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  1. #1
    Registered User tezarin's Avatar
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    Cardio for herniated disc?

    Hi,

    I am new to this forum and have a bit of a situation regarding my back.
    On Jan 3, 09 I slept on my sofa and the next morning, I woke up with so much pain in my back, sort of like pulled muscle or something...

    I used to go to the gum 6-7 days a week (just using elliptical machine for 65 min) prior to that incident, but because if the pain, I took two days off and then resumed my workout routine (while still in a bit of pain).

    The pain got worse mostly in the morning, I would wake up with a stiff back and the situation would get better as the day goes on and I would still go to the gym.

    About 2 weeks ago, I finally decided to go see a doctor for my back and he took some x-rays which showed the last disc is getting thinner (that thng between the two bones). He told me to just walk or jog while at the gym and stay away from the elliptical. He also sent me to PT which I no2 go 2 times a week.

    I couldn't stay away from the elliptical and the pain was almost gone (except in the morning which was feeling stiff). The PT guy told me to just use the bike for 15 min and do some stretches to help my back get stronger...

    But it's really hard not to finish a full sessin of cardio (15 min is really not that helping!) and therefore, I was wondering if anyone could let me know what cardio workouts are back friendly? If someone could relate to my situation and if you have any advice for me please share :-)

    Thanks in advance,
    Tezarin
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  2. #2
    ndn Al Swearengen's Avatar
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    i have the same problem and every now and then it pushes out and i feel pain for several weeks until it goes back in although my disc is not thinning. elliptical has not been a problem for me as long as i set the stride to the lowest setting and do not go too fast
    ..............

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  3. #3
    Registered User tezarin's Avatar
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    Hi Al Swearengen,

    Thanks for your reply. The thinning part is what my doctor said after he saw the X-rays (taken from the side view) but today I'm going for a MRI and that'll probably show the real situation...


    Exactly as you said, I can do elliptical (lowest resistance and uphill setting=10) and have no problem, feeling fine for couple of weeks and one day something really small aggrevates it, like sitting in a car for 1 hour or sleeping on my back (with pillows under the knee) for 3 hours!


    Now, back to your situation:
    Sorry to hear that you feel the same pain. Do you workout during those weeks while you're in pain? If so, which cardio workouts and for how long?

    I just don't want to be like this for the rest of my life, you know what I mean...

    Thanks again,
    Tezarin
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  4. #4
    Registered User subpolarbear's Avatar
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    Try sleeping on a hard surface. It will help align your back better than sleeping on a couch or an over softened bed. Also do some hanging from a pullup bar. You can use the attachements if available that you hook on the bar and use to do ab exercises. This will let your back stretch and allow the area in between your vertebrae a chance to refill a little.
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  5. #5
    ndn Al Swearengen's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by tezarin View Post
    Hi Al Swearengen,

    Thanks for your reply. The thinning part is what my doctor said after he saw the X-rays (taken from the side view) but today I'm going for a MRI and that'll probably show the real situation...


    Exactly as you said, I can do elliptical (lowest resistance and uphill setting=10) and have no problem, feeling fine for couple of weeks and one day something really small aggrevates it, like sitting in a car for 1 hour or sleeping on my back (with pillows under the knee) for 3 hours!


    Now, back to your situation:
    Sorry to hear that you feel the same pain. Do you workout during those weeks while you're in pain? If so, which cardio workouts and for how long?

    I just don't want to be like this for the rest of my life, you know what I mean...

    Thanks again,
    Tezarin
    certainly you do not want to aggravate your injury into a worsening state. it happens to me about once a year and sometimes last's up to 6 weeks but then it subsides and i can continue training with weight lifting. i can usually do light cardio after it feels somewhat better and what i usually incorporate is using a lifting belt whenever it is flared up when on the elliptical. it may seem funny to wear a lifting belt on an elliptical but it helps when my disc is bulging as you know any support helps.

    i'm unsure of what your injuries will mean down the road but mine has been decent to me over the years with only bothering me once every year or two and i have had it for well over 15 years now.
    ..............

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    none but ourselves can free our minds

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  6. #6
    Registered User tezarin's Avatar
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    Subpolarbear, Al Swearengen,

    Thanks for your replies.

    Subpolarbear,
    As for the hard surface, I had a really hard mattress and back then, I used to sleep on my stomach (bad bad I know). After January, I continued using this mattress and it didn't help...Then I bought a memory foam mattress topper and that helped a bit. I haven't tried sleeping on the ground, though if that's what you mean, will give that a try.

    Al Swearengen, did I understand it correctly? You said you do go to the gym during that 6 weeks time frame and just use the belt (doctor gave me one, too!). or may be you we re saying that you wait 6 weeks and then go to the gym? Sorry, i'm being too thick, i know :-) Just trying to make sure how to deal with this back pain...sigh
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  7. #7
    Registered User tezarin's Avatar
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    Hi Al Swearengen,

    Just wanted to report back and say thanks so much for the brilliant idea (using lifting belt when on the elliptical)! It worked like a charm and my back pain is mostly gone now :-) AND because of it, I even lost more weight while doing my cardio...

    I will keep you all posted if something comes up (hopefully only good things!)

    Thanks,
    Tezarin
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  8. #8
    Registered User paul0616's Avatar
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    I bet many people have a "thinning" disc in the lumbar, just undiagnosed. To keep disc healthy, probably walking and jogging is best, because you are vertical, and the movement and shock is good for the disc, moves nutrients in, waste out, etc. Sitting on a bicycle, not so good. Elliptical is probably neutral.
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  9. #9
    Registered User beachguy498's Avatar
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    I keep my belt in the car and bring it in with me on those bad days. I have 3 compressed lumbar discs, been through the chiropractor and PT thing.

    The damndest thing is that the most ridiculous thing sets it off, stepping off a curb wrong, sneezing, etc. Helping carrying a refrigerator up a flight of stairs is a piece of cake.

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