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Hate discs - bulging discs not disc brakes
Last Post 10/12/2023 02:05 PM by Orange Crush. 10 Replies.
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6ix

Posts:485

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10/10/2023 06:10 PM
Hey fellas, so I'm nursing yet another episode of bulging/slipped disc in the L4/L5 region.  This tends to happen following some extremely intense efforts on the bike, like the 20 minute climb I did last week.  Next day, pain.  Pretty certain my theory of just not having strong enough back muscles is the root of the problem. I quite literally pushed so hard that I threw my back out of whack!!  And this isn't the first time.

So, what is a 46 year old to do?  Beyond this issue, I'm in the best shape I've been in 15 years after I quit racing. 

What machines can I use at the gym for back muscle development?  Any suggestions?  Not a huge fan of squats since it almost always hurts my neck.  Planning to get a gym membership over the winter and hit the leg press and leg curl machines, hoping to gain some much-needed leg strength too. 
longslowdistance

Posts:2878

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10/10/2023 06:35 PM
Sorry about your back, BTDT, for sure.
The human spine was not engineered for walking upright, but here we are. Potential pain generators include damaged discs which you seem to suspect is your problem, and a whole whole lot more. Can be multifactorial and various pain generators often interact.

Any advice you may get here on what to do with such limited information needs to be taken with a huge grain of salt.

You may already have this info, but if not, suggest finding a good back doc who doesn't like to operate, or a *good* sports med non surgeon (rare alas), an MRI if not already done read by someone who knows their stuff, and if recommended a thorough trial of PT. Chiropractors help a lot of people with lumbar pain, and alternatives like acupuncture are better than placebo for many.
You may hate this observation, but it is often true: Ultimately it may come down to modifying your expectations of what your body can tolerate.
huckleberry

Posts:824

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10/10/2023 06:41 PM
I would start with this before moving on to weight resistance exercises -- see if you can get it to calm down first...

https://youtu.be/lCaJHXg9Tws?si=HPAL_mUulkwQcROz

Then I'd proceed with a CORE ROUTINE, especially the BIRD DOG to make sure you have good stabilization before going to SINGLE LEG DEADLIFTS: great for balance; hamstring, gluteal, and lower back...

https://us.humankinetics.com/blogs/excerpt/try-this-exercise-single-leg-deadlift

This progression should get you to a more stable base, and if that's the cause of your herniation, hopefully take care of that, but take the progression slow, don't rush to the deadlifts.

God luck!



6ix

Posts:485

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10/11/2023 11:51 AM
Ooof, don't like to hear this, "may come down to modifying your expectations of what your body can tolerate." The thing I keep running into is that my body does fine with a bunch of hard efforts and day after day of intense riding, but only up until a certain point. That's when I get this recurring back injury. Problem is that it's impossible to know what that exact point is. I'm red-lining the engine but have no tach.

Thanks for the input and suggestions!! I had an MRI last year followed by 2 cortisone injections which were far more involved than I would have expected. And I've done courses of PT but they don't really seem to work with athletes so kinda seemed like a complete waste of time.
Orange Crush

Posts:4497

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10/11/2023 12:15 PM
L4/L5 is my problem area as well. Agreed on managing expectations. Fortunately with focus on endurance rather than intensity, managing expectations works relatively well. The longer I'm on the bike, the better the area generally feels as long as I start easy. That plus targeted strength exercizes and regular stretching. Nevertheless, my pain threshold and ability to withstand discomfort has certainly increased. Good luck!
huckleberry

Posts:824

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10/11/2023 12:41 PM
Being an atheist, I hate to see that I accidentally wrote "God luck!"

Let's try that again...

Good luck!
Cosmic Kid

Posts:4209

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10/11/2023 04:38 PM
Pretty certain my theory of just not having strong enough back muscles is the root of the problem.


Counterpoint - back pain can often be the result of a weak core as the back muscles over-extrend themselves to compensate.

make sure you are doing some core work, as well.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Cosmic Kid

Posts:4209

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10/11/2023 04:40 PM
Here are the kettlebell exercises I mentioned the other day....finally found the link.

https://kettlebellsworkouts.com/kettlebell-strength-training-exercises-for-cyclists/
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
smokey52

Posts:490

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10/11/2023 08:20 PM
Check https://www.howardluksmd.com in metro NYC. I went to him for my knees. He does not immediately move to operating.
eurochien

Posts:163

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10/11/2023 10:07 PM
Before jumping to the weight room, maybe consult a chiro equipped with a spinal decompression bench? I have 2 herniated discs, L4-L5, L5-S1 (I believe I've had the issue since my early 20's, only officially diagnosed in my early 40's with MRIs). Half a dozen sessions and I got my life back - for awhile, flare ups are always lurking - After the first session ever I thought I had wings I felt so good. YMMV.
https://www.healthline.com/health/decompression-therapy
Orange Crush

Posts:4497

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10/12/2023 02:05 PM
Good reminder Eurochien. I had been thinking along those lines for a while but there never seems to be any time to action it.
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