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Lloyd Harrison

Disc Bulge Fundamentals Course

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Lloyd Harrison

Hi All,

I've seen variations on this subject covered in some other threads, but wanted to ask about my specific situation and whether anyone had any advise.

About 2.5 months ago I hurt my lower back whilst doing squats at the gym. After an MRI and a visit to the Neurosurgeon I've been told I have a broad based disc protrusion in my L5-S1 which appears to be pressing on the nerve root. The doc said it will heal on its own but advised me against any heavy lifting for the foreseeable future, he has also referred me to get some physiotherapy. I live in the UK so this is through the NHS, which although is an amazing service, could take several months before I get seen.

Therefore I've been looking for alternate ways to start rehabilitating myself. Oddly I'm only getting pain when I walk for long distances.

I'm not sure if anyone has any experience with this but my question to the group would be, is starting the Fundamentals course going to be to much? should I avoid this for the time being? I'm keen to get active again and start building some strength.

Thanks

Lloyd

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Mark Collins

You will need to see a physio or osteo privately to speed up the process. Disc injuries are varied so some people will be able to resume training early whereas others could take 3-12 months.

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Lloyd Harrison

Thanks Mark,

Would you advise to hold of starting the course until its fully sorted or can I do the course long side treatment?

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Mark Collins

It's too hard to tell over internet. I don't want to give you the wrong advice and give a permanent injury. So wait until you see a professional in person.

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Jonas Winback

If your disc protrusion is affecting a nerve root, are you experiencing sciatica? Back pain? Both?

Generally speaking short, frequent walks and moving about is beneficial for circulation and healing of a discal injury, but if you have a high degree of nerve root irritation then walking too much can make it more irritated. In physiotherapy we use a so called “straight leg raiseto assess the degree of nerve root irritation from the lumbar spine and that is what happens when you take a step forward as well, albeit on a smaller scale. Sitting in a car and using the gas pedal can have a similar, effect.

Depending on the physiotherapist that you meet you might get one or two so called “Mckenzie” exercises to try to mechanically affect the disc protrusion to make it stop pressing on the nerve and slowly migrate or be pressed back into position. In some cases that can have a very rapid and successful effect and be used both as a treatment and to prevent relapses.

If I were you I’d try to replace squats with lunges if anything, until the pain is gone, and then try again with lighter weight and see how it feels. When doing lunges you can keep your back in a less loaded position and with a degree of core control. An injured disc can and will get better over time unless you keep provoking it on a daily basis, but it will never be as it was before. Discs are exposed to wear and tear over the span of your life as it is, just like our joints. Back pain is the most common reason for people to seek physiotherapy, and in my experience a large amount of people with back pain have disc protrusions. It doesn’t always have an association with the degree of symptoms though. Studies have shown that completely asympomatic people can have large discal hernias.

Here is an informative article on lumbar discal loads in various positions based on various research.

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