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Thread: Herniated disc, exercise, weight loss page

  1. #1
    PrimalK's Avatar
    PrimalK is offline Junior Member
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    Well, the MRI scans are here. I have a herniated disc (L5) and the picture is so gruesome even I (a non-medic) could tell what the problem was. The radiologist said he hadn't seen one so bad for a long time. Anyway...


    Here's the thing. My exercise regime is going to have to change - lifting heavy things will need to be reigned in (unless I'm doing bench presses, I guess) and I'll have to go gently. However, I'm not used to being so much less physical.


    Will I continue to lose weight and get more muscle definition, despite this enforced reduction in activity? I'm not planning on taking to my bed, but still, things won't be the same. Even walking is just too painful at the moment - I was doing 50 minutes a day, beforehand.


    I don't want to go back to the 183 pound woman that I was, pre-primal.


    Very, very fed up.


  2. #2
    misathemeb's Avatar
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    does a squat position hurt you? you could shadow box in a squat position for some cardio or do a seated arm bike to get your heart rate going without "lifting" anything. fortunately, i really do believe diet is the key component in keeping weight in check. if you stick to your PB your weight shouldn't raise significantly while you work through your injury. sounds very painful! hope it deflames itself without requiring surgery!


  3. #3
    maba's Avatar
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    So sorry to hear about scan PrimalK. I hope it heals w/o any surgical intervention. Mark had a post once where he said he was bed-ridden because of a leg injury but he continued performing his upper body exrcise as usual and by the end of it, he hadn't gained a single pound nor had his strength deteriorated. As long as you're maintaing your Primal diet, I don't think your temporary exercise setback will hamper your weight-loss efforts. I hope you feel better soon.


  4. #4
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    What is your rehab plan? Surgery, physical therapy, etc?


    how did you get a herniated disc to begin with?


  5. #5
    suzyschnitz's Avatar
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    I also have a herniated disc at L5-S1 from exactly three years ago.


    I know how painful it is and it may be hard to believe, but it gets better. Slowly, yes, but it does get better. I did PT. Amazingly, with help, five months later I did the Inca trail to Machu Picchu (25 miles in the Andes) with an extra small pack. It probably took a full two years to heal, and sometimes I still feel it.


    When you finally feel like exercising, avoid unsupported forward bends. I learned this through yoga, but the spinal nerves are located on the backside of the spine, and when you bend forward, you squish the disc towards the back, hitting the nerves and hence the aggrevation.


    Yoga has been a big help in building my back muscles up keep the weight off the disc.


    Just don't do too much too soon. I can't imagine that squatting and holding weight in front of you can be good as that would be a bit of a forward lean, and a seated arm bike might put too much of a twist on the spine. I guess you could try, though.


  6. #6
    PrimalK's Avatar
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    Thank you all. I gave in *once* to smoething distinctly non-Primal yesterday, but other than that, have been sticking with it with no problem. TBH, my appetite is a bit on the low side at the moment, although it picked up a bit at the smell of raost chicken on Saturday!


    @arthurb999 - physio starting tomorrow. Seeing doctor on Friday. I am not keen to go for surgery unless it's the last resort. As for how I did it - nothing particular springs to mind. I think it's been a gradual thing.


    @suzyschnitz - thank you, thank you for your comments - there is hope! Interesting what you say about nerve location, I'll bear that in mind. I don't mind if it takes a long time to heal - just as long as it doesn't take too long for the excruciating pain to ease somewhat. Hopefully the physio will give me some good back/core strengthening exercises tomorrow.


  7. #7
    GotPrimal's Avatar
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    Primal,


    Sorry to hear about the radiographs. Did they say how big the herniation was? L5-S1 is a very common spot unfortunately, and you want to be careful with that. Irritating the L5 nerve root TOO much can lead to foot drop, difficulty ambulating..and so on.


    Take really good notes with the physio therapist tomorrow. The excercises they'll have you do will be very specific and you want to do them correctly.


    Any and all of your exercises regardless of what body part should have you back supported. So if your doing bicep curls, make sure you do them on a 90degree bench and concentrate on not arching your back.


    Lifting with your legs will be harder, id recommend the no so primal hamstring and quad machines, to keep your back supported.


    Im not sure how your sprints have been, but high impact on the lower back can occur with weak running form. Might have to stick with the walking more so.


  8. #8
    Get Primal's Avatar
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    Two years ago I suffered the same injury...was completely unable to walk for the first couple days and had a weak foot for weeks. After about 6 weeks the pain subsided to the point where I could consider physical therapy. The company I went to likes to aggressively strengthen the area for treatment. I don't remember the name of the machine, but they put me in what was a really fancy back extension machine twice a week to build strength. The first time I sat in the machine I couldn't even lift my feet the 6" up to the foot paddles in front of me. Months later I was using more than my bodyweight on the back extensions and was basically back to normal.


    The only reason I tell you this is so you stay optimistic. This can be a very depressing injury and at times may feel like you'll never recover. I now have zero limitations. I deadlift, squat, flip huge tires, etc. It takes a lot of time but you'll be back and stronger than ever before you know it!


  9. #9
    Maryallene Otis's Avatar
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    I had surgery for a herniated L5/S1 disk 17 years ago (after about 10 months of PT.) The recovery took a while, but the results were great. I have recently reinjured the disk - or at least that's what my symptoms suggest. I will not consider a second surgery, unless I find I'm getting the spinal stenosis my Mom has - I'm 56. No MRI yet. I agree it is a depressing injury, though I'm far better equipped to deal with it this time around. With many excercises, a slight pelvic tilt can help protect your back. When you can, I recommend walking. I limp some in the morning, as the disk fills up with fluid at night (kind of like sinuses) which increases the pressure on the nerve. For me, walking helps a lot, and I don't limp later in the day. I havea good trainer who knows how to modify excercises to take the strain off my back, though I know I may lose ground in some of my workout areas. Good luck!


  10. #10
    mslizzy's Avatar
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    Hey, Primal K -


    I'm in the same boat as you. Nov. 14th, my second disc injury or perhaps flare up of the previous tear. Frustrated at not being able to go to work, or to work out in my usual manner. Disc pain seems soooo slooowww to heal. Meeting with a specialist today...

    Hope you are feeling better and have found work outs that work.


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