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!
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 !!
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.
"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."