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Old 07-22-2009, 12:04 PM   #1
Jamie Robb
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Question 26/f 2 bulging discs- L4/L5 L5/S1, questions about what to do!?

Hi there, if there is already a thread of this, I apologize, i'm new here. I've been doing CF since April. B/f I was just a marathon runner, and had little core strength. Anyways, 2 months ago, in May, I had Sciatic nerve pain, and and FINALLY after being in pain a lot, my left foot going numb, and now my entire back aching, they gave me (insurance) an MRI and told me I have: Disc Bulge in L4/L5 and in L5/S1. They also said I have spinal stenosis in those disc and degenerative disc disease.
Here is the issue: the only thing lately that makes me NOT in pain- is working out. I don't do any heavy weights and I'm not running. I walk for 30 mins with 5 pound dumb bells as well as doing the body weight wods (i.e. cindy, angie, and modify other ones as well). Should I stop doing body weight stuff and just walk? The thing is this- it NEVER hurts while I work out. my back is aching all through the night and in the morning but working out feels good. I'm worried it's just my endorphins tricking me or perhaps I should keep working out. I have had insurance and have had little success is getting straight answers. I love CF and can't imagine having to quit. Any advice would be greatly greatly appreciated!!!!!

Sincerely,

Jamie
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Old 07-22-2009, 12:44 PM   #2
Mike Mallory
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Re: 26/f 2 bulging discs- L4/L5 L5/S1, questions about what to do!?

Usually, bulging discs aren't the 'pain generator' in these types of situations....

They say that 70% of the population has a bulging disc, and most are asymptomatic.

Sciatic nerve pain can be from a LOT of different things; SI joint instability/misalignment....bulging discs....glute atrophy....piriformis tension...spinal stenosis....etc.

Given that there is stenosis present, that typically means that there is big instability in that particular area. Laying down bone is the body's way of bringing stability back to the area.

Crossfit is safe, provided it's within your limits......But it won't necessarily bring back segmental stability that you need to keep those segments from freezing up. I would get assessed by CHEK practitioner, then you can know your limits as far as crossfit goes.

good luck
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Old 07-22-2009, 06:10 PM   #3
Steven Low
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Re: 26/f 2 bulging discs- L4/L5 L5/S1, questions about what to do!?

Are you a heel toe runner? May be a cause of your problems...

But yea what Mike said.
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Old 07-22-2009, 09:18 PM   #4
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: 26/f 2 bulging discs- L4/L5 L5/S1, questions about what to do!?

Jamie, does the WL hurt your back or have you ever tried.

Perhaps the BW workouts loosen your body up which makes it feel better and when they get all tight again it's hell.
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Old 07-23-2009, 04:20 AM   #5
Ken Mullins
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Re: 26/f 2 bulging discs- L4/L5 L5/S1, questions about what to do!?

I feel your pain two back surgeries eventually had to get artificial disc. Here is what almost worked for me. The reason the almost I just ruptured my plantar fascia now I am down again. First thing is diet review what you eat some foods just are not good because of what they do. Second physical therapy with a crazy emphasis on core development. Third Cardio equals swim, row, and bike like you are training to go to war. Back pain is very difficult mentally as well my wife worries about me doing anything because the artificial disc in my back could break. Lastly, smarting up on basic things like getting out of bed properly not opening up those disc spaces to allow for slippage. I hope this helps.
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Old 07-24-2009, 12:59 PM   #6
Jamie Robb
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Re: 26/f 2 bulging discs- L4/L5 L5/S1, questions about what to do!?

Thanks everyone!

It's so annoying b/c as soon as my entire back doesn't hurt, then my nerves act up. Apparently, the L4/L5 disc is sitting of nerve route 4? so my left leg feels like a rubber band. I walk to loosen up my back, which works so well and then my back feels better, but then my left leg gets SUPER tight and weird and I have all these nerves that feels like electricity as well as a rubber band.

heal toe running- that's a great point, but actually I do pose running and have for about a year so i'm pretty sure I hurt it while first trying to do the 'snatch' b/c the day after- my left leg was numb. I may be wrong but I think that's what happened.

Having terrible insurance just makes everything worse. Unless I am dyeing, nothing is an emergency and therefore I have to now wait 30 days for the cortisone shots- and I finally have an apt. with my primary care doc. in about 2 weeks where i'm going to demand to see a neurologist which will probably take me an additional month. No offense is anyone likes them... but to me, Kaiser Permanente is the devil.

this forum is wonderful- I felt sort of alone b/f b/c a lot of people, esp. if they are not athletes, don't seem to understand how frustrating and... to be honest, depressing an injury can be. it's nice to have people to relate to. hope everyone has a great weekend.
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Old 07-24-2009, 01:02 PM   #7
Jamie Robb
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Re: 26/f 2 bulging discs- L4/L5 L5/S1, questions about what to do!?

Ken- does the swimming upset your back? I was swimming about a mile 4-5 times a week but my left leg got so numb that my PT told me it wasn't good for my disc issues. I think everyone is told different things. thanks for the advice!
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Old 07-25-2009, 05:24 AM   #8
Ken Mullins
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Re: 26/f 2 bulging discs- L4/L5 L5/S1, questions about what to do!?

No problems with the swim the artificial disc was a life saver but the recovery was almost a year. Maybe start your swim on your back finning with a concentration on your core muscle to help the disc slide back into place. My advice to everyone on cortisone is it is like fix a flat good short term. Take it easy Jamie the mental portion is the hardest do not get down you are young enough to recovery. I am thankful for the care I got and the amazing doctor that helped me. Now if i can get my foot healed I can get back to sweating!
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Old 07-30-2009, 06:12 PM   #9
Mike Romano
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Re: 26/f 2 bulging discs- L4/L5 L5/S1, questions about what to do!?

thought i might join the conversation. I've had disc problems (L4/L5 herniation) for the past year, with stenosis. Like you, exercise makes my discs feel great, and sitting makes them KILL. No clue why....maybe the endorphins? I am doing low intensity running, dead hang pull-ups, and dips right now to try and let it recover, but we will see what ends up happening. here is my log:

http://www.board.crossfit.com/showth...682#post632682 w/fs

post any questions you may have about disc problems, etc. Mackenzie exercises are a lifesaver, as are massages. Listen to your body. eat a low inflammatory diet. cortisone shots DO WORK for a lot of people, and I wouldn't be afraid of giving those a shot. sometimes, the pain doesn't return. Just ordered stuart macgill's book on back performance, and am looking forward on implementing that into my programming. good luck! Sleep well! STAY POSITIVE!
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Old 07-30-2009, 08:51 PM   #10
Michael V. Erickson
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Re: 26/f 2 bulging discs- L4/L5 L5/S1, questions about what to do!?

I have the same problem. Sciatica pain for the last four months due to an L4-5 disk protrusion pressing on the left nerve root. MacKenzie and other exercises were helpful but I haven't been able to do much else except walking. Got the cortisone shot a week ago and it's helping a whole lot. Big relief. Now have to concentrate on educating myself. Found this Stuart McGill interview [W/F/S]:

http://www.sportsrehabexpert.com/public/195.cfm?sd=2

Some great pictures/videos/descriptions of exercises.

My sympathies to anyone with this problem but it appears a lot of people have overcome this and achieved athletic success.
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