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JUNEBUG160's Photo JUNEBUG160 Posts: 577
4/28/14 11:38 A

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Hi there, I have a herniated disc L5-S1 (lower back) and have been to a physio rehab program twice. Swimming is an awesome workout for that due to the buoyancy the water provides. I swim with mask and snorkel so my posture is as straight as possible. I also found acupuncture a great way to curb the nerve pain and make it tolerable. My injury was almost 5 years ago now and I know that in order to keep the pain at bay I have to move, move, move. I feel great working out but it is so easy to do nothing. The second time I was off work for this disc the rehab physio guy gave me IMS (intramuscular stimulation) therapy. Like acupuncture except long needles go into the muscles that will not relax (calf,hamstring, hip flexors in my case). He told me that the muscles forget to relax and that causes more back pain. I was hooked after the first treatment! Pain free for the first time in 2 an a half years! An acupuncturist will not do IMS (and vice versa) so you will have to look for a physio or kinesiologist who is trained. My guy is in Nelson, a small town, so there must be people in larger cities that do this. Good luck, travel is the worst for back problems. Travel with a tennis or golf ball for massages while driving it works well.

Women are like dragon flies.We spend our lives waiting to become something beautiful only to realize (so late in life) that we already are.


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SASSISPRING's Photo SASSISPRING Posts: 10,752
4/13/14 2:34 P

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It is tough when you have to be away from home and hopefully you'll start to feel better every day. Definitely keep us posted on how things go. emoticon



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AJOLEAN81's Photo AJOLEAN81 Posts: 5
4/13/14 1:20 P

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Today - not doing great, but I have been away for a week. Staying at a hotel, a lot of work to do as I was away on business. I have not been doing near enough of what I should have been but back at it today now that I'm home and excited to get back to the every day. I go back to physio on Wednesday and I'll let you know what's up. Thanks for caring :)

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SASSISPRING's Photo SASSISPRING Posts: 10,752
4/7/14 12:54 P

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Hi, I think if I didn't have a history of back, pelvic and hip issues that the inflammed disc would have been picked up earlier. So I do agree with your conclusion, to rest and work with the physiotherapist on building back up the activities and with swimming. Even with damage swimming is an awesome workout and can easily be modified. I know even with the modifications that I had with the water aeorbics, I was working out. I lost weight, inches and my core strength significantly increased. I really wish we had a pool here.

Sometimes even when you do things right, things can go wrong with working out. When the disc in my neck ruptured, it was quick and we suspect that it was while working out (on the machines). Because of my injuries I was quite focused on form and stretching, everything was done correctly but stuff still happens - unforutnately.

I also use ice - ice is my best friend. Ice brings down inflammation but too long on an area, it can create issues. Usually it's 20 min on, then take a break - talk with the physiotherapist, as they also sometimes mix it up with heat alternating ice. I had to do the alternating heat/ice with the injury to my knee. Yeah I know, I am a walking injury pack. haha!

Ask if you can take Ibuprofen (Advil) because if you rarely take this OTC med, it'll really have a good impact on reducing the swelling too.

Keep me posted on how things go. I really feel for you as it's not fun at all. But with the focus that you have and the physio working with you, I'm sure you'll do well in short time. :)



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AJOLEAN81's Photo AJOLEAN81 Posts: 5
4/4/14 1:46 P

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Hello! Thank you for your reply. I'm sorry you've had to deal with back pains the majority of your life. I have a ton of empathy for people who have ever suffered back pain now that I have a glimpse into what it's like.

I have never had back problems, this is new to me. I'm pretty sure I got the injury via weight lifting so, lesson learned. Form, form, form - super important! I have been to physiotherapy just the once, but I go again today. I don't think my injury is too bad as they don't believe it is 'bulging' but it is certainly inflamed. The girl I saw did suggest walking, I have been doing cardio but I have really been modifying my workouts.

However, after reading "I'm sure I had an inflamed disc for the year prior to the complete rupture" in your message, I think I'll be stopping with my version of 'working through it' unless the physiotherapist says it's ok. Walking looks like my best option, also I will ask her about swimming today at my appointment. I'm not to the point of being unable to walk, although it has improved significantly since I first hurt it - my range of motion is still pretty limited and I would hate to make it worse.

I appreciate the feedback. :)

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SASSISPRING's Photo SASSISPRING Posts: 10,752
4/4/14 12:26 P

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Hi,

I have lived with back pain the majority of my life. The main issues started when I was 13 yrs old and was trampled by a very large horse. I've also had complete ruptured discs in both my neck and my lower back.

When the muscles are inflammed and the back is "tight", walking is the best cure. I've learned through the years, unless I'm completely down, I walk. I walk through pain with gritted teeth, for exactly 2 minutes - no more - then take a break. I've walked from the bathroom to the living room, did that twice, then stopped. None of that is cardio and unfortunately when the back is inflammed, cardio workouts are out. Not only can i not walk much due to the pain, I am not able to straighten up. I also walk with a limp as my one hip usually "goes out" when the muscles pull, my pelvis shifts and it's makes me - as my mother and chiropractor state " cocky.

With the ruptured disc, I'm sure I had an inflammed disc for the year prior to the complete rupture. I found that I couldn't do very much despite the will to do it and I was in constant pain - as you are currently describing. I was told it was sciatica and between my chiro and massage therapist - we knew it wasn't that, but nothing else really popped out to say "here I am." Doctors told me to continue massage therapy and walking. I found there were days though that I couldn't move through the pain and inclines (stairs, hills) just about killed me.

Because I was never diagnosed and I simply "worked through" the pain except on days when I couldn't, I can't say how long an inflammed disc takes to heal. I know when it completely ruptured, it took a full year of doing almost nothing to fully heal. At that point I saw a neuro surgeon who stated I was prime candidate for surgery but I have other issues, so I prefered not to go the surgical route. That's another reason it took a year, as I had to wait for the disc to return back and the inflammation to recede on my body's time - rather than a surgeon's time. I wasn't allowed to do stairs or walk inclines and moved from the upstairs apt where I was renting to a bottom suite. My boss moved my office downstairs too. I was also banned from driving long distances as it aggravated the disc, which affected my work for a time.

From what I've heard from others, an inflammed disc can take one month to a full year to fully heal. The key is to follow your physiotherapist advice, know that unfortunately you cannot do any type of workout that involves well.........working out. I gained 50 lbs while I was down and am still struggling to get it off. However, I have metabolic issues that impede my ability to lose weight and that isn't the issue for everyone.

I was told that swimming was out until the inflammation was down, then I could swim. However, our town has no pool, so I never did go swimming. Talk with your physiotherapist about swimming as he/she will know the best on that. I know when I was in the city and doing water aeorbics years ago, the instructor modified the exercises for me - due to the back injury - and modified the exerices for a few other people with back issues too.

Even with inflammation it is really good to get up and walk on a flat surface for short periods, frequently in the day - in fact it's strongly recommended. My cousin's workplace purchased an upright desk and chair for her, when she ruputred the disc in her back - where you stand up to work on the keyboard - it's quite cool. Even when I was at my worst, I still walked for short periods and as the healing happened, I walked more and more. Our backs were not designed to sit, so even 2 minutes of walking really helps to keep the muscles and joints mobile.

I probably shared too much, hope I didn't overwhelmed you and that I still managed to answer your question. I hope you heal up quickly.



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AJOLEAN81's Photo AJOLEAN81 Posts: 5
4/4/14 10:47 A

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Hello, I'm looking for some suggestions. Recently, well not that recently... about a month or so ago I hurt my back. I've just found out this week at physio, that it is not what the doctor had originally told me it was. It is however an inflamed disk in my lower spine/mechanical back injury. Certain movements cause a ton of pain as the disc hits the nerve endings. I have a few exercises I can do to help this heal and it seems the only other thing in my favor will be time. I have been continuing to do workouts but I've been modifying them a great deal.

I'm hoping someone could give a few suggestions on what I could do, aside from walking that would still be a good calorie burn but not strenuous on my back and not high impact. I had thought swimming might be good, but I'm still hoping to hear from other who have had to deal with back pain/injuries as I never have had problems with my back. How long did it take for you to get back to your normal activity level?

Thanks ladies!

I think maybe I posted this in the wrong spot - was meant to be in chit chat! Sorry about that!

Edited by: AJOLEAN81 at: 4/4/2014 (13:28)
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