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I'm new member & would like to make some constructive supporting comments to any who have this most frustrating injury.
I'm a member of L4/5 herniated disc club, & have been for over 24 years now. I was 23 when a scan showed the problem, too young at the time to risk surgery.
I spent 2 years in a gym 2 hours day 5 days a week restructuring my back & 5 years cycling 30 miles a day to work (rather than drive) – all was fine.
I did a martial art ‘Aikido’ 3 times a week, and in naivety thought that once I was super fit & strong, my martial art would maintain my core & back, as life issues & changes of jobs meant the gym & cycling slowly dwindled - how wrong I was...
At 34 the back finally said – ‘enough’ & I could hardly walk, I lost the job & I had an operation to minimise the impacts. I had a Wallace ligamentation, which is basically a block put between the vertebrae to stop them crushing the disc. It took away 95 % of the symptoms, but left my back as weak as a kitten.
I followed the programme got fit, but never got back to where I previously was, again I worked hard with my martial art & got to a stable level, but 10 years on, the wear & tear of the martial art & an unstable core saw me slowly spiralling round the drain.
I’m 50 now, just come back from my 3rd lay up of 2015, all have been a minimum of a week on my back.
A new scan shows the disc has ruptured in the opposite direction, but the Wallace ligamentation has held up to all the abuse I have given it! (A result I thought I’d knackered it still doing my aikido)
For me its surgery this year or change my life & do what I have avoided doing for whatever reason I had at the time.
In my time playing with my back & fibbing to myself I’ve been doing enough, I have found that:
Swimming helps & makes the back a lot looser & comfortable (swimming bores me, surfing’s fun though!)
Cycling really works to tighten up the core & minimise vertebrae displacement, but stiffens the back a fair bit.
Pilates I found last year, it works, slow easy & you feel complete muscle tiredness for the simple work outs.
Using a standing desk is far more comfortable than at sitting at a desk- once you get used to the change of which muscles are being used (@4 weeks of being uncomfortable & muscles learning stamina)
Fact: you have to change your life style & plan exercise into your life for the rest of your days, the sooner you accept this & set about adding it in your back will improve, either do:
A small daily core specific Pilates work out
Or, take up cycling 3 times a week (every 2nd or 3rd day/about 10 miles each ride will do it)
Or, go swimming 3 times a week
Or, join a gym & do a specific work out for stamina to the weak core & back
There were one or two on the site asking about benefits for this back condition, if you are even considering this, to me you have already given up & you will spiral down to a place where there is no return from, a wheel chair…
No one can help you with your back, you have to do the work, you have to develop the will power to maintain a semblance of a normal life.
Me personally, I’ll fight going in that direction with everything I have.
Now after nearly 30 years, I finally I accept I have to change my life style (not pretend to do it) to minimise my back condition, to priorities my back health above work, social & relaxation demands, because if I don’t do this, the other 3 demands can’t be met & my quality of life will be a dog pile.
I say this with an open heart: If anything, please read this & come to the same conclusion, but do it a lot quicker than me & save a few years of pain you didn’t need to endure as much.
Onward & upward one of the buckle back gang…
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