Back and disc issues -
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#1 of 3 Old 03-29-2011, 01:51 PM - Thead Starter
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I had two bulging discs in November of last year. I went to the gym one day and the next day I couldn't walk. It took FOREVER to get to the point where I could get back into the gym. The only problem I have now is that it hurts when I run. I was wanting to start triathlon training, but when I run now my back hurts after a half mile. Any advise,(other than "go to the chiropractor")? Thanks!

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#2 of 3 Old 03-29-2011, 07:44 PM
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First off - Welcome to Kickrunners!


Secondly - Sorry about the bad back - that sucks big time! I can only imagine the pain - and now the frustration.


We don't have any doctors here who would make recommendations that would really be a prognosis or suggestion. From a personal perspective, I've had tight lower back muscles and a few advil has worked - with no other problems. From what you're saying - it could be more than just sore muscles - and if it is in your spine - I wouldn't mess with that at all - I'd SKIP a chiropractor and go straight to an MD and get it checked. I wouldn't do any exercise at all until I had a clean bill of health. 


If it's minor, they can get you fixed up in no time and you're back to training - if it isn't - then you'll know and they'll STILL get you fixed up - though it may take longer. But eventually, you'll be out running again. If you ignore it and try to 'train around it', then you could risk serious damage where your entire life could be impacted and running of any kind won't be part of it.


I wish you luck with this - but please make the call - go see your MD and make sure it's not something other than sore or stiff muscles.



Let us know how you do - and feel free to join in any discussion you find of interest - even injured !!





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#3 of 3 Old 03-31-2011, 03:27 PM - Thead Starter
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Thanks Rich!


Yep, I was literally walking like I was 80... actually, I know 80 year olds that are walking better than I was.


I did some digging around online, to no avail. The usual stuff, weak core, stretching, etc.  I love my chiro, and he totally got me on my feet. But those visit$ add up!  I just need some exercises I can do on my own.


Thankfully, I got a response from an MT in another forum. I'll repost what he said below for the benefit of everyone else.


Thanks again Rich. Good to meet ya.


MT's Response:


"Disks don't bulge by themselves; they bulge from too much pressure.  Pressure while standing makes sense, especially if you have a  well-developed upper body, but pressure while lying down on a table  during an x-ray shows extreme muscular compression of the vertebral  column. So where can this pressure come from?


At  the top of this picture you see the Lumbar spine with your main hip  flexor Psoas Major attached to each of these vertebrae. Any time you  stand up, a tight set of Psoas muscles will exert a great deal of  downward pressure on the disks between, causing a bulge even in healthy  disks. Even if you are laying down, straightening the legs will have the  same effect. More pressure=more bulge, whether from gravity or muscular  tension.


Many of us suffer from the double whammy of  excess tension in this muscle from overtraining, coupled with chronic  shortening of the muscle as we spend too much time in chairs, whether  working, eating, or driving. Unfortunately, changing these behavior  patterns may keep it from getting worse, but will not reverse the  condition any time soon. Stretching the hip flexors as they are will put  direct pressure on the spine!


On the front side of  your body, you also have to contend with a tight set of abdominal  muscles, which will pull your rib cage forward and cause your back  muscles (Erector Spinae) to exert more downward pressure on the spine to keep you erect.  Upper abs (just below the ribs) tend to produce mid-back pain, while  lower abs (just above the pubic area) can produce lower back pain, via  the mechanism described above.


You probably have to  release the Psoas muscle first, and I'll give you some (fairly) easy  steps for doing it: First, lie on the carpet or workout pad and roll  onto your side, to cause the weight of the bowels to slide them downward  toward the floor (this gets the bowels out of the way if you haven't  eaten too much food in the last 24 hours or so). You should now be able  to get to the Psoas muscle along the lumbar spine behind the edge of  your six-pak muscles, roughly parallel with your navel, or a couple  inches above that spot. If you probe deeply enough with your fingers,  you can feel it flex when you flex your leg forward (you may need to  hold this spot down and roll over flat to add gravity to your leg-lift).  Press the few inches of exposed psoas muscle against the spine to check  for sore spots, and hold a few seconds to release them, while breathing  deeply to relax. If this is too hard to do, move on to the next muscle.


Seated  in a chair, follow the six-pax abs down to the area just above your  private parts. You can feel this muscle flex when you lift your legs, to  see exactly how far down it goes. The lower portions of this muscle are  important to lower back pain, and you want to release them by breathing  and relaxing first as above, pressing and holding the areas you felt  when you flexed them. Concentrate on sore spots, if any.


Now  move to the upper abdominals to either side of and close to the center  six-pak abs, close to but below the bottom edge of the ribs. Check this  area using the same relaxation technique, and make sure all these  muscles are not stretched out when you press them.


Last  thing to do is place a tennis ball on the floor and lay your lower back  on it to roll out the tight spots on either side of your spine. Let the  pressure sit for a few seconds on spots that feel like they need the  pressure.


Now stand up and do some controlled lunges to  stretch the hip flexors of the passive leg, pressing into your upper  butt with your fist on that side. Place the fist so it penetrates the  Glute Medius and Minimus between the crest of your pelvis and hip, where  it feels most effective. Don't over-stretch! Do some easy trunk  flexion/extension in a rotating (not twisting) motion to loosen up back  and ab muscles.


Try this and see how much better you  feel. If you need the assistance of a professional you can go that  route, but this kind of remedial maintenance is good to know in between.  Meanwhile, don't overwork the abs, hip flexors, glutes, or back muscles  until your back feels better. Expect to spend at least a few days on  maintenance before you feel lasting effects, and good luck with your  training."

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