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Old 06-29-2013, 11:45 AM   #1
Aaron Frank
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Bulging Disc

At a WOD this past Monday that involved squat cleans, I felt severe pain on my second-to-last rep. After a visit to the doctor and an MRI it turns out I have a bulging disc at L4-L5. The prescribed care is rest and physical therapy (which starts next week).

Has anyone else dealt with a bulging disc, and what was the recovery like? How long were you out of crossfit? Has this been an ongoing problem for you, or once you recover is it a non-issue?

I plan on talking with the physical therapist and jumping back into whatever type of WODs I can as soon as possible. I've also read about the Foundation Training method as a way to recover from, and prevent future, back problems. Anyone ever tried this?

Thanks.
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Old 06-29-2013, 12:08 PM   #2
Brian Strump
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Re: Bulging Disc

If it's a bulging and NOT herniated disc, I'd estimate that at least 1/3 of the population have one or more in their spine at some level. Getting rid of your pain, and continuing with proper rehab would be recommended. And it looks like that is the route you're going.

Good luck!

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Originally Posted by Aaron Frank View Post
At a WOD this past Monday that involved squat cleans, I felt severe pain on my second-to-last rep. After a visit to the doctor and an MRI it turns out I have a bulging disc at L4-L5. The prescribed care is rest and physical therapy (which starts next week).

Has anyone else dealt with a bulging disc, and what was the recovery like? How long were you out of crossfit? Has this been an ongoing problem for you, or once you recover is it a non-issue?

I plan on talking with the physical therapist and jumping back into whatever type of WODs I can as soon as possible. I've also read about the Foundation Training method as a way to recover from, and prevent future, back problems. Anyone ever tried this?

Thanks.
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Old 06-29-2013, 12:42 PM   #3
Aaron Frank
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Re: Bulging Disc

Thanks, and yes it is bulging and not herniated. Hurt like crazy when it happened, and right now it's ongoing dull pain and stiffness.
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Old 06-29-2013, 06:39 PM   #4
Peter Voelz
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Re: Bulging Disc

I think I had ruptured/herniated disks in the L4-L5 back when I was playing college tennis. Never had pain but my left leg would feel numb and lost a lot of strength, to the point where it completely gave out on me one day during practice. Had surgery on it and was out for 3-4 months. Came back and was pretty much 100% except for occasional stiffness, especially when I'd stay in bed too long. However, it seems that once I started CrossFit and found a workout routine that kept me interested, my gains in strength and mobility have reduced any weakness/stiffness I had. I'm still to this day not very flexible but don't have any back issues. I can do heavy squats and deadlifts with no issues.

My wife on the other hand hurt her back 7 years ago and has a bulging disk. Never had anything done to it and she still suffers daily from back pain. Her surgery option would have left her severely less mobile and she wasn't willing to give up her mobility being an athletic person. She struggles with burpees and other movements that work the core/lower back. I'm hoping to get her on some type of strength training program soon.
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Old 06-30-2013, 04:12 AM   #5
Jeff Sprunger
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Re: Bulging Disc

I had a couple bulging disc after my last deployment (FYI...body armor is heavy) anyway. I searched and searched for a cure and finally ran across a stretch that seemed to help. it is called the McKenzie stretch, found it on Youtube. the guy recommended that I start off slow, but continuous. I actually set the timer on my watch to 30 minutes and spent one Saturday doing this stretch everytime my watch beeped. I looked pretty silly dropping down during a BBQ we were having, but, hey...it worked. the next day, my back felt 100% better. give it a shot... and then, I recommend you go to MobilityWOD.com and search for low back pain. I used a hard baseball to mash the crap out of my lower back and continue to do so almost daily. but, I think the biggest thing that has helped my back is deadlifts. after I could walk again, I started deadlifting consistently, which strengthen my back considerably, now, no back pain. I continue to maintain with a lacrosse ball and foam roller...
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:29 AM   #6
Aaron Frank
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Re: Bulging Disc

Thanks. I have read about the McKenzie protocol and plan on easing into that today.
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