CrossFit Discussion Board

CrossFit Discussion Board (
-   Injuries (
-   -   Herniated Disc at L4-L5...need help! (

Rob Young 05-19-2009 06:59 AM

Herniated Disc at L4-L5...need help!
Hello All,

I am writting this to the best community on the planet with the hopes of getting some helpful info. This past weekend while doing "Diane" I heard a loud pop in my back which subsequently landed me unable to move due to the pain and in the hospital! After numerous tests (CT, MRI, etc.)it was determined to be herniated disc at L4-L5.

I have been suffering from back pain for some time now and it has always appeared to rear its ugly head during deadlifts. Now I know my technique sucks due to this wicked tightness I have always had in my back. Needless to say I have been to a Level 1 and try to correct myself, but since I am training at a globo, I dont really have those "eyes" on me to get things right each time I train.

Now I lay stuck up in bed and want to make sure this never happens again. Where do I go from here. Is it possible to hit these WODS with 100% intensity with herniations in the back? Is it advisable?

Does anyone out there have any experience with this...please advise... cause this feeling SUCKS!

Steven Low 05-19-2009 11:30 AM

Re: Herniated Disc at L4-L5...need help!
Well, after it heals obviously you're gonna have to start back light with very very very very strict form.

It's possible to lift with herniations (depending on the individual and the pain levels), but one wrong mistake and you can get sent back into the stone ages with pain.

Right now make sure you're massaging/icing to help get the swelling down

Jason Sweeney 05-19-2009 12:27 PM

Re: Herniated Disc at L4-L5...need help!
My thought is: What's the point? I too sit here with a numb right foot for the past three weeks due to a "soft" disc in my back at L4-5. These things creep up over years and then you have a culminating event that puts the nerves into play. Luckily, I did not truly herniate mine, but when I woke up with the parasthesia it was right after doing deadlifts.

Deadlifts can be a very dangerous exercise, for some more than others. Some people just have long levers that puts them at higher risk, even with decent form. Me personally, I am just not going to do deadlifts anymore. My little injury is going to take 6-10 weeks to recover from (as a pain doc I treat alot of people who have symptoms for years). Why should I ever do them again and take the risk?

I was doing crossfit to gain fitness. What fitness are you gaining if you gain two steps and then have to wait for an injury to recover over and over again.
Its a personal choice. I think I can gain better fitness without them.

Things that have the potential to help: 1. Look up McKenzie exercises or buy his $10 book....great for posterior disks. 2. Find out what a multifidus is and how to strengthen it- ie. bird dog exercise 3. Strengthen core without alot of spinal flexion- look up McGills big three exercises- curl up, bridges, bird dog. 4. For a while (weeks) avoid spinal flexion- let yourself heal. Do alot of spinal extension (laying prone doing things). Avoid sitting as much as possible and sit with a lordosis when you have to.

Anyway, just my 2 cents. Measure your recovery in weeks. You won't feel like you are getting better if you go day by day. If you look back a week or two, you can say "yeah I am better than then." Good luck! I know how frustrating it can be. I have really had to focus on the non physical aspects of my helps.

Edited to add: Many people come back from herniations and deadlift just fine. I am not saying its not advisable. Just for me personally its not worth it. I'm not trying to make the NFL here.

Steven Low 05-19-2009 01:20 PM

Re: Herniated Disc at L4-L5...need help!
Nice post Jason...

It's true that you don't have to lift heavy weights to be at least fairly fit and strong... all depends on what the person wants to do and weighing those risks.

Mike Mallory 05-19-2009 02:00 PM

Re: Herniated Disc at L4-L5...need help!
I'd find a CHEK practitioner, they're trained to deal with that effectively....

And as said above, Robin Mckenzie's book is a good one to help get you out of immediate pain, but I would definitely hire a professional, there's a lot of things that need to be done when you blow a disc

Lou Cabales 05-19-2009 06:20 PM

Re: Herniated Disc at L4-L5...need help!
from a chek web site
"By combining the knowledge of orthopedics, exercise prescription, performance conditioning and alternative healthcare modalities we provide a holistic, integrative perspective that helps you attain all your wellness, health and fitness goals."

im sold, i've been looking for information on program with these philosophies


ok i've had back injury L4-L5 L5-S1 some level of herniation (per MD), not sure exact locale but symptomatically similar. they suck i hope i never injure again. and yes it was with dead lift.

i didn't have insurance, could not afford mri/ct. spoke to alot of people about injury including MD. it came down to 2 primary approaches to rehab. 1. surgical 2.nonsurgical. the way i saw it, I decided to exhaust all the non-sugical remedies/rehab and as last recourse medical surgical procedure. which brought me to this


while depending on severity of spinal complication may or may not be indicated. i thought i'd try anything prior to med/surgical interventions.
i pretty much followed directions with the exception of an longer period of RIC(E)/ rest.

it also reaffirms my theory that many back pain issues can be cleared up by strengthening and balancing supporting muscles of back.

i hurt back with 225 basically warm up weight, recently broke 400 (finally)

im not trying to give false assurance but often "herniation" can sound worse that it really is. its broad term used to describe many spinal issues (some minor). what is important is your symptoms and MD exam results. (and if possible second opinion from sports minded medical provider.)

hopefully its the minor kind but in the mean time while resting, its a good time to review videos on form (the rip' and starrett ones come to mind) and reinforcing in your head (visualizing) PERFECT FORM 100% of time.

Michael V. Erickson 05-19-2009 06:30 PM

Re: Herniated Disc at L4-L5...need help!
FWIW: I have a 6mm L3-4 disk protrusion from a DL mishap about 2 months ago. Very helpful: MacKensie "press-ups", the bird dog, supermans, advil during the day, ice, aleve at night. I use a "stability cushion" to help sit up straight and maintain lordosis in lower back when at work. I do knees to elbows (the decompression feels good), push-ups and pull-ups and walk at least 2 miles everyday. A little discomfort is okay, I stop when the pain begins. I hope to get back to CF sometime in July. I miss the crew at Diablo. I'm going to learn DL's again from the very beginning under the watchful eye of the DCF trainers. I was at home not paying attention, not a good idea to lose your concentration before the workout is over. Better to have someone yelling at you. Nothing less than absolute perfect form in DL's is acceptable.

Rob Young 05-21-2009 11:04 AM

Re: Herniated Disc at L4-L5...need help!
Thank you everyone for the great input!

Once the pain subsitdes I will try some McKenzie exercises on a daily basis. I actually used to work with a CHEK practitioner to help resolve some other issues I was having with my knee. He was amazing at helping me get through the issues. I think I will need to give him a buzz and go back. I think it will be a great place to start.

I am also going to switch my neuro to a more "athletic" minded doc. Hearing that I need to stop training at 31 years old just sounds ridiculous to me!


Thanks again!!!

Mike Mallory 05-21-2009 03:19 PM

Re: Herniated Disc at L4-L5...need help!
start the mckenzie press ups right now! don't wait for pain to subside-

Greg Gartland 05-22-2009 05:35 AM

Re: Herniated Disc at L4-L5...need help!
I am near full recovery from a disc herniation through the help of a CHEK practitioner. They really know what they are doing on disc rehab.

Mike: I ended up working with Kyle Shay at Karen's clinic. He's been great. Thanks again for the referral.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:39 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit Inc.