First, let me thank so many of you your previous posts. This site has been a big help to me.
I am 33-years-old and I am 26-weeks removed from my L5/S1 microdiscectomy. Prior to my surgery, I was very active and did a lot of "extreme" fitness routines like P90X, Insanity, and Crossfit. Looking back, I believe that some of the things that I was doing contributed to my disc rupture, though exercising seemed to help me deal with the years of pain I endured. I am happy to report that I feel much better and I am thrilled that my surgery took away my sciatica COMPLETELY!!!
That said, I still have back pain. My surgeon said that is just the way it will be due to my degenerated discs. I am happy to live with the pain I have. However, I would like to get back to a little bit of strength training to get my physique back. Since my surgery, I have been doing a lot of cardio... usually 1 hour (6-7 miles) on the elliptical 5-days-a-week. Every time I have tried to add in even the slightest amount of strength training, I have a flare-up that scares the heck out of me. I know that I will never do squats, dead-lifts, or burpees again, but I am talking about simple bodyweight stuff like 3 sets of 10 push-ups and pull-ups. According to my surgeon, such things should not be hurting my back whatsoever since they are done in perfect alignment and not bent at the back.
For those who have "been there", is it still early or is it just the way that it is going to be? Should I be resigned to be a cardio-junkie for exercise the rest of my days?
One other thing... is it common that laying on my stomach will really aggravate my back? I remember back in therapy how much they had me on my stomach and even doing endless numbers of press-ups. Now, trying to play on the floor with the kids and laying on my stomach causes terrible low back pain after just a couple of minutes. Again... normal?
Thanks for anything any of you can throw my way!