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Old 02-02-2007, 11:20 AM   #1
Josh Briggs
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Canmore  AB
Posts: 56
I have a severely herniated L5/S1 disk, as well as mildly & moderately protruding L4/5 and L3/4 disks. Clinical findings correlate well with the MRI results, and I have had an epidural cortisone nerve root block at the S1 level, which has allowed me to return to a moderate level of activity (ie. swimming & walking).

I've got a referal to a neurosurgeon clinic in 2 weeks (a rather unique setting where one is initially seen and triaged by a physio), and everyone who has looked at me so far (2 physios, and 1 general surgeon who works with prolotherapy in backs) has had the reaction... "you need to see that neurosurgeon."

All of that, attempting to illustrate that I am neither faking, nor whining.

So far, in concurance with the physios advice, activity has been:

Swimming (.5 - 1 hr / day)
Walking (1 - 3 hrs / day)

Things I have been told to avoid are:

Anything that increases intra-abdominal pressure... so variations on planking, and general ab-stabilization work that I was doing to start with got taken out.

Anything with extra load... so that eliminates anything with a weight on my back.

I've generally been given the go-ahead for BW squat & 1 leg squat variations, which I have been doing with a ball against the wall, to prevent ANY forward flexion.

Streching I am working with cautiously, as I notice a large flexibility assymetry from L to R sides, primarily in Glute and Hamstring, and as the ability of my pelvis to rotate forward, and absorb motion / load (ie. hamstring flexibility) is a causative factor in my case, I dont' want to exacerbate this aspect of the problem by allowing the muscles to tighten further. I relize the nerve irritation danger of stretching in this area, though, so have been trying to be cautious about that.

So, any thoughts on anything else I can do to promote muscle firing, flexibility, and strenght on my L side, as well as ativities I can use to prevent other areas from atrophy'ing... WITHOUT compromising the nerve healing?

I've experimented a little with standing stationary biking (I can't sit), and pullups and dips, all with a concentration on keeping the core relaxed, but it's hard to say whether they have been helpful or harmful, given the delayed feed-back nature of the injury.

I know some have sung the praises of light swings, which I haven't tried... as they seemed a little aggressive at this point.

PS. As an aside, I would strongly recommend (at least for those in the Canadian medical system) anyone in a similar situation to buck up the $800 for the MRI... granted, most of the assymptomatic population has bulging disks too, but for those who know their bodies pretty well, and "know" that something is seriously amiss, and positive correlation between MRI results and symptoms makes things happen alot quicker, as it shows the medical profession that you aren't simply whining.
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