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Thread: PB fitness and a bad back page

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    astronmr20's Avatar
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    PB fitness and a bad back

    Primal Fuel
    I've been dealing with a condition since I was about 20 (I'm 34 now). Mainly L5/S1.. started working with a Chiropractor but still have to be careful. Disc/ spine.

    Recently I "re-lapsed" pretty hard. Not sure if it was from my 100 push-ups challenge, or the farmer's walk I did with a car battery, but it's taken me nearly out of commission the past few weeks. very disappointing. I miss my sledgehammer and want to get back to that.... but am afraid to.

    Doing all I can to strengthen my core in the meantime, but otherwise, the only "LHT" moves I have been able to come up with have been pull-ups.

    Any other suggestions?

    Bumming pretty hard, but have kept up my walking about an hour a day.

    I'm thinking of trying the sledgehammer slams again in a few days but... not sure if that will help or hurt at this point.

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    primalrob's Avatar
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    think you can handle some exercises that work the back without stressing it too much:
    kb swings
    good mornings (low ROM)
    body weight squats
    biking and swimming

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    Quote Originally Posted by primalrob View Post
    think you can handle some exercises that work the back without stressing it too much:
    kb swings
    good mornings (low ROM)
    body weight squats
    biking and swimming
    Hmm.. might add Turkish get-ups to that, too (I do 'em with an 8 or 10-lb dumbbell).

    if I were to start with a kettlebell for swings, what weight should I get?

    What are good mornings?

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    i wouldn't go out and buy a kettlebell right away...try them with a milk jug or bottle of laundry detergent first. a sandbag might also be good because you can adjust the weight.

    good mornings are a back and hip exercise. you can find tons of videos for them on youtube. i would try a short range of motion, though, just to see if they are comfortable for you.

    tgu's are great. i would think they would hurt with a disc issue, but if you can do them then great.

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    Astronmr20, I had the same problem for several months. I totally sympathize with how disabling it can be. Although your problem has been more persistent than mine, maybe some of the following things that worked for me would help you.

    1) Posture, for prevention. Whole books have been written on this, but the main idea here is to maintain a J-curve at the bottom of your spine. The L5-S1 disc is naturally wedge-shaped, so making the spine straight by tucking your pelvis (especially while sitting) is just asking for herniation. Keep your pelvis tilted slightly forward at all times. When sitting, imagine that you have a tail, and that it needs to flow out behind you, not be tucked between your legs. (Does that make any sense at all?)

    2) Traction, for treatment. You can hang from a pull-up bar or do yoga poses, but the methods that work the best for me are zero-impact sledgehammer swings (I dunno about actually hitting things with the hammer), chair traction (holding yourself upright in a dip position, palms on the armrests, butt dangling), and hanging upside down by the ankles (inversion tables are the easiest way to achieve this). I also found that doing inverted sit-ups while dangling was occasionally a magic bullet that instantly stopped back pain.

    3) This is the one thing that finally fixed my back for good. Tweak your bed, for both prevention and treatment. If your bed is too hard or too soft, you will experience the most discomfort after about an hour of being awake, and it will mostly subside by afternoon. It took me forever to figure this out (I'm not the fastest learner). Also, sleeping on your side is the best way to keep a neutral spine posture so that the body can heal.

    4) Walking, for daily maintenance. The discs lack blood vessels, so the only way to move nutrients in and waste products out is by gentle compression/decompression, for which walking is perfect.

    5) Weight loss, to lighten the load. In case you have a significant amount of weight to lose.

    6) Heavy weight lifting, to build core strength. The stronger your core, the more evenly distributed the weight on your spinal column. Obviously you can't do this when your condition is acute, but it should be on your radar when you start feeling better to prevent a relapse.

    Good luck and feel better soon!

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    Thanks Timothy,

    I'm mindful of most of your points and can add some as well.

    What do you mean by sledgehammer swings for traction? Love my sledge and starting to miss it...

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    Sorry astronmr20... I know most of that is pretty basic. After 14 years of dealing with a bad back you could probably write a book on that stuff.

    By "sledgehammer swings for traction," I mean the ancient art of shovelglove. If you like sledgehammers, you'll love this:

    Shovelglove Community College

    I would avoid the more advanced stuff until your back gets better, but the moves in the first two "courses" can be very helpful. Hope you find some things you can use!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy View Post
    Sorry astronmr20... I know most of that is pretty basic. After 14 years of dealing with a bad back you could probably write a book on that stuff.

    By "sledgehammer swings for traction," I mean the ancient art of shovelglove. If you like sledgehammers, you'll love this:

    Shovelglove Community College

    I would avoid the more advanced stuff until your back gets better, but the moves in the first two "courses" can be very helpful. Hope you find some things you can use!
    I love that site.. been using a lot of it.. but I put the sledge down when the problem came back recently. maybe I can add it back in slowly...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy View Post
    2) Traction, for treatment. You can hang from a pull-up bar or do yoga poses, but the methods that work the best for me are zero-impact sledgehammer swings (I dunno about actually hitting things with the hammer), chair traction (holding yourself upright in a dip position, palms on the armrests, butt dangling), and hanging upside down by the ankles (inversion tables are the easiest way to achieve this). I also found that doing inverted sit-ups while dangling was occasionally a magic bullet that instantly stopped back pain.
    this is a great tip. hanging from a bar or chair traction really helped me with my disc issues (5 bulging)...and i hear hanging upside down from an inversion table is phenomenal help, a la recommendations from daemonized.

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    Mike Gager's Avatar
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    i have a herniated disc in my L5S1. the disc pinches my sciatic nerve and i get pain in my left leg because of it. it was so bad at one time i couldnt do anything but lay on the couch and do nothing. i got 2 shots about 3 years ago and have been realitively pain free since. only time i get pain is if i bend over with straight legs like to touch my toes or whatever. i dont know what your specific injury is but i would recommend getting the shots if its a option
    Primal Chaos
    37yo 6'5"
    6-19-2011 393lbs 60" waist
    current 338lbs 49" waist
    goal 240lbs 35" waist

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