I was wondering if there's anyone who has recovered from a herniated disc in their lower back and has resumed a running lifestyle without any further recurrances.
I am 30 yrs old, 5'11'', 193lbs and (was) very active all my life (HS sports, skiing, lifting, running, biking, swimming, etc). I was diagnosed with a central/lateral herniated L5/S1 disc with severe neural impingment. Anyone with this problem knows the sciatic pain and numbness associated with it. Since my diagnoses, I have had 2 Epidural Steriod injections and have undergone decompression therapy to try to rehab the disc over the last 6 weeks. Since, I have regained considerable strength and feeling back in my left leg but my flexibility in my hip is still presents an issue. I have resumed swimming, some lifting and eliptycal work to at least get back some of what I lost.
I guess my basic question remains: is there anyone who has had this condition similar to mine and has recovered (non-surgically) to resume their normal previous active lifestyle? I look forward to any responses; thanks...
There is hope
I suffered for one year with same situation and until I had a great physical therapist and I did alot of abdominal strength exercises I was not able to run. I started with a walk/run program, biked and swam. Now it has been about 9 years since I was dx with low back herniated disk and I have ran several marathons and finished many triathlons including half ironmans!!!
keep up the strength work and get into it slowly...run/walk at first (6min run 1min walk...)
I know you said non-surgical, but don't rule it completely out. I am a Special Forces soldier and also had problems with the L5/S-1 I tried all minus surgery for close to 2 yrs and finally decided to go forth with surgery. I was 98% recovered the first time and then it happened again 6 months later since I pushed myself to hard. I then had surgery again and now for the last 4 yrs since surgery I have been fully operationalin my job and as far as running is concerned I have been at 98%. Occasionally on long runs 10+ miles I will be sore but recover nicely. I am 41 ys old and run easy 6.30 paced miles. Do try everything prior to surgery but again don't rule it out if the pain is continuing you might want to have surgery remember it will just be more difficult to recover from if you have the surgery later as you will be older and complication risks will be greater.
Hello! I too had surgery on my L5/S1 in August. I have been told by my PT never to run again. However, my job requires it. For those of you that took the risk and ran, how did you proceed? What was your running regimine and how long did it take you to get back in shape? What core exercise have you relied on in your daily routine? Do you know of anyone that ran and herniated the disc again??? Obviously this issue is weighing very heavy on my mind! Thanks for any input!
I'd like to cast another vote in the "don't rule out surgery" category. I suffered a herniated L4/L5 and a bulging L5/S1 about 9-10 years ago at age 30, and lived with quite a bit of pain for about a year before the diagnosis was finally made and I was referred to a neurosurgeon. I decided to have surgery at the time because my wife was pregnant with our first child, and it was difficult to picture me holding the baby when I could not even lift so much as a cup of coffee without pain and numbness down my left leg. I've done reasonably well after surgery, and found that I manage to stay relatively pain free as long as I keep my weight under 150 lbs. I've only started to run about a year ago, and my back has held up very well through 3 marathons and 40-50 mile weeks this year. The risks of surgery is usually much less when you are younger and when the injury is more recent, i.e., before scar tissue starts forming to make surgery more difficult. Core strengthening exercises also help tremendously. Good luck.
what are your exact symptoms?
A person can have a heriniated disc and still have other problems that have more to do with the pain. Studies show that about 50% of the -pain free- population have non symptomatic disc problems on MRI. Always question a disc diagnosis and definately seek alternative care. Another study watched a surgical group and a nonsurgical group and found that the surgical group did no better over a 5 year period.
Two other very common causes for sciatic pain are; Pelvic segmental dysfunction--needs chiropractic care:and, priformis syndrome-physical therapy or chiropractic:
another less common but definate cause is iliopsoas imbalence-again physical therapy or chiropractic care.
All of these will be aggravated by most styles of situp and straight leg raise.
I had lower back surgery 24 years ago. Never ran a step prior to the operation. Since then, I have run over 30,000 miles including 12 marathons. While I would recommend avoiding surgery, I can say that it radically changed my life forever. If other treatments don't fix the problem, by all means have the surgery. You will come back.
I herniated L5/S1 back in 1984 while playing Volleyball. I had the epideral shots, etc. They told me I was one of the very first to have that procedure. Anyway, it did not seem to do much right away. I came home from school, and saw a Chiropractor. I went nearly daily for 1 month, then 3 times a week for the next month, and backed it off over the next 2 years. They both want to say the "fixed" me, but I really don't know. All I do know is I was back playing and FULL activity, but it took 9 months or so from when I first had it. The Dr. for the SD Chargers "Dr. Losi" told me to NEVER get heavy, as this will change the curve of your lower back, and that means problems. Over the years, whenever I don't workout, and gain a few Lbs, I get some minor problems. I would suggest a "good" chiro, but be carefull, there's a lot a QUACKS out there. The best I felt is when they combine it with a good message. You also must LOSE some weight. You are too heavy for your height. THAT is a big issue. Just a few pounds, like 5-10 and that makes me feel pain...Be patient....it takes time to let those nerves calm down. Concentrate on hamstrings and abdominals. This new CORE strength stuff is also VERY good, if you can do it. GOOD LUCK and YES, there is a good chance of FULL recovery. One last thing, check out the POSE running method stuff. I recently completed a running class teaching this, and I now run pain free!
As for exact symptoms; started with tight, pinching pain in my lower back and after a few Chiro visits, I started getting nagging pain in the back of my left hip. Shortly after that, I started getting stabbing, shooting pain in my left hamstring, the back left of my knee and my the left side of my lower left leg.
Within several weeks I developed numbness in the three left toes on my left foot and my lower left leg at which time I could only relieve the shooting pains by lying on my stomach or standing (I could not sit). And going from a prone position to standing brought on the worst of it.
As for other symptoms, range of motion in my lower back, left hip and hamstring coupled with weakness and muscle loss in my left leg with the pain and numbness is was clear my diagnoses was correct.
In addition, after the MRI, even when I got out of the machine, they let me look on the computer screen and view the herniation - I could actually see the sciatic nerve being pushed out of the way by the bulging annulus and nucleus pupolsis.
Thanks for your thoughts though...
I am a 34 year old female with 3 kids who suffered with back pain for 10 years. After years of various treatments, I went to a chiropractor who after several adjustments with no improvements suggested a spine surgeon. I had a fusion on 8/28/03 on L4/L5, & S1. I now have 2 cages, 2 rods, and 7 screws. The new surgery involved going in through the stomach for a faster recovery. I was driving 1 1/2 weeks after surgery and returned to work with no restrictions 3 months later. I started running for the 1st time in my life 11 months after surgery and have since completed 3 5k's and 1 5mile. I run 3-5miles a day, 6 days a week with no back pain. Surgery was the best thing that I ever did!
I had this surgery done a month and a half ago ,i felt wonderful for 2 weeks, i even went with out pain pills then i went to the Doc.and now i am starting to feel pain where i use to have before the op is this normal can anyone relate
Murkey, I ran pain free for several months after surgery and then I had the exact type of pain I had before surgery. I went back to my surgeon and he said that I tore the scar tissue off of the screw heads. He gave me a cortisone shot and I had to take 6 weeks off from running, but I haven't had any problems since. That's been almost 2 1/2 years ago. I had achilles surgery 4 months ago and all was going great. I even did a 5k race 13 weeks after surgery and a week ago, I started having the same pain and the ortho said I tore the scar tissue in my ankle. If it is scar tissue, ask if there is a massage therapist in your area that does ART (active release technique), I started treatment today and even though it's very painful, it's supposed to break up the scar tissue. Good luck!
Lower back herniated disc is pretty easily fixed these days. Not, leads to nasty loss of feeling and eventually ability/strength of legs and even arms due to nerve damage. At least that was my experience. I had to have the surgery years ago when it was much more invasive than now - I can't imagine life without! Recover - follow MD directions - stay fit and continue your life of running, tennis, etc., for years. I did have one "relapse" about 10 years ago - possibly precipitated by maternity? Small frame - BIG baby!?? But it was handled non-surgically by a terrific ortho- ice 5-6 times daily and daily swimming to re-strengthen those lower muscles. It also involved some scar tissue build-up I think but has never really been a problem since. My brother, also very active recently had similar problem and was back in action in a reasonable time after surgery. Claims it the best thing he ever did. I continue to run, play tennis, work out, and whatever else I wish. Good luck.
I am 59 and had spinal fusion in 2000, pain and diminished running have been the general rule. i just
got a new drug, Lyrica and I am pain free for the 1st
time in 11 years. it is terrific, i am running and will have logged 40+ miles this month, it's not like the 40+
i used to run weekly, it's a start!
don't give up and explore all avenues, the surgery is much easier now and they are using artifical discs now instead of titanium cages, also find a md that will operate from the front, that way all of your back muscles will be spared the trauma.
ACTIVE is the leader in online event registrations from 5k running races and marathons to softball leagues and local events. ACTIVE also makes it easy to learn and prepare for all the things you love to do with expert resources, training plans and fitness calculators.