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Herniated disc, what do you guys do?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:26 AM in Lower Back Pain
I have a herniated discs at L4 and L5, which bother me almost every day. As of now it has been flared up for about 2 weeks after doing squats at the gym. When jogging I feel discomfort, sitting, etc.

I have seen a spine specialist, he gave me stretches to do, said surgery wouldnt help anything. I have considered seeing a chiropractor, do you think this would help?

Also, quitting the gym is not an option, its something I love to...



  • Have you seen the adds for the DRX9000? Some chiropractors offer decompression therapy which I've heard that some people have had positive results. I wouldn't do this without consulting the spine specialist first. Decompression therapy didn't work for me though. Did you try PT. Make sure you exhaust all conservative methods before considering surgery, that's just my opinion.

    Good luck.
  • Of it all depends on how badly the discs are herniated, but I'd suggest being especially careful with exercises where your back is bent (squats, deadlifts, rows, etc.). "Perfect form" or not, they put a tremendous amount of pressure on the discs. You also might want to consider replacing jogging with some lower impact stuff like biking or swimming since the force of running stresses the discs, too.
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  • I too used the drx9000 and had real favorable results for a while and then relapsed hard simply reaching for the phone. Chiropractor for about 12 years prior. Just advice it's your gig but I'd quit squatting if I were you. I'd get more opinions about surgey. I had fusion at your level in addition to S-1. 4 weeks ago and so far I'm still ok with my decision but it is going to be a long way to recovered.
  • Well Im wanting to avoid surgery at all costs.

    When I have issues with it for the first couple of days I am ginger walking around etc., other then that its discomfort.

    The problem has been worse since I was dead lifting last year and felt a pop. To go more in depth I saw 2 doctors. One a chiropractor another a neck and spine ortho. Both saw the MRIs and Xrays and said surgery would be over kill. Both of them recommend various stretches.

    I may try the decompression thing.

  • You might want to see about epidural injections to tide you through till things settle down with your back. Physical therapy makes sense, too.

    I had kinda a similar history to yours - herniated a little at S1/L5 while doing squats, then I had a big pop at L4/L5 a year later while doing dead lifts. Now my gym activities are pretty limited and I'm nowhere close to where I used to be physically, which sucks. So I'd recommend listening to your body and taking things easy for a while. I pushed too hard at the gym and it just made things worse than they had to be.
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  • I agree with DCGuy.
    You may seriously want to lay off ANY gymwork while you're healing. Even if you're pain free for a day doesn't mean you're healed. Injured disc fibers may take several months to heal fully, if at all. Get your inflammation under control, avoid bending forwards, especially under load, and focus on core building exercises when things settle down.

    Surgery should only be considered if there is a progressive neurological deficit. Otherwise, let nature take it's course.

    Good luck!
  • Be careful at the gym. Any lifting increases pressure inside the body and irritates the disc. It is called 'Intra-thecal Pressure'. Just like blowing up a balloon. It can irritate the disc, nerve and surrounding tissue. Better to get therapy first and avoid more injury. You stand the risk of a full blown herniation which can take months to heal or worst case scenario of a chronic condition.

    As for therapy, you can try chiropractic and you should feel improvement within 6-visits as a benchmark of future therapy success. Be prepared for more visits. Most will recommend 3 visits per week for 4 -weeks and then re-evaluate. DRX-9000 can help in some cases, if you are a candidate. Be prepared for out of pocket expenses with it and about 20 visits as a start.

    I had three herniations in my lower back and the only thing that worked for me was Class 4 High Power Laser Therapy. Felt great. Look into it.

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,349

    For a Spine-Health Site introduction, Click on :

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    The main thing is that you see a specialist who can properly diagnose your problem and determine your corrective action plan. As soon as I heard Disc, I am always leary about chiropractors. They have their places and do a good job, but when it comes to the spinal column, I want to have s doctor who specializes in spine problems.
    I would cut out the gym activity and try to continue with what the spine specialist is telling you
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Its a sharp pain, I dont feel like screaming or anything. When I feel it I just think dont move that way anymore...

    The pain stays in my lower back, it doesnt travel anywhere. From 2 docs looking at my Xrays and MRIs both said surgery would be a waste and I dont need it and just stretch. If it gets worse they can do injections.

    As for weights, I dont ever see myself quitting the gym and not being in shape. Call me stubborn but that is my stress relief.

    I will try the monkey bar thing, I had already thought about this.
  • Hi, i had the same situation as you in the start, chiro helps in the beginning but after a long run it won't as it only help me ease the pain for awhile, and then the pain would come back, i mean for my case, as for you i don't know.
    since so many people said to stop the jogging and lifting weight, i think i should stop, it's only a 2.5kg dumbbell. haha. but do take care cause lifting heavy weights would put pressure on your herniated disc and would cause pain sometime, after i doing jogging,walking and lifting a 2.5kg dumbbell for bout 15-10 min, i would go home and have a rest by lying down on my bed. And i do not sleep on a soft surface bed, i sleep on a harder surface,it helps for me.
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