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Or, you could read Dr. Sarno's book (The MindBody Prescription), or Dr. Marc Sopher's (To Be Or Not to Be....Pain Free), or confer with one of the handful of doctors nationwide qualified to treat back pain non-invasively (see www.tarpityoga.com for a list of TMS Dcos).
My Name is Charles DeFrancesco, I own a sports medicine clinic in Greenwich. I work with many disc injuries and have helped almost everyone avoid surgery. There are many exercises you can do but the big issue is how are you moving? Its not what you do its how you do it. If a runner has tight hip flexors and poor rotation the low back will be over stressed to compensate for the lost movement in the hips. You are probably doing simple daily activities with poor posture on top of the running and aggravating your disc. I can send you some info or you can just read my sites www.greenwichsportsmedicine.com
Thanks for all these posts. I too have a herniation at L5S1 and scheduled surgery last December, but canceled after talking to an orthopedic surgeon because I was back to 100% normal function. One of my favorite quotes from him was, "no doctor can make better, better." I play ice hockey (non-check), I've run in lots of 10ks, a ten-miler, and am training for the Marine Corps Marathon at the end of October. Of course, this weekend I threw my back 'out' again and would like to contact a PT to work on a non-surgical option. Since I've never done PT before and many of the posts on this chain encourage finding a good run-friendly PT, how does one do that? I can just imagine making some calls and hearing, "sure, we help runners all the time." What questions should I be asking?
I appreciate your advice! I hope to be one of the success stories soon.
I am a 57 year old female who developed lower back pain after running the Marine Corp in 2005. Have been seeing a Chiro since, who thinks that I have a bulging L5, and also working on a core program that I got from Active.com, however I need some advice on the best steps to get an accurate diagnosis. Haven't run since the Marine Corp because even aggressive walking leaves my lower back and left leg feeling very irritated.
I am a physical therapist who has worked with many, many people with disc herniations. Surgery is an option but not one to jump into. I highly recommend you find a McKenzie certified therapist to help you through this problem with the correct, specific exercises for you. There is a high degree of variability for people with disc involvement and yours may be different that the next person. Go to http://www.mckenziemdt.org/index_us.cfm to find a therapist near you.
I am a female, 53, and also very much in love with running and not about to give it up!! I also have suffered severe back pain for several years. Four years ago during the span of one year I received a total of 12 epidural injections, and 2 radial frequency surgeries with all complete failures. With a second opinion out of town and a dye test that went throughtout all my discs I finally was given a different diagnosis and sent to very good surgeon who set me up for a very delicate fusion in discs L3/L4 with a bone graft and 2 rods and 4 screws in place. After rehabilitation on my part I was up and about again and running and soon even with his blessing. I am very competitive to say the least! I can run now as well as before and even better because now I know what I almost lost forever. To say I have no more pain in my back would be a lie.... because I do. Things will never be the same....just different. Pain is there, I deal with it differently, and it is much much better to say the least. Weather and many other factors play a big part. Running is everything to me!!
I have the DRX 9000 low back decompression unit in our clinic, I have worked with patients of all kinds, including runners, soccer players, and pro wrestlers, they have all benefited and have been relieved of their pain and associated symptoms, and have gotten back to their game, maintenance is also key in keeping you healthy. Good luck. We are located in Wayzata, Mn.
My name is Dr. Christopher Mah and I wanted to comment on the back brace while running. Normal gait requires rotation of the trunk and increasing stride length(ie running) requires good mobility of the trunk. So by limiting mobility witha back brace you are going to force your body to get the rotational component all fom the hips posibly overloading it and causing hip pain. Running is an activity that requires proper range of motion in all joints of the body including the hips and shoulders.
HI, i am 18 years old and injured my back while lifting, i was a very active teenager. I was involved in numorous sports yet for 6 months now since I have been diagnosed with a l5/s1 herniated disc i have been in alot of pain. The pain is worse at times, however i do get relief once in a while. Some people say its due to my smoking however i dont believe that. Is there any hope that i will return to a normal life, i have pain wen i walk presisly wen i lift my legs to take a step i have pain in my left buttock and leg.One doctor said that after hearing my symptoms he thinks that the disc may have slipped but went back into place however my nerve is expieriencing pressure, but from what? CAN SOMEONE PLEASE GIVE ME SoME ADVIICE??
I am relieved to see others suffer from similar problems. Over the past several years I have had lower back problems with pain behind the left hip area. X-rays five years ago showed a curvature of the spine (pulling near the L4/L5 area), which caused the muscles to elevate the hip bone. After seeing a Chiro for several sessions, this seemed to subside.
Back in 2004 I took a long flight from Korea, and sitting for several hours seemed to cause an huge flare up. I could barely shuffle when walking and was told the reason was muscular spasms. Again, within a span of a few weeks, I was back to normal until recently.
I've had a few incidents of severe pain and finally decided to follow up with a local doctor. After numerous test to include leg length studies, MRI's, etc, results showed disc degeneration and protrusion between L4 and L5. I was prescribed anti-inflammatories and seemed to do fairly well.
Again an airline trip precluded my incident, and roughly 3 wks ago I sat on the ground in a park and felt shooting pain through my back and legs. Even after my wife helped me stand (at which point I thought I was going to pass out), I could not move without severe pain. After the hospital visit and pain relievers, anti-inflammatories, and muscle relaxants I am getting around fairly well with some stiffness.
I've started to run again. Taking it slow but roughly 2 miles at a time which seems to relieve the stiffness. Is this normal? I'm assuming I had a herniation based off of what I have read, but the doctors at the time didn't expand on the symptoms. Stretching and cracking/popping the L4/L5 seem to relieve the pressure.
Any advice is welcome.
I also have just been diagnosed with a disc protrusion in my cervical spine (C5/6) and start physical therapy in a few days. I've had pain in both arms and shoulders for over a year, and had been running without any regard to the pain because it was diagnosed first as carpal tunnel, then as elbow and shoulder tendonitis. But recently, I've noticed more pain in my neck and upper back and wondering whether running will further the damage. I'm supposed to be training for a half-marathon, and I'm just wondering whether anyone else has done major races with this condition.
All of your posts are very helpful. I herniated two discs in my back in college and as a college athlete struggled to stay on the field. I had two epidurals and an SI joint injection a couple years back. In season for lacrosse I would see a doctor a couple times a month for trigger point injections to keep me on the field. Graduating from college and DI sports has been good for my back, but I still have many of the problems some of you have discussed previously. I am doing a lot of yoga and pilates and really focusing on stretching and core strength. I feel much better than I did while in school and am actually free to deal with my injury for the long term and not just for the next game.
If anyone has any good exercises or stretches...please pass them on. I will be returning to running in the next couple months and am very excited to get more and more active as the years go on. I love to hear from other people about what they do that works or doesn't work so please feel free to share your info and thanks for doing so!
I L3L4 and recovered without surgery - although it took me a year to resume running. I tried everything from PT to massage to oral steriods to muscle relaxers. Two best things for me were:
1) Yoga - in a heated room with a trained instructor
2) Book - Back Rx by Vijay Vad
I have the EXACT same thing! Two steriod injections which didn't work, several rounds of PT, tons of stretching (McKenzie technique), etc. My second MRI last week reveals my central/posterior herniation at S1/L5 is still minor and protruding slightly more on my right sciatic nerve root. However, all of my symptoms are on my LEFT! Very weird. I'm still in constant pain (particularly when sitting) and am at my wit's end. Am considering surgery but my doc doesn't think I qualify. Now what??