View Full Version : Disc Injury - Death Sentence, Please Help!

Graham Dean
11-17-2004, 08:41 AM
Hi there

I have just been given a death sentence and I am hoping that it may not be as bad as what I have been told.

Basically I sustained a disc injury to my low back while back squatting in July 04. I stopped training straight away hoping it would sort itself out.
After 1month of not really training, I was SO depressed as I hadn't been able to train but yet my back was no better. The thing is that I am an athletic performance coach and so was doing some type of movement showing my clients exercises but with VERY little weight.

By the way, I don't blame the squat as an exercise for my injury, I was feeling as though I was REALLY week in the squat so I wanted to make myself feel better by lifting some heavier iron but my ego and stupidity got the better of me and in the end it was more of a falling backward goodmorning.

Anyway I went to see a physiotherapist and a sports physician and it got a little better on a diet of no weight training and back stabilisation and anti-inflammatories.
But still EVERY morning I would wake up with low level pain in my LB and it still continues to this day(although now it is worse again).
I was evetually told I could get back into training but with very light loads - "YES!! THANK YOU" I shouted in my head. But it has gotten worse since resuming training with light weights about a month ago.

So I have just returned from another trip to my sports physician and it is not good news. Now just quickly to explain something ... I am 23 years old and I LOVE STRENGTH TRAINING! I love squats, deads, cleans, snatches, etc. And I want to be STRONG - AS STRONG AS I CAN POTENTIALLY BE! This is a MASSIVE part of my life, it aint just a hobby, I have now made this into my career I train athletes 4 performance. But I have just been told that I have to do 3 - 4 months of back stabilisation(which I don't mind doing if it will allow me to get back to lifting heavy iron) but the doc said even then I may never really be able to train heavily on squats, deads, etc again!

Now that is problematic. Please help. Have you ever had a disc injury and returned from it without surgery to being able to squat and dead and clean + Jerk, etc.
PLEASE tell me about it and how you did it because I am feeling like my world has just caved in and that does not feel good.

I have had no symptoms in my legs or feet so the seepage of disc fluid hasn't come through the whole disc to the nerves.

Now I do know that most of these people(the doc + biokineticist I'm seeing tomorrow) do not lift iron and that they actually look down on people who do as ironheads beijng stupid injuring themselves without science. So I don't expect them to understand how I feel. But I am sure that hopefully some of you are well informed regarding strength training and back injury and can give me some hope that this indeed is not a life sentence of sissy machine training in my future and pilates without ever again hitting the heavy iron with some big moves.

Sorry for the long post but I AM DESPERATE and I need to hear soe good news(I hope there is some).

Regards a depressed iron lifter-for-life.
Graham Dean, SA.
www.dominateathletic.com (http://www.dominateathletic.com)

Lincoln Brigham
11-17-2004, 10:48 AM
but the doc said even then I may never really be able to train heavily on squats, deads, etc again!

Doctors are instructed to say that about everybody, healthy people included.

I would recommend getting Paul Chek's "Scientific Back Training" video series. 5 tapes and he covers a lot of rehab territory. Some great info.

Back injuries can take a while, so you'll need patience for sure.

Mike Minium
11-17-2004, 10:54 AM

Hopefully Dave Werner, Lynne Pitts, and others will jump in here. Until then, though, there are a number of threads where this has been discussed. The search function on this board is an invaluable tool.

This thread is probably the best of the bunch, in my very humble opinion:


Pay special attention to the posts by Dave, Patrick, Lynne et al.


Graham Dean
11-17-2004, 02:32 PM
Hey Lincoln + Mike

Thank you guys SO much for your replies and input. Lincoln, I will look into getting the Paul Chek course, I just need to do I suppose. I have wanted to study those in the past anyway(Scientific Core + Back Training) so I must do it.

Mike, ja thanks for that link hey. I didn't even know that there was an injuries board on this forum so I will definitely some more specific searches to find some more solid info and hopefully encouragement.

Thanks again guys and if anyone else has anything to contribute please do.

www.dominateathletic.com (http://www.dominateathletic.com)

Brian Hand
11-17-2004, 03:39 PM
Graham, you got plenty of good advice above, plus it sounds like you have a doctor and therapist on the job, plus you have the background to sort through this yourself. Is this by any chance your first time working through an injury? If so you'll see, it often seems so much worse than it is. Of course the doom and gloom stuff from the doctor doesn't help there but that's what they do. (Doctors want us all to eat plenty of fiber and use our bodies as little as possbile, *just in case*)

Use the search function or even just browse through the injuries section, you'll find tons of info.

Graham Dean
11-18-2004, 12:57 PM
Hi Brian

Ja, it is my first "major" injury that could potentially cut short my lifting and coaching career. So it is big and scary, in that I have studied this stuff for 4 years but only in the past year have I really dug into proper training and so am very new at this, so get a message from my doc to say "maybe never again" was HECTIC and very saddening.

But thankfully to all you guys and all the other injury posts and emails have helped me a LOT to see that the doc is knowledgable - yes, but in a different way and he has different priorities than seeing me get back into full-on, hardcore, multijoint, real, athletic exercising.

So I am already feeling a lot better - I do apologise for my over-reaction but at the time those were my very real emotions and I am not going to deny that.

Okay Brian.

Have a good day man.

Graham Dean.
www.dominateathletic.com (http://www.dominateathletic.com)

PS: I can already see the lessons I can and already have(believe it or not) learn from this experience that will most certainly make me a better performance coach who knows about the reality of injuries, etc. So if I divorce myself from where I am right now and just go have a look at the biiger picture I think that once I have fully recovered I will be in a better place than I was before the injury.

Brian Hand
11-18-2004, 01:19 PM
Graham, please, don't apologize! I've been there and I remember clear as a bell how stressful the whole thing was. It is no small matter! But a little perspective makes all the difference.

I'm sure you're right that you'll be a better coach for it - before long you'll be putting things into perspective for one of the athletes you work with. Now all you have to do is heal up and get back in the game.

Graham Dean
11-22-2004, 01:14 PM
Thanks a lot Brian. I appreciate the encouragement. You and all the other poster's have been fantastic!

www.dominateathletic.com (http://www.dominateathletic.com)

Joe Burks
11-26-2004, 10:57 PM
Read this, look for Press Ups for Back Pain