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Professional Athlete... Back pain ruining my life



  • CombatKidCCombatKid Posts: 2
    edited 02/26/2018 - 12:14 PM

    Hi guys, 

    I've finally got the results and report of the MRI.  I spoke to my chiropractor about the results and although there seems to be some mild bulging in certain areas, he believes they are not a big cause for concern, because they don't seem to be protruding to the spinal canal/nerves.  The bulging seems to be mostly on the left side which is where my pain originates. I'm going to post the full report below:

    The disc at the L1- L2 is normal.

    At the L2-3 the height and the signal intensity of this disc are slightly
    decreased. Mild nonfocal disc bulge is noted at L2-L3. The bulging disc
    does not appear to compromise appreciably the spinal canal. The bulging of
    however is asynmetric favoring the left side and compromises the left neural
    foramen. This is best shown on series 7 image 6 and on series 3 image 09—

    At L3-4 the disc is normal.

    At L4—5 the signal intensity of this disc is decreasedv The disc height is
    fairly well preserved. Diffuse disc bulge is noted at the L4—5. The
    bulging disc does not appear to compromise significantly the spinal canal.
    The bulging however is asymmetric favoring the left side and compromises the
    left neural foramen. A focal hyperintensity is identified in the bulging
    part of the disc at this level. This is due to an annular tear which is
    best shown on series 3 image 10 and on series 7 image 14.

    At the LS—Sl the signal intensity of this disc is decreased. The disc
    height is well preserved. A small and broad—based disc protrusion is noted
    at this level. The protruding disc is centrally located compromising the
    ventral epidural space and abutting but not compressing the thecal sac‘
    This is best shown on series 5 image 6, on series 3 image 6 and on series 7
    image 19 — to and.

    The 3 lower thoracic discs Show no abnormalitiesi The distal end of the
    cord is visualized and appears normal.


    1. Disc degeneration of mild degree is noted at the L2—L3, 1.4-1.5 and L5-Sl.
    This is manifested by decrease in the signal intensity of these discs and
    diffuse disc bulge. The degeneration is more prominent at the L2-L3 where
    in addition there is some loss of disc height.

    2. The bulging of the discs at the L2-L3 and at L4-L5 is asymmetric
    favoring the left side. The above abnormalities compromise the left neural
    foramina at these 2 levels. An associated Small and subannular diSc
    herniation at the L4-L5 cannot be entirely ruled out. The focal
    hyperintensity described in the bulging part of the disc at the Lé-LS is due
    to an annular tear.

    3. A small and broad-based disc protrusion is identified at the LS-Sl.

    This is centrally located compromising the ventral epidural space. The
    above abnormality also favors the right side. It compromises somewhat more
    prominently the right lateral recess of the spinal canal. The focal
    hyperintensity described in the protruding part of the disc at this level is
    due to an annular tear.

    Just wondering what you guys make of this? He's referred me to a neurologist and recommended that I start using an inversion table... I'm freaking out about these results.  

  • MarWinMarWin OhioPosts: 704

    Having had sciatica for over two years and tried the inversion I would be suspect of its usefulness. You have to think first of your muscles and the impact on them. Muscles are used to gravity in a downward direction. To change that gravity by inverting yourself may cause them to become very stressed and lead to more pain. This was the case with me. Any degree of inversion beyond horizontal [to the floor] and my pain multiplied. 

    The purpose of inversion is to allow your vertebrae to decompress, but if your muscles are stressed and engaged because something has changed their gravitational pull the inversion would do little for decompression. So, not only did inversion make my sciatica worse, it also exacerbated my low back pain. 

    Sorry....I cannot remember....do you have sciatica or low back pain or both?  

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  • You mentioned a sharp, tearing sensation in your original post. 

    I had a similar sensation when I got injured.

    My doctor said that sharp, sudden pain I felt was the annular tear happening.

    Don’t freak out.

    Go to your neurologist appmt and good luck. 

    It may not be as bad as you think.

    Your chiropractor is not in a position to say this or that is no big deal because chiropractors aren’t spine specialists.

    My doctor would say an annular tear can absolutely cause a lot of pain.

  • Yeah I would probably hold off on the inversion till you have a talk with the neurologist and I know your mind is probably laying a guilt trip on you about your workouts but you need to take it easy. 

  • Hey guys, 

    Just wanted to give you guys an update, and hoping my methods can help you guys also.  So, long story short; I had an appointment scheduled with a Neurologist, but since seeing DRASTIC improvements, I decided to cancel and save the time/money.

    So last weekend, I decided to give my inversion table another try.  The first few times that I used it, I felt as though it was causing a lot more problems than resolving.  I stayed inverted for about 15 minutes, got off, and felt an immediate reduction in pain and increase in mobility.

    On Sunday, my father and I built a home-made, DIY Reverse Hyper machine.  Now you guys may not believe it, but I got on the Machine (with maybe about 40 pounds) and began doing a few sets. During one set I felt a few cracks from my back at he bottom of the swing.  I got off and to my amazement, the pain I had for 1.5 years while bending to my right, wasn't there.  

    I'm not crying, "Miracle" just yet, but I'm extremely confident that in a few months, or hopefully less, I will be good enough to continue pursuing my career endeavors.

    I've made the inversion table and reverse hyper a daily routine.  The pain/stiffness in the mornings has been greatly reduced as well.  I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel

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  • MRI. Get one asap. Also, dont aggravate your back. 

  • L4_L5LL4_L5 Posts: 1,481
    edited 03/14/2018 - 4:07 AM

    Personally I would see a neurologist or neurosurgeon (for them to review your MRI) and see if they clear weight-lifting for you. 

    You may have temporary “fixed” something with the root problem just waiting to rear its ugly head, as soon as you do something too aggressive.

    Having an MRI with your findings and not having it reviewed by a spine specialist is not smart IMO.

    Just my two cents.

  • MarWinMarWin OhioPosts: 704
    edited 03/14/2018 - 12:52 PM

    Nice @CombatKid

  • martymarmmartymar Posts: 98
    edited 03/15/2018 - 11:05 AM

    I looked up your reverse hyper machine I remember them from my gym days definitely gives you a lumber stretch. I don't know if it will last since you pretty much just decompressed your back but your young and it's possible your disc will heal up over time. Just keep in mind when your hitting the weights the disc is damaged so it may never be as good as before. You may want to take l4 l5 suggestion and spend a couple hundred on a neurologists opinion it may be worth it in the long run. In the mean time good luck on your mma career if I ever see someone standing up there with Dana white 30 and from Virginia I will know who you are. I came back to edit this and say be kind to your back most here started with good backs as well, I'm 54 now and it really really sucks to be in pain everyday, good luck combat

  • CombatKidCCombatKid Posts: 2
    edited 03/23/2018 - 1:17 AM

    Hey guys,

    So an update.  L4_L5, you were right.  The exercises I was doing were kind of a temporary relief.  I feel that the Reverse Hypers are a good way to strengthen the back and is a good warm-up, cool-down exercise but still doesn't fix the root of the problem.  It's just so frustrating.  It's so difficult to find a pattern to the pain.  I feel so stupid for thinking I found the end-all cure to this shit.

    There are a few things that I've changed/done and found some patterns.  I've been sleeping on my stomach and that has helped me find a lot more relief in the mornings.  Also using a lumbar support during driving.

    I've also started the Mckenzie method.  According to the book after doing the exercises, the pain should be centralizing, or moving from it's original location to the middle.  I've been doing the exercises for 3 days and the pain has shifted from the left to the right (weird).  Not sure if that's what's supposed to be happening.

    Anyways,  This whole ordeal has been literally driving me crazy... definitely a dark time in my life.  

    Anybody else have any experience with the Mckenzie method?

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