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      04-29-2013, 08:15 PM   #1
rezadue
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Fitness program for someone with a bad back

I have one herniated disk and one bulging disk in my back, as a result of which I am in constant back pain.

I have tried and liked P90x but found it too hard on my lower back. Any tips on what kind of program I can get on to get more fit? 5' 7" 150 lbs now
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      04-29-2013, 08:29 PM   #2
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Rezadue, any weight bearing excercise would be detremental to your condition. You need to keep to non weight bearing excercises such as stationary bike and swimming. I am not sure how acute your situation is since the recommendation is for rest of 4-6 weeks in the acute setting. This would be my recommendation to you based on your description. Best to ask your orthopedic surgeon what they believe would be your ideal excercise and when. Thats what I would do if I were you. Hope this helps.

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      04-29-2013, 09:01 PM   #3
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i'd try swimming; though u'd probably be best to go through formal Physical therapy..That's where I send my patients. Your pain should decrease over time.. if not your injury needs to be re-evalated. Watch out for bowel/bladder incontinence....weakness, numbness, or tingling in your lower extremities as those would be an indication of possible nerve impingement.
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      04-29-2013, 09:20 PM   #4
rezadue
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Thanks for the advice. Since there are doctors in the house, my L2-L3 is bulging and L5-S1 is herniated and pushing against the nerve on both sides. I also has some narrowing as well. With respect to my condition I am in constant pain and have been so for about 4 years now with the amount of pain varying from dull pain accompanied by stiffness all the way to acute pain and muscle spasms.

In theory I would love to strengthen my core but am finding core exercises uncomfortable to excruciating.
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      04-29-2013, 10:49 PM   #5
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I've got bad discs at L4 and L5 and found that physical therapy and core-strengthening exercises helped tremendously... I seem to have it all under control at the moment. *knock on wood*

For me, epidurals provided very short term relief and were almost worse than the problem itself... Since you have stenosis as well, surgery might be the only remaining choice.

Best of luck to you.
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      05-15-2013, 02:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw1racer View Post
... found that physical therapy and core-strengthening exercises helped tremendously... I seem to have it all under control at the moment. *knock on wood*
+1

I very much believe in the philosophy and the training principles of Mark Verstegen's Core Performance program. You can easily google it and might wanna give it a try.
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      05-15-2013, 03:36 AM   #7
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I have 2 herniated discs in my back, L4 and L5. About 8 months ago the pain was so bad I could barely move. Went on a 6 week physical therapy program, and have been doing core strength training with a trainer 3 days a week ever since. It's going to get aggravated when you work out, but the trend will be positive if you give it time.

That being said, I still have problems standing for long periods of time and have to take ibuprofen if I'm going to be very active for the day. I barely have any pain in my back anymore, mostly just the glutes, hamstring, and calf in my right leg.

Good luck!
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      05-15-2013, 03:50 AM   #8
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swimming definitely sounds like your best bet
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      05-15-2013, 05:33 AM   #9
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Thanks for the suggestions I have a swimming pool in the back yard and have been hitting it, except for the last week where it has been ungodly cool here.

I am going to look into a core strengthening program for sure.
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      05-15-2013, 06:36 AM   #10
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swimming gets my vote. However like most stated see a doctor first before anything always better to be safe then sorry
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      05-15-2013, 07:13 AM   #11
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Swimming is the best cardio option you have. You can do many variations with it to strengthen and tone. I would also seek a personal trainer for advice in proper nutrition and weight training that doesnt bother your back.
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      05-15-2013, 09:14 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krozi View Post
I barely have any pain in my back anymore, mostly just the glutes, hamstring, and calf in my right leg.
Same here, but it's just perpetual "tightness" in my left calf...
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      05-15-2013, 09:27 PM   #13
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it's finally warm enough in l.a. to swim (too cheap to heat the pool). been lapping about a mile a day.

you could also try water aerobics, or just staying afloat.
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      05-15-2013, 09:43 PM   #14
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Low weight, low volume and focus on full range of motion. Slowly build from there
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      05-15-2013, 09:46 PM   #15
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yoga?
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      05-15-2013, 09:55 PM   #16
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yoga?
lol yeah a guy with a bad back should stand on his head
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      05-16-2013, 04:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw1racer View Post
Same here, but it's just perpetual "tightness" in my left calf...

Yea, pretty much my entire right leg is just super tight, standing up/sitting/standing up/sitting down SUCKS lol
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      05-20-2013, 11:48 PM   #18
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Diving is the best aerobic choice you have, You can do many modifications with it to enhance and overall tone, I would also search for a fitness instructor for guidance in appropriate nourishment and body building that doesn't hassle your back.....

Last edited by Adam123; 05-31-2013 at 01:12 AM.
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      05-31-2013, 04:13 PM   #19
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It sounds like your level of pain is much higher than mine. I herniated my L4/L5 vertebrae about 7 years ago. I’ve had bulging disks, sacroiliac joint injuries, pulled hamstrings, yet I managed to make a very strong recovery. My recovery wasn’t complete back to my full capabilities, but I’m still much stronger than the majority of people.

Flexibility and core strength were the major contributors to my recovery. Specifically, when your hamstrings are tight they will pull on your pelvis which will pull it out of line and cause pain. A strong core will also take stress off your spine/back which helps tremendously as well.

If you’re in pain when exercising, perhaps you aren’t doing the right kind of exercises or perhaps you’re trying to do too much at this point. Walk before you run and crawl before you walk.

I’m sure you already know all this, but a few things I learned along the way:

1.) Sleep on your side. It will alleviate pressure on your back. If you have to sleep on your back, put a firm pillow under your knees. This will relieve stress on your lower back and flatten your spine. If you have to sleep on your stomach, put a pillow under your lower stomach. Again, the goal is to flatten your spine and reduce stress on it.

2.) Sit on your butt with your legs fully extended with your feet together. Have someone compare how long each of your legs are. When I injured my back, my right leg was half an inch shorter than my left leg. As a result, it was pulling on my pelvis which causes a ton of pain in my lower back. There are ways to correct this. My physical therapist showed me several ways to correct this myself. The easiest way is to stretch the upper thigh of your longer leg. My right leg was shorter (and also where I felt the most pain) so I would stretch my left thigh.

3.) When you walk, try flexing your abs when you’re in pain. It reduces stress on your spine and it helped me to relieve pain. It also will help strengthen your core even if it’s only a small bit.

For those of you with back pain, this may make you cringe, but this is how I hurt my back. I had actually tweaked it the week before, but this was the last meet of the year (and my career). I went down with 700 pounds and never came up. In my defense, I had done 675 two weeks before with ease and healthy I probably could have done around 725-750 pounds…..such is life.

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      05-31-2013, 05:28 PM   #20
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As others have suggested, I would recommend swimming. A stationary bike would be helpful for cardio, but lacking in core strengthening. Have you attempted a jogging regimen? If you're younger and have an annular tear, it may lead to worsened discogenic pain, otherwise I would give it a try. The benefits will take some time. Last, I would definitely do Pilates and/or Yoga. Your primary goal is to get your core strength increased to create a reduction of pressure on the discs (which Yoga and Pilates will do). Obviously, there are certain moves with these that common sense would tell you to avoid. Last, McKenzie exercises are specific for increasing core strength for low back pain. Don't do them if you have substantial stenosis or a spondylolisthesis, however.
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