Sir Charles Phantom, the Notorious Litton (trilliah) wrote in treat_your_back,
Sir Charles Phantom, the Notorious Litton
trilliah
treat_your_back

New Member...

Hey everyone!

I went looking for a community like this because I need some advice.

Back in January of 2003, when I was working as a Nurse Assistant at a local hospital, I was bending over to tie a shoe lace and had a sharp pain in my lower back that got steadily worse over the next few minutes, until I could barely stand. My dad has a history of back spasms, so we assumed that was what it was; after a few days of rest it mostly cleared up. However, over the next three months, it started to get steadily worse; I finally went to my doctor, who told me it was likely muscular; he scheduled an outpatient MIR just in case and put me on Skelaxin.

Mistake. Three days later I went from being in pain to being unable to walk. I actually had to pull over on my drive to school and make my dad come pick me up because the act of driving was too painful. That was a Tuesday. On Thursday it took two people to get me into the car to go for my MRI. They finally decided to direct-admit me to the hospital (two floors down from where I worked, in fact), and a few hours after I got there they got my MRI results (the outpatient clinic had called my doctor's office because the results were so bad).

I'd herniated three discs--L4-L5 was the worst, but L3-L4 and L2-L3 were bluging as well. The orthopedic surgeon who came to talk to me told me that based on the scan alone, he would have assumed I was an 80-year-old man who'd been lifting boxes in a factory his whole life. Since I was at the time only 19, that was needless to say a little upsetting. I had to quit my job and start physical therapy, which went over a period of several months.


Now, three years later, I'm mostly recovered. I have the occasional pang in my back that lets me know I'm sitting in a way I shouldn't, or doing something incorrectly, but for the most part I'm stabilized. I'd really, really like to get my old job back. I know in order to make sure I don't get hurt again I need to really build those muscles in my abs, back, and legs. The legs I've got covered; abs and back present a bit more of a problem. I've been forbidden to do crunches or use one of those Roman chairs, which limits me a bit when it comes to abdominal work; I have no clue what to do for my back besides rowing.

Does anyone have some good exercises, or links to good pages with exercises for abs and/or back, that take herniated discs into account?

Any advice is much appreciated!
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Did your physical therapists not teach you any ab/back strengthening exercises? Mine were focused mostly on those areas and on my hips (they're hypermobile and were contributing to my back problems). I still can't do sit ups or any ab work that's not on the floor (to support my back) but I do a lot of crunches with my legs stretched out straight (to keep my lower back straight). Most of all I've been doing McKenzie extension exercises. You might also try bridge exercises: start lying on your back with your knees bent, feet on the floor: lift your hips while keeping your lower back straight, using your back and butt muscles. That one's not about the height of your hips as much as it is about keeping your lower back stable and working those muscles.

I'm not a doctor, obviously, but these are the main exercises my physical therapists have me doing for my herniated disks at L3-4, L4-5, and L5-S1. Good luck...
Woah, I just realized how old this entry was. LOL