiety and depression. I have found that weightlifting is the only thing that makes all that go away. Before I started working out seriously I was on depression/anxiety medications and when I started lifting I came off all my medications and felt better than I ever had before!

That is the problem now, I am worried about hurting my back when training and because of that I haven’t done any serious training since the initial injury. I would like to know a few things I can do to help prevent hurting myself, but at the same time I want to get my upper body back to where it was before. I have a weight belt that I use but aside from that I haven’t gotten any good advice besides people telling me to lift light or not at all.

Lifting light doesn’t cut it and does not change my mood. I love the high I get from pushing myself to my limits, what precautions should I take? I am going insane!

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