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  1. #1
    Registered User bruindelt's Avatar
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    Bulging Disk, Good exercises?

    About several months ago I was told the reason for my back pain is a bulging disk in my lower back. I am 24 years old and should not have this problem so early in my life. I went to physical therapy for a while to ease the pain. The one sure way to battle my problem is to make sure I am in shape, and have a specially strong core. what are some exercises I can do to start strenghthening my lower back and abs, as well as working on my other muscle groups without furthering my back injury? Thanks
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  2. #2
    User Registered TPower81's Avatar
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    Correct your daily posture for walking, sitting, standing. Try and maintain the "S" curve which is when your back is the strongest.

    For cardio I would walk, hike and do time on the elliptical (all these are low impact).

    Exercises - abs, I prefer planks. Focus on contracting your abs back and forth while holding the plank. Most other ab exercises end up putting the spine in a curled position often leading to unwanted stress on the discs.

    Lower back - hyperextensions, pelvic thrusts lol, and if you can get good form down, light deadlifting and squatting. Most people tell me I'm crazy for squatting after L1 disc surgery (disc bulged out into nerve bundle sending pain down sciactic nerve for about 6 months until the doc cut it away) but these days I am doing 315lbs. Maintain good form and don't good morning the weight.

    Outside of the gym it helps to spend some time taking pressure off the disc and letting fluid refill it. This can be done by hanging upside down, or right side up for that matter or just spending some time in a hot tub or pool.

    If the disc is in the bulging stage you need to not lift at all, rest up, do therapy, etc. Exercise isn't going to push the disc back to where its supposed to be, only time off. Sleep with elevated knees, on a firmer matress.
    wut?
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  3. #3
    Registered User bruindelt's Avatar
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    Thanks for the response. What do you suggest for workouts for the arms, shoulders, and chest? Also, are ab workouts with the exercise ball easier on the back? and if so which ones would you know of? Thanks again.
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  4. #4
    User Registered TPower81's Avatar
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    You can do the typical exercises for arms, chest. Bench press should put weight on your shoulder blade area, not the lower back. No problem there. Arms I would do dips for the triceps (no weight on lower back) and for biceps do barbell curls against a wall. Stand with your back and butt against the wall, and do your curls. This will keep you from bending at the hips and jerking the weight up which could lead to lower back pain.

    Shoulders, you can do arnold presses, military presses, whatever presses, just try and do them in a standing position. Seated at a 90 degree is one of the worst positions for the lower back. It can become a worse situation when you're trying to muscle 100 lbs up over your head. So if you can, I would do shoulder exercises while standing.

    The last thing you didn't mention was back. I do chin-ups/pull-ups, and for thickness I do bent over rows. You have to be careful with these though, and start with a low weight. Dont' let your back cave in. You can also do iso rows or t-bar rows. Allow the weight to pull you into the seat rather than push off from the cushion with your feet...

    It might be worth getting a few sessions with a personal trainer that can give you better insight on what to do for your lower back. They can also teach you the proper technique when lifting so you don't hurt it in the gym.

    Drink lots of water so that the disc can stay lubricated, and I also take fish oil and it seems to have helped.
    wut?
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  5. #5
    ndn Al Swearengen's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TPower81 View Post
    Correct your daily posture for walking, sitting, standing. Try and maintain the "S" curve which is when your back is the strongest.

    For cardio I would walk, hike and do time on the elliptical (all these are low impact).

    Exercises - abs, I prefer planks. Focus on contracting your abs back and forth while holding the plank. Most other ab exercises end up putting the spine in a curled position often leading to unwanted stress on the discs.

    Lower back - hyperextensions, pelvic thrusts lol, and if you can get good form down, light deadlifting and squatting. Most people tell me I'm crazy for squatting after L1 disc surgery (disc bulged out into nerve bundle sending pain down sciactic nerve for about 6 months until the doc cut it away) but these days I am doing 315lbs. Maintain good form and don't good morning the weight.

    Outside of the gym it helps to spend some time taking pressure off the disc and letting fluid refill it. This can be done by hanging upside down, or right side up for that matter or just spending some time in a hot tub or pool.

    If the disc is in the bulging stage you need to not lift at all, rest up, do therapy, etc. Exercise isn't going to push the disc back to where its supposed to be, only time off. Sleep with elevated knees, on a firmer matress.

    that is some great advice. i wish more therapist's, doctors and chiropractors would be up with the times and quit telling people to never lift weights again.
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  6. #6
    Registered User bruindelt's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the help.
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    I think I may have a buldging disc myself. The big toe on my right foot is numb, and sometime I have this dull weak ache in my back.
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    Reggiestored user HoosierBoy's Avatar
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    When I had a herniated disc, walking lunges were what kept my legs with some reasonable strength.
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    Originally Posted by bruindelt View Post
    About several months ago I was told the reason for my back pain is a bulging disk in my lower back. I am 24 years old and should not have this problem so early in my life. I went to physical therapy for a while to ease the pain. The one sure way to battle my problem is to make sure I am in shape, and have a specially strong core. what are some exercises I can do to start strenghthening my lower back and abs, as well as working on my other muscle groups without furthering my back injury? Thanks
    Bruindelt, I have a two buldging discs myself and I can tell you now that you must proceed carefully if you want to continue to train productively. First things first - depending on the extent of your injury, some of the advice given above will be helpful and some not so helpful. That being said it is entirely possible to keep making productive gains with this injury is you proceed intellegently.

    Initially my back was so bad that I could not walk without a walking stick and had very little mobility at all, but that only lasted a week or so. As for your core training, I suspect if your injury is nearly a serious as mine was bridges will actually be very painful to perform and will probably need to be excluded from your routines.

    Obviously squats, deadlifts and good mornings are out and probably will be for a long time. Besides that, even with your injury you should be able to follow a fairly complete program even with your injury ( overhead lifting will be difficult ).

    Chest - Back off your weight, up your reps a bit, then slowly progress back to where you were. Unless you are lifting very very heavy, or with bad form your back should be fine.

    Shoulders - Most excercises will be fine, however overhead lifting (particularly military press and dumbell press) may cause some pain from the load that the balancing the weight above your head may put on your disc.

    Back - You will find yourself limited in this area with deadlifts, good mornings, and rows are out. You will need to look to at some isolation style exersices to manage your back muscle and maintain size and definition.

    Biceps/Triceps - You shouldn't have any major problems in this area. One potential problem is cheat curls and if you perform this already dangerous exersice it will have to be removed immediately. Dips will proabably be fine, but approach weighting them with caution.

    Upper Legs - Hoosier was correct, weighted lunges are your best bet for maintaining leg strength and will give you the best shot at making progress in this area (though you may want to start very light). You will find these difficult at first, but like any excersice as your form and technique develops your weight will increase and you may be able to make some improvement.

    Calves - Machine standing calf raises will definately be out in the beginning as these load your disc terribley, however you may find your able to perform them without any pain if you use dumbells and do calf raises on a step. Seated Calf raises should work fine.

    Cardio - Tpower nailed it, high duration low-impact is the key. Also if a pool is available you will find that swimming is very helpful.

    ##MOST IMPORTANT##: The main issue that you will find in ALL of the exersices that you may or may not be able to perform is picking up and putting down the weight. Please do this carefully and if necessary get a training partner to help you as this is the most dangerous time - particularly when shifting your bench dumbells, or militrary press barbells.

    Rehab - As for core strength exercises I found that most of the exercises T-Power mentioned were impossible to perform with the injury. You will find that Swiss ball exersice variations are the go. Some of the ones I used include:

    * Bridging with your back flat on the floor and your heels on the ball.
    * Push up position the ball under your feet, extending and withdrawing your legs to arch and extend your back.
    * Lying on your back, with your knees bent a 90 degrees and rotating your torso by rolling your legs side to side on the ball.

    That should be a good starting point. Go from there.

    Hope that helps.
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  10. #10
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    if you have access when you're feeling better reverse hypers have been good to my back. it's a way to work the back by doing the exact opposite of loading weight which feels real nice and builds great strength also.
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    Registered User alimran13's Avatar
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    The result of my MRI report is given below

    "Posterior bulging of the L4-5 & L5-S1 disks without significant compression on corresponding exiting nerve roots".

    now my question is:

    1. Can I do exercise in Gym like Chest, Arms, Shoulder, Chinup, Pullup, Legs, ABS etc.

    thanks in advance.
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    Originally Posted by alimran13 View Post
    The result of my MRI report is given below

    "Posterior bulging of the L4-5 & L5-S1 disks without significant compression on corresponding exiting nerve roots".

    now my question is:

    1. Can I do exercise in Gym like Chest, Arms, Shoulder, Chinup, Pullup, Legs, ABS etc.

    thanks in advance.
    you should be able to do anything you want as long as you are okay with it and you are not hurting yourself. I work with a DC (chiro) and we see these types of injuries all the time. as long as you are will to help yourself you should be okay. keep in mind DO NOT OVERDUE IT!!!!!! if you can't lift it without struggling DONT DO IT!!!! it will only cause more injury. if you feel too sore at the end of your workout, make sure you drink plenty of water to help re hydrate your muscles and help with the healing process. it also helps to ice the area from 20-30mins at a time. make sure you consult your Dr before you do any of this though. excising is always good to help with the pain existing injuries to where you will feel none or very little pain. ask around for certain types of exercises that help with that type of injury. workout your core muscles to help with your injury and make sure you are giving yourself at least 15mins of stretching and warming up. a lot of people sometimes tend to ignore that and then end up getting injured and then wonder why it happens to them. the only thing I have to say is good luck and hope this helped.
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    Painting my house on a ladder fixed mine. Leaning back to work was like 8 hours a day of low back isometric exercise.
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