T Nation

Prolapsed Disk


There is too much info I’d like to share so I’ll try to structure it as breifly as possible

  • 21 years old, 185cm (6ft), 84kg (185lb) (~13% body fat), not doing the major lifts, so no 1RM (except bench 1RM = 220lb)

  • started lifting when I was 16

  • in 1,5 years I got lower back pain which gradually got worse (I guess due to poor form, it might have been pre-programmed though, my dad has a lot of back problems too)

  • X-Rays showed nothing

  • pain got rather sharp while moving (standing up etc) and dull when standing (days after training). It hurts around these nob-form bone ends of the hips on the sides of the spine on the lower back, the spine on the lower back itself as well as in the buttocks and sometimes the back thigh

  • very easily aggravated, even in everyday routines. I can’t do a normal workout plan because it gets worse with every training session (squatting with 100lbs or deadlifts with the same weight is a garantie for an immobilized week after; even bench pressing causes uncomfort)

  • MRI points to prolapsed disk(s) in the L4-L5 (L5-S1) region

  • done electrotherapy, thermotherapy, hip stretching with minimal to no effect.

  • I’ve never neglected core stability exercises (doing planks, superman, abs work etc.) atleast in comparison to the weights I use

This is really annoying because I can’t train properly and I’ve been “on and off” for the last 2 years. Meanwhile, not being able to squat, deadlift or overhead press (altough substituted with other exercises) has surely developed some imbalances in my body (my shoulders are getting slowly fucked up etc).

So I’d like to ask you if you’ve had similar problems or if you have any suggestions on how I should tackle the problem? I’ve tried doing swimming for a couple of months or starting from zero with only core work (I am not really that far away from the zero anyway :smiley: ). I just can’t pull through not lifting for that long and I hope you can give me some hope and motivation with your advice and ideas! Thanks in advance!

I feel your pain I rehabbed a disc at S1 in 09-10 and am now having to deal with a lateral disc bulge higher up on my spine. You need to find a good PT who understands your goals and will work with you to accomplish them, it is not always easy to find some one to work with however and I would do research on all the people in your area.

For me what worked was training anti flexion extension and rotation. Throwing out squats and dls in favor of unilateral work and kb swings. Along with a very good chiro who does ART.