View Full Version : Herniated Disc

Matt Toupalik
12-21-2004, 11:54 AM
I was just diagnosed as having a herniated disc in the L4-L5 region and was told that once recovered, I should abstain from lifting weights over 50 pounds.I was told this is because of the extra loading it puts on the discs.My question, to those that may have been diagnosed with a similar injury, is how do other Crossfit exercises affect your back?Would things like burpees, box jumps and running put as much (or more) pressure on the discs as weight lifting does?My doctor is a GP and was very vague when I asked him this question.

I'm in the process of contacting a rehab specialist, but would like to get the opinion of those here.Anybody have any input that could help me out?Thanks.

Tyler Hass
12-21-2004, 12:51 PM
I was told once that I had spondylolysthesis after I had a back injury. They told me that I should never lift weights again and that I should quit playing tennis. Looking at the same X-rays as the doc, I could not see anything.
What I did was keep lifting weights and get my back strong. I have not had back pain since, except for minor soreness. But soreness and injury are definitely not the same thing.
I would definitely check with a specialist and you might also pick up a copy of John Sarno, M.D.'s book, Healing Back Pain or the Mindbody Prescription. They are both helpful.
Once your back has healed up and you have found a doctor that will give you the go-ahead, start lifting weights again VERY carefully. Make small progressions and stay well within your limits.


Brian Gibson
12-21-2004, 01:02 PM
Best wishes Matt.

Brian Hand
12-21-2004, 01:07 PM
Matt, this comes up a lot, mine the archives with the search engine. Here is a recent thread:


I think seeing a rehab therapist is a great idea, doesn't sound like the care from the GP was adequate.

David Werner
12-21-2004, 01:53 PM

The doctors are wrong. It's very important now for you to stay strong, please read this whole thread.


Since writing that my progress has continued, we've helped numerous other people, and my conviction is even more emphatic. Not only is strength training not bad for your condition - it is the only way you will be able to keep your back reasonably functional.

Dave Werner
Crossfit north

Matt Toupalik
12-22-2004, 07:11 AM
Thanks a lot, guys.I really appreciate the help and support.Looking forward to getting back into the Crossfit lifestyle.

William Hunter
12-30-2004, 05:29 PM
I know it's a week after the fact, but I'll add my two cents. I had a badly herniated disk with sciatic pain 16 years ago (19 at the time, 35 now) and it plagued me for 2 years. Once it was fixed (Chiro and REHAB) it has never really flared up. On recent X-Ray, I have almost no disk left because of the degeneration. I have no pain, and I'm convinced it's because of lifting weights and performing back extensions.

BTW, no offense to any GPs out there, but they are not back pain specialists. Their plate is full with diabetes, high blood pressure etc. Find someone who knows rehab and is not afraid to put you through your paces. Not only will you recover physically, but you'll prove to yourself that you can still do what you want.

Steven Stackpole
01-03-2005, 07:26 PM
Hey Matt
Just one more fella agreeing with all the others here. I had my back operated on just over a year ago. I also had a herniated disc in the same area as you. Since the operation, things have been great. Seriously the only thing that bothers me is burpees. Could be that I'm trying to do them too fast, or just have bad style. Since my back op, all I do is use a little common sense. Its your back, you only get one

Matt Toupalik
01-06-2005, 09:21 AM
Thanks again guys.I really appreciate the feedback.I'm still waiting out the 6-week recovery period the doctor suggested, doing mostly core work and hiking in the mountains here in Phoenix, and my low back has felt better and better.Minor soreness has been the only symptom I have experienced the past two weeks and even that has been rare.I'm looking forward to getting back into training and everyone's comments here have kept me in a positive frame of mind.Thank you.