I read your book and a few others by Dr.McGill. I am an amateur lifter but nonetheless it’s my passion. I sustained a disc bulge injury from lifting a few months ago. Just like you went to a few doctors telling me the same bs advice they tell every patient, saw multiple PTs who gave me the wrong guidance. Finally after some intense research I found a McGill trained trainer and have a rehab plan set it motion. Now that you know my brief background, I wanted to ask you a personal question. How the hell did you deal with the mental strain of this injury? I am a medical professional and understand that this will take time and hard work to come back from. First
heal and then progress to perfect my form believe me, I get it. Although I’ve only started my rehab 2 weeks ago, I’ve been dealing with this injury for about 6 months now. Progress is slow and it’s difficult to watch all my hard work in the gym fade away. Just yesterday I picked up a heavy package incorrectly and as soon as that pain came back I lost my shit. I am a real asshole when the pain is bad and I hate myself for my inexcusable behavior. I never used to be like this, luckily I have an amazing girl by my side who understands the struggle, if it wasn’t for her I would probably throw in the towel by now. I am sure you got tons of emails but I would really appreciate some advice regarding how you kept your mental health on point
(This question above, is one that I frequently get and received once again today)
Thank you for your question.
How do you deal with the mental strain? It’s pretty easy, honestly; you put the same amount of effort, time and patience into your rehab, movement and approach as you did your training when you’re healthy and pushing ultimate performance.
Patience, think long term. You have to earn your right to lift again. Earn your right to be pain-free. This is the time where you have to drop the ego.
I had to take the same focus that I would take with 1100+ on the squat, and channel it into my walks, my core work and my movement.
You now have a different goal that will take as much, if not more effort than any other task you’ve strived toward.
It’s only been a couple of months of work. I guess I was so fed up with years of pain when I found a ‘good enough’ explanation as to why and on how to beat my pain, I was all in just like I was prepping for a meet.
I think reading 10/20/Life will give you another bit of context on my approach to training as well. Everything I do is 100% effort, and as I started over in 2013, this was my new approach.
Thank you for the question. If you would like to do a skype consult to discuss some of the stumbling blocks, we can do that too.
I cant reiterate the comment of committing 100% to your rehab as you would your training as stated by Brian. For most of us changing the simple perspective that “more is more” to “less is more” is going to make massive milestones in your rehab. I know it can sound a little crazy at first but applying this less is more concept with 100% commitment is what helped me take an entire year off from training due to disc injuries. Working with Brian and being held accountable on this concept absolutely saved my life.
I am going to write an article about this as there are a few more mental queues that I think are very important when coming back from spine injury as its a VERY unique journey but I will mention some of my top ones below:
I hope these help and I will make sure to dive in deeper on an upcoming PRS article.