I put up a thread in the new member forum introducing myself and the history of my back issues. Well, at one point there, I had exhausted all options presented to me at the time when I had 2 herniated discs (L4/L5 and L5/S1). I said I would give exercising a shot as a last option before I let anyone operate.
When I started out I couldn't do a single push up, couldn't do a single pull up or even bend to touch my toes. I started out light with body weight exercises and stretches. Next, I upgraded to the Tower 200 By Jake (resistance bands) and then I got an actual weight bench (a few of them) with about 300lbs in free weights and bars.
Here I was when I was diagnosed with the 2 herniated discs and they wanted to operate
About 5 months later I was here
And the last picture I took before I stopped exercising due to a loss in the family was this. At this point, I was benching more than my body weight, strapping a 25lb plate to my waist and doing pull-ups for 10 reps etc.
For 2 years I had basically no nerve pain in my right leg and no real back issues. I saw a new orthopedic doctor in 2013 to see about an issue I had with my trap muscle that always flared up. Here is one pic of my trap relaxed and you can see how inflamed it was
He suggested and MRI on my neck to see if this muscle was protecting anything and so I asked if we could let them MRI my lower back to see how my discs were and he was blown away to know I had 2 herniated discs because he said I was built. MRI results showed that my discs were no longer herniated and only just bulged and not touching any of the nerves they previously were so exercising helped!
After my mother-in-law passed away, I had to spend more time with my family as it was rough for my wife and my daughter. As a result, exercising was put on the back burner and after 8 months, the issues started again. Had an MRI in 214 and it showed I did a lot of damage. I was told to try exercising again and change my job especially since I was having issues some days controlling my bladder.
Unfortunately, I took too long and too much damage was done and I couldn't get back into my exercise routine so I went back to my doctor and we did another MRI last week. . Even taking tons of meds to try get by to exercise, my body just wouldn't allow so now I have:
Discogenic disease, spondylosis, diffuse posterior disc bulges and facet joint arthropathy at both L4/L5 and L5/S1.
Moderate degree of endplate osteitis at L4/L5 secondary to chronic discovertebral trauma.
L5/S1 has a central radial annular tear
I am now in the planning stages of surgery which will require rods. My only wish was to be able to exercise again because out of everything I tried with therapists and epidurals etc., nothing made a difference like exercising. If you haven't gone too far, give it a shot, but make sure you research it properly and do the right stuff because you can make yourself worse doing the wrong exercises and having terrible form while exercising. I joined a bodybuilding forum where I moderated it for a while before I had to step down (after mother in law passed away) but it was there, I learned all about what to do. You take it slow and you'll be surprised at how much exercising will help many of us with our current conditions.Warning Do not take any member's statement as an ok to start with any exercise or product. Everything they state is based on their own personal experiences. What may be good for one person, could spell disaster for another. Always talk things over with your doctor before you venture into something new
----- Ron DiLauro , Spine-Health System Moderator 06/19/15