T Nation

Lumbar Spine Herniated Discs


#1

I posted on here a month or so ago on my injury and have more knowledge about it now. I have L4/L5 disc herniations. The L4 Herniation is diffused and is bulging all the way across.

The L5 is bulging in the nerve canals at the side only there is a small amount of stenosis but not causing any leg pain. There is some facet joint damage but apparently nothing too serious.

My questioning is that my consultant said she is happy for me to start playing rugby and training for Mixed martial arts again but she said avoid weightlifting at all costs. I am studying strength and conditioning at university and this is not really suiting my lifestyle very well. I wondered if anyone has had this sort of injury and carried on lifting "heavy" weights. It currently gives me no pain but I do want to carry on lifting weights. Should I use pain as an indicator and stop or should I just not do weights at all.

Any advice would be useful.


#2

Hey man.

Ive been part of this site for a looong time. Never felt urged to post until now though.

First. We have essentially the same injury. (I also had a 'scotty dog bone fracture or some shit…dunno). It does suck. But feel lucky you havent experienced the ‘lighting bolts’ down your legs…and if you have…we have a unique experience in riding the lighting. Anways…

So this is what I will say/advise. AFTER incurring this injury I was able to play for 3 years in the National Football League. AFTER this injury AND playing in the NFL…I began building my body up. Since about 05 I have put on 40-45 lbs. Good weight too…not like the guys on permabulk. Ive done it with consistent heavy weights and if feeling a bit down, I back off the weight and increase my volume. I keep my diet pretty tight.

Does my back sometimes hurt/get sore/suck? Yes. No bullshit. It does…but only sometimes. Especially when deadlifting heavy…yeah, my L4/L5 tell me it wasnt an awesome idea. But you know what…in a day or so, Im good as new…check that, Im usually better than new.

So I guess my advice is to work around your limitations…work until your body says ‘Meh’. Then back off slightly.
I’ll tell ya. At first, I couldnt do what I currently do. But through training, stretching (will get to this) and really working on strengthening my lower back muscles, along with my core in general.

As for the stretching. The number one thing Ive noticed is this. Stand straight up with your feet together. Now put one foot out to the side with heels still together so they make an ‘L’ below you. Now bend over with straight knees and try to touch the straight foot. It completely pulls on ‘the spot’. It feels incredible.
To add to this…try hanging upside down sometime.

This is just my own personal stuff that has worked around what we share.

Good luck Brah.

E


#3

Some research regarding exercise and disc injuries by James Rainville:

http://www.necoem.org/documents/0312Rainville.PDF


#4

MMA where you are getting twisted and rotating the spine aggressivly, and rugby where you are colliding wiht other players and compressing the spine during scrums is OK but you should never lift a weight agian? Does not compute.


#5

Elksnyper this helps alot I want to just use pain as an indicator but i’m still only young and don’t want to cripple myself at this young age. I want to develop my core, what exercises did you do?

and orourkei it makes no sense to me but those where he words.


#6

[quote]Elksnyper wrote:
Hey man.

Ive been part of this site for a looong time. Never felt urged to post until now though.

First. We have essentially the same injury. (I also had a 'scotty dog bone fracture or some shit…dunno). It does suck. But feel lucky you havent experienced the ‘lighting bolts’ down your legs…and if you have…we have a unique experience in riding the lighting. Anways…

So this is what I will say/advise. AFTER incurring this injury I was able to play for 3 years in the National Football League. AFTER this injury AND playing in the NFL…I began building my body up. Since about 05 I have put on 40-45 lbs. Good weight too…not like the guys on permabulk. Ive done it with consistent heavy weights and if feeling a bit down, I back off the weight and increase my volume. I keep my diet pretty tight.

Does my back sometimes hurt/get sore/suck? Yes. No bullshit. It does…but only sometimes. Especially when deadlifting heavy…yeah, my L4/L5 tell me it wasnt an awesome idea. But you know what…in a day or so, Im good as new…check that, Im usually better than new.

So I guess my advice is to work around your limitations…work until your body says ‘Meh’. Then back off slightly.
I’ll tell ya. At first, I couldnt do what I currently do. But through training, stretching (will get to this) and really working on strengthening my lower back muscles, along with my core in general.

As for the stretching. The number one thing Ive noticed is this. Stand straight up with your feet together. Now put one foot out to the side with heels still together so they make an ‘L’ below you. Now bend over with straight knees and try to touch the straight foot. It completely pulls on ‘the spot’. It feels incredible.
To add to this…try hanging upside down sometime.

This is just my own personal stuff that has worked around what we share.

Good luck Brah.

E

[/quote]
OP, do this.


#7

[quote]orourkei wrote:
MMA where you are getting twisted and rotating the spine aggressivly, and rugby where you are colliding wiht other players and compressing the spine during scrums is OK but you should never lift a weight agian? Does not compute.[/quote]

I agree. It does not make any sense.


#8

[quote]lukewilko wrote:
I posted on here a month or so ago on my injury and have more knowledge about it now. I have L4/L5 disc herniations. The L4 Herniation is diffused and is bulging all the way across.

The L5 is bulging in the nerve canals at the side only there is a small amount of stenosis but not causing any leg pain. There is some facet joint damage but apparently nothing too serious.

My questioning is that my consultant said she is happy for me to start playing rugby and training for Mixed martial arts again but she said avoid weightlifting at all costs. I am studying strength and conditioning at university and this is not really suiting my lifestyle very well. I wondered if anyone has had this sort of injury and carried on lifting “heavy” weights. It currently gives me no pain but I do want to carry on lifting weights. Should I use pain as an indicator and stop or should I just not do weights at all.

Any advice would be useful.

[/quote]

When you say consultant do you mean doctor? If not it would be worth your time to consult with a doctor who specializes in musculoskeletal injuries i.e a sports med doc.
I’ve discussed my own disc herniation with an orthopedic surgeon who said he didn’t care that I could lift pain free but was more concerned with whether or not I could play football (pickup) or grapple pain free. So it may be worth getting a second opinion.


#9

[/quote]

When you say consultant do you mean doctor? If not it would be worth your time to consult with a doctor who specializes in musculoskeletal injuries i.e a sports med doc.
I’ve discussed my own disc herniation with an orthopedic surgeon who said he didn’t care that I could lift pain free but was more concerned with whether or not I could play football (pickup) or grapple pain free. So it may be worth getting a second opinion.[/quote]

It was a muscoskeletal orthopaedic specialist im going to get a few opinions about it now but not entirely sure who to see.