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
Thread: Bulging Disk, Good exercises?
06-09-2008, 08:50 AM #1
Bulging Disk, Good exercises?
06-09-2008, 10:45 AM #2
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?
06-09-2008, 03:02 PM #3
06-09-2008, 04:13 PM #4
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?
06-09-2008, 06:53 PM #5
06-10-2008, 02:45 PM #6
06-10-2008, 03:17 PM #7
06-10-2008, 03:38 PM #8
06-10-2008, 08:06 PM #9
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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06-10-2008, 08:24 PM #10
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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04-01-2013, 12:19 AM #11
07-29-2013, 12:49 PM #12
07-29-2013, 12:54 PM #13
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04-17-2015, 11:49 PM #14
so I have 3 bulging dics.. most likely will have surgery according to my Doctor pretty soon. ive had the first round of epidural shots and will have the second in two weeks. my doctor really doubt it will help. so with that being said I am gaining weight and im trying to loose it again for my diabetes health problems. I read the comments and will try to do the standing thing and just walking but I want to know since I cant do most workouts for my butt does anyone know what else I can do other than squats???? I need to workout all areas! thank you so much for the advice!
04-18-2015, 02:42 AM #15
I've had lower back pain for the last 5-6 years and I'm 27.I went to a couple of doctors and they both told me I had to strenghen my core and correct my posture.
In my case crunches really helped,elevated feet and 3-4 sets of 15 reps feel really good.
One really helpful exercise is romanian deadlifts but with less weight of course and not such a deep bend.I just unload the bar from the bench rack and do 4-5 sets of 8-12 reps which really keep my back tight so I guess you could try that as well.
Walking is your best cardio option since it does not put a lot of strain on your joints but you can try the recumbent bike as well.
07-22-2015, 04:23 PM #16
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Back pain since I was 24
The past 15 years I've been dealin with it I go to a chiro ...sometimes I can go 5-6 months without any set backs but then I I'll have to go every other day for two weeks. I only go when it's pinched bad like I feel it will get worse. I have shooting pain down leg back I 2005 but that was the worst. I couldn't walk once I got a chiro to pull on legs & adjust hips that way I was instant relief. Now it comes & goes. Lifting weights is good it's the awkward twisting & yard work crap that gets me or squats , leg press or hacks. Leg exercises can throw it off prob a bulging disk . Sometimes it hurts center lower back & it hurts grion area like balls with ache lol . I had that 10 years ago finally found out it was from back bc it only hurt when I would sit down . Just do what doesn't hurt. Usually a good 3-4 days off and I'm good but I lift about 4-5 times a week and making gains best Gaines ever at age 39 & been lifting since age 18
05-18-2016, 01:51 AM #17
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For low back pain, seeing a PT who recommended some prone workouts, bridges, planks and side planks, stretching, and some other stuff helped alot. Honestly though you could read up about this stuff online and save yourself a bunch of money. They would charge me $150 per session just to lay on a bed and follow simple instructions for an hour, the same instructions each session, and they were just parroting advice commonly found online in a simple google search "lower back rehab". ****ing medicine in the United States has become the new mafia, just like college tuition.
I bought a lower back cushion and this really helped me cope with the pain when I was sitting down. Before I bought the cushion I was begging my employer to let me work from home because of the ****ty office "chairs".
Modifying my workout routine to avoid compressions, flexions, shocks, twists, etc with the plan of slowly reincorporating them.
Avoiding stuff that aggravated it.
But what utterly annihilated my lower back pain (I went from almost constant lower back pain to virtually ZERO afterwards) was doing hyperextensions. For 5 days afterwards my lower back felt like hell but I think it was entirely soreness. Once the soreness went away, I noticed the lower back pain was gone also. I can't believe people recommend against doing these, this cured me as if Jesus had touched my lower back. And I did it because I thought why not give it a try, nobody recommended it. Start with no plates then work your way up all the way to 45 lb plates and do a bunch of reps, the harder the exercise the better your back will feel.
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05-18-2016, 05:57 AM #18