I have a herniation of L5-SI. The incident happened shortly after my last meet on December 6th 2016. I tried to get away from back squats and deadlifts for a month to allow my body to recover. In doing so I went with dumbbell squats to a 12 inch box to train the lower body. I used this as my main exercise twice a week for 3 weeks. My hips were too tight and the box was too low. Something had to give and it was the disc.
My symptoms we intense at first. I had a lot of muscle spams in the upper part of my right glute and an aching pain down my leg to the outside of my right calf. I am in pain when I sit and every time my right heel strikes the floor when walking, I get a stabbing pain in my right glute.
I went to the chiropractor for 3 weeks straight at first with no relief. After that I ended up going to a doctor and he thought it was my sacroiliac joint. He gave me some meds and they helped, but did not fix my issue. I then started to attend physcial therapy without a clear diagnosis. That was a shot in the dark until I got the MRI.
During this time read the back mechanic my Dr. Stewart McGill. I was and still am preforming the Big 3 every morning and night. I use an inversion table also every day after work and that too provides some relief.
I have been dealing with this injury for 4 months now. I am avoiding my pain triggers as much as possible and looking to maintain proper spine hygiene for 24 hours a day. I have also already had 2 epidural injections and most likely getting the 3rd soon.
My biggest question is: Is a mirco discectomy my only option of becoming pain free? I can do most of the daily chores around the house and haven’t missed any work because of it BUT will I ever be able to exercise again! I have made small progress but it is very very slow. Also will my herniation fix itself over time? How long does it take to become A symptomatic?
I am just a man with a lot of unknowns right now. Any insight will help.
I AM NOT A DOCTOR. THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE.
I’m just a lifter that has seen lifters deal with these issues anecdotally.
You made a great choice by reading Back Mechanic. Read it again, and then a third time. I’m not trying to be a smartass, I’m serious. There is a ton of information in it, read it a few times to get all you can.
This will be a good start to reading about Brian did to fix his back. That’s what he did, under Dr. McGill’s guidance. He was able to come back from a nasty back injury without surgery.
I’m sure Brian will pop in here and add some thoughts. Give this stuff a read, it will help give you some perspective.
IM NOT A DR NOR DO I PLAY ONE ON TV
sorry about your back. Like Stated above, 4mo really isn’t that long to struggle with back pain. McGill states that some flare-ups from an old injury can taken 3mo just to settle, and that’s not even the injury itself but a flare-up. I struggled for a long time – close to 6 years or so off and on. Sometimes crippling pain. You have to learn to be patient. Starting over is key too.
You mention the big 3 – what about walking and moving 100% good every day? Not most of the time ALL of the time. It’s a lifestyle change man.
A lot of the time, adjustments won’t help you. In some/many cases, you need to stiffen the area, not move it. Moving it can hurt you more at times.
Please realize with modern medicine – you’re not treating your problem but the symptoms – the surgery won’t change your structural issues/bad movement patterns ie the cause.
In most cases, the surgery wont fix you, no matter what the cause. And the injections are treating the symptoms, not the cause. Want to feel better? stop sensitizing the area.
As Stu talks about in BM – the virtual surgery is the best remedy. Like Dan says above, read the book 3-4x at least.
Back pain is never a life sentence. See my MRI to tell you otherwise.
Another book that is necessary for you to read would be Ultimate Back Fitness! This version is updated too with a LOT of good stuff.
See below for the link as this book is MUCH more indepth than Back Mechanic.
Also, how do you drive and sleep at night? I suggest having a support under your back when you sleep and when you sit. this is something i’ve used for the last 4 years with great success. It’s actually designed by Stu.
Best of luck man!