Herniated Disc But Not Much Pain....+ Mri

1) I got an MRI on my pelvis for the back issues I've had for quite sometime... SO did I just toxify my body with EMF etc.... anything I should do?


2) Here are the results...


After going over your MRI, you have a herniated disc protrusion at L3-L4, and L4-L5.  The internal disc derangement is most likely the cause of your pain because the herniations does not seem to be encroaching against nerves. 


1.       Do not bend forward for the first 1-2 hours upon waking up

2.       Do not perform any exercises with bending forward

3.       Continue to do core exercises (ie. Bridges, side bridges,)

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to shoot me an email


But during all this I have only had to not exercise 2 days otherwise the past 3 weeks I have been hitting 60 mile running weeks on top of jumping rope, plyometric DVDs like INSANITY, Tabatacise, Stairclimbing, Kettlebell Xtreme Cardio.... and lifting doing everything but squats with a barbell on my back....



Is it OK to do these things if there is no pain?

Do herniated discs heal?

Anyone have experience with this?


  • langdjlangdj
    edited March 2014

    Well I am not.............. but John Sarnos is. This book has helped me a lot.




    I use it as one piece of the puzzle for back pain. You will be happy to hear that a lot of people who have no pain show herniated disks!! Dr Sarnos showed X-Rays to back surgeons and did not let them know the patient had no pain. Ofcourse they recommended surgury. I forgot the numbers but they wher shocking.


    Ofcourse I think you already know that most people here will tell you that you are working out to much and should follow Body By Science (Doug McGraff) protocol, or at least work closer to his principals. Perhaps 60 miles a week is to much for anyone!


    Anyway, read the book before doing anything drastic.


    If you do have pain there is hope.  I have been taking DMSO and MSM and they have helped alot. I also NEEDED to elimated Gluten to start healing. I recently recovered from a mountain biking accident with a torn rotator cuff and broke three bones so I am at least am a n=1 authority on this. Had my first workout yesterday since June when it happened! It feels so good to be sore from working out again!

  • IMO, you are asking for trouble.

    I watched my body vascularize/reabsorb a disc herniation.  It takes about a year.  During that time, you need to be cautious and gentle, 'cause if that herniation is jostled/moves to your nerve bundle, you will experience debilitating pain and disability like you've never experienced before. I promise. I was there...

    But, over time, your body will heal itself (studies in Japan prove this...where they are much less inclined to jump in with surgical intervention). 

    But doing any impact exercise during this time increases the odds for a bad outcome.

    Be careful, cautious and patient.

    I am not a doctor.

    Objects in mirror may appear closer than they actually are.


  • hybridhybrid Cateye vs Isolation

    Disc herniations are very, very common. Only people that have back pain and get imaging done find out about theirs.


    What are your symptoms? Radiating pain? Episodes of 4-10 of back "spasms"? Time frame? Does it hurt in the mornings? What flares it up? More history?


    The fact that the disks are not preasuring the nerve roots is a good thing?

  • @ Larry... your freaking me out!


    @hybrid... symptoms... just stiff in the am when before I wasnt.... basically I did it doing a max deadlift in December... same day I wretched it, I had to lift 50lb turkeys overhead at work.... so for about 3 days I couldn't do much.... thought it was a strain and I just did all the exercise I could do without pain which was pretty much everything except squats and deadlifts with the barbell or anything with weight on my back.... then I tried doing squats with weight on the back after about 3 weeks and wretched it again to the point where I could only run and do "upright" activities for about 3 days but then it was fine and I was back to plyos, kettlebells etc......


    Episodes of "Spasm"... 2x... one when I first did it..... and another after I did a "butts & guts DVD" with a barbell on my back.... but only lasted about 2 days where I could barely turn over in bed without pain....


    It Doesn't hurt in the morning... it just feels a tight, so hard to tie shoes, put clothes on but as soon as I start running within about 20 minutes of waking its seems fine and the past 3 weeks since the last spasm it's been OK.... just like a stiffness in the am but not enough to stop me from jump rope, plyos (squat jacks, scissor lunges, burpees with weight etc) and running.....This morning I ran about 14 miles, 30 minutes on the stairclimber at level 20 and did hamstring curl machine, leg extension, leg press, glute press, chest and back... NO PAIN?!?!?!?


    NO HISTORY OF BACKPAIN EVER! I did Ironman and the training was HOURS and HOURS in the AERO position on the bike and NEVER had back pain... this just started after doing deadlifts in crossfit and working at Trader Joes and having to bike EVERYWHERE with a 10-15lb backpack (it's my only way of getting places in the city)

  • hybridhybrid Cateye vs Isolation

    Mad respect for the "Buts and Guts" training, I used to watch the Dorian Yates training routine, "Blood & Guts".


    Your episode with the squat is probably the straw that broke the camels back.


    Episodes of spasm indicate that there was a microtraumatism/degeneration, the body goes into spasm/pain to create an imaginary corset of imobility for your lower back to tell you don't use me.


    Stiffness in the morning can point to issues with your disks, at night water is reabsorbed and it expands.


    Deadlift is a very complicated exercise. All that exercise that you did can slowly make your back weak, and the fact that you had no previous issues with that imense work done by your back dosent mean that something wosent cooking. Eg the slouched poisition on the bike makes the lower lumbars strain in a flexed position. Sports and training take a toll on your body no matter what.


    My best advice to you is to keep on guiding yoruself by how you feel. Hernitated disk is not a sing of how severe the symptoms are. Acute episode means you have to be careful for a while, keep the exercise level low. Visit ART provider to get rid of scar tissue in the muslces that affect your lower back, scar tissue inevitably accumulates with time, especially in atheletes.


    If you live in chicago I've got some good referrals for you. PM me

  • Doing dead lifts and squats can not herniate a disc, doing dead lifts and squats incorrectly can herniate a disc. Doing crunches can herniate a disc... Doing a toe to bar can definitely herniate a disc (seen it happen)...


    The moral of the story? Maintain lumbar extension while performing the exercises. I'm guessing you went into lumbar flexion while dead lifting or squatting and made the issue worse. You definitely never want to go into lumbar flexion and rotate, good way to rupture the disc.


    Even though crossfit is perfectly safe and no one ever gets hurt doing it (/sarcasm), this might be an example of why you don't perform exercises which good form dictates their safety, to high repetitions allowing form to break down.


    To fix the issue and prevent further injury I will tell you what you should do, which I know you won't. You really need to gain some muscle mass around your mid section, which will help stabilize your lumbar spine and prevent further injury. You would accomplish that by dead lifting and squatting PROPERLY, and eating more.


    Impact exercises definitely aren't going to help...

  • @desp.... i am not afraid of deadlifting and squatting... I'm a personal trainer and I know the correct form but your right, I am sure I "flexed" when I was trying to max out... DOH......I think I'll stick to trap bar deadlifting for awhile....


    @hybrid... the guy who ordered the MRI is a chiro, ART, graston Dr. Khong Lavitt from Midwest Sport and Spine.... I wish he did rolfing too..... How will I know when I'm healed? Do I have to get another MRI? How long does it usually take?


    Since I have to bike to work if I think about strong core and try to stay upright as much as possible will that help? The 31 mph winds tomorrow aren't going to help.... I HATE CHICAGO RIGHT NOW

  • Megs,


    Sticking to the trap bar for dead lifting completely defeats the purpose. It is a whole body exercise that when performed correctly strengthens your back, lumbar extensors and prevents injuries such as the ones you're describing. You need to strengthen your back so it is strong enough to prevent injury.


    I am not saying you don't know the correct form, but from what I've seen, being a personal trainer doesn't mean that people do.


    Unless your bike is set up in a very odd way, I am not sure if you will be able to avoid lumbar flexion. Is it a beach cruiser?

  • ACH85ACH85 ✭✭

    Unless your bike is set up in a very odd way, I am not sure if you will be able to avoid lumbar flexion. Is it a beach cruiser?


    Since I have to bike to work if I think about strong core and try to stay upright as much as possible will that help?


    Desp, I'm not sure what you mean - any bike that fits properly should allow for a braced, safe spine position. In high school I mountain biked competitively and worked in a bike shop. A hybrid/comfort/cruiser bike, especially one with handlebars that curve toward you (not road drop bars) has a more upright stance. A road bike requires excellent hip hinge mechanics and a more horizontal back. A mountain bike is in the middle. In all cases you should be able to brace your spine with your core and keep it straight and protected, provided you have proper hip and shoulder mobility. It's only when the bike isn't fitted properly or you don't have hip flexion that you end up with a rounded back. This dude shows us what's up:



    The issue is fit - proper stem length, seat height, bike frame size, etc. To be fair though, most people haven't fitted their bikes properly. 


    A lot of images of pro riders will show a rounded back, but they are being lazy and/or sacrificing spine position to put all their energy into their legs. 


    Megs, I'd avoid lowering your seat to achieve a more upright position. As we can see with the dude above, with proper seat height it takes very little effort to lift off the seat via hip hinge and "float" above the bike, which is something you should do for any bump that your tires can't fully absorb. The bike moves under you, your bent arms and legs absorb the motion, and your spine stays stable and protected and does not experience compression forces. Most people who aren't mountain biking are lazy about this and can get away with it, but since you know your spine is injured I'd try to be careful to isolate the spine from any bumps.

  • ACH, the majority of riders I see are like the left. If that is megs it could definitely aggravate the issue.

  • @ desp.... do you have a video that you would recommend that details proper deadlift form?


    @ACH85.... my road and tri bike are fitted to me using the fancy fit systems... my city rider was not but I think I will go back to the store I bought it and get them to do a true fit.... I just had to buy a new city rider yesterday because my mountain bike got STOLEN! GRRRR.... I got an SE Lager? Road it 10 miles yesterday to doc appts and the MRI and top of my left knee is a bit achy so I think the seat might be a bit low.....


    So interesting that you say that about the bumps because that is the only time the back really hurts... when I hit potholes... so am I taking all that "shock" in my back because I am in the seated position? Because when I run, jump rope, do plyos, box jumps etc. I don't feel any pain in the back


    P.S... the left rider is NOT me :)... I'm also a certified spin instructor... so I have to teach people to ride right ;)

  • ACH85ACH85 ✭✭

    @Desp, I agree 100% that if Megs looks like the rider on the left it would aggravate the issue. 


    @Megs, if you can get the bike adjusted for free, by all means do it. I've never done that for my own bikes, and I find that seat height as well as seat forward/backward adjustment (loosen the bolt under the seat clamp slightly, slide the seat rails forward or backward) gets me where I need to be. The one other thing that can cause knee pain is if you are are clipped in to the pedals and don't have enough float at the cleat/pedal or the cleats force your feet into an odd angle. This could also apply on flat pedals if you put your feet into a bad position, but it's less likely unless you naturally have bad foot position. 


    When you run, jump, etc, you are using your knee and ankle mobility and leg muscles to absorb the force before it hits your pelvis, isolating your spine. We're all pretty good at absorbing force with our legs. If you jumped but kept your legs and ankles locked straight, or landed directly on your pelvis, I bet your spine would hurt. When you stay seated over a bump, the force is going directly into your pelvis, then your spine, so it's kind of similar, except you've got a bit of padding in the tires and seat.


    Lifting off the seat for bumps is generally a mountain biking thing (called the mountain bike attack position,) but I use it on the road too. Mountain biking I'm hovering over the saddle for almost all downhills, on the road it's just for potholes and curbs. On the road it's a smaller motion, just a bit of leg extension and a degree or two extra bend in the hips. Your butt only needs to be as far off the saddle as the pothole is deep. If you want to smoothly roll over something like a curb, you'll need to stand up more. It does require you to scan the road for any bumps and react, so obviously prioritize watching out for traffic. 


    Bike thieves are the lowest of the low. Steal my car, at least that's insured! But that SE Lager looks like a smooth city bike. 

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