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Herniated Disk

PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 1:38 pm
by jblunt
Four weeks ago I got an MRI which revealed that I have a 10mm bulge in my L-5. I have pain and numbness in my right leg and foot but only when I sit a long period of time at work. A neurologist suggested that I consult a neurosurgeon. The neurosurgeon after taking 5 minutes to look at my MRI told me that surgery would solve my problem. After consulting with those who have had back surgery I decided to hold off and try the exercises in Rebuild Your Back.

Are there any other helpful suggestions for me?

Thanks.

Try to hold off

PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 7:10 pm
by krd
Hey Jblunt

I too have a large herniation at L5. Sciatica pain was unbearable, 10 on a scale of 10. For 8 weeks this past summer, I could not walk more than 50 feet. I opted for epidural injections, 2 in 3 weeks, and agressive PT with a certified McKenzie Back PT. I have been pain free since December of 2006, and I am now back to playing golf and exercising 7 days a week with no pain at all.

You can find my previous posts to see exactly what I did and I hope that this will help you also. Good luck. Remember that the Cobra stretch is all that you should be doing right now. It will be difficult in the beginning, but it will be the best for you.

Ken

PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2007 12:30 am
by Dean
Hi Ken,

Always good to hear from you. I just wanted to interject that I don't totally agree with your advice and feel it could confuse some who are just getting started with the rebuilding process.

It's true that some people will find that they need to put off doing certain exercises in the beginning, but only if those exercises cause them problems.

I'm not saying my way is perfect... but so many people are getting great results with it just as it is... that I hate to have someone tell them to modify it before they've even had a chance to try it.

Just as an example, another member of this forum (Jules) also went to a Mckenzie therapist who told her the same thing you're saying and her progress stopped. She finally went back to the RYB program and is making progress again.

Here's the link to her thread and a quote from it:

http://www.rebuildyourback.com/forum/vi ... .php?t=556

The good news is that since I posted my last note, I am MUCH IMPROVED!!! I tend to listen to my body - in fact, sometimes, I become OBSESSED with listening, but decided to go back on to Dean's basic exercises, very gradually, and so far having a lot of success. I began with the Shifted Cobra after re-reading Dean's book in desperation, and then lo and behold began to feel an improvement. These back problems really turn you upside down eh??


This is not a reflection on McKenzie therapists... it just illustrates that things are not always absolute.

I think any good therapy program has to be flexible and able to adapt to the specific needs of the individual.

I'm glad you're back to playing golf again and that the dark days are finally behind you. I hope you realize what a valuable member of this forum you've been and just how many people you've helped by sharing your experiences on the long road to recovery.

I know Spring is here and the links are calling, but I hope you'll still find time to stop in and keep us posted on your activities.

Dean

Oh, by the way, I've been wanting to ask you about your Total Gym. Are you still happy with it? Do you still use it? Do you think it is a good investment? Would you buy it again or would you go with a different product?

I am curious about your opinions both pro and con now that you've had it for awhile. Perhaps if you get the time you could post a review in the General Chit Chat section.

Sciatica

PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2007 8:04 pm
by Jules
[Hi there - just wanted to reply to Dean's note re exercises. I went to see a Mckenzie Physio who told me to stop the exercises. However, after re-reading Dean's book, I decided to try the "shifted cobra" and have progressed to doing the basic exercises again.

Up to present date, I am definitely progressing well. I do the 'basics' probably 2 to 3 times daily, and add in a few of my own as well, just simple hip exercises that an Occupational Therapist gave me last year.

I have also recently retired, 5 weeks ago, and my job for over 20 years included lifting and bending, but also lots of getting in and out of my car, which must have had a big influence on my back problems.

I am now at the stage where I have hardly any pain at all - some weakness and a slight limp in my right leg, caused by the sciatica I guess, but taking no medication at all (fingers crossed) and getting on with my life as before, but with restrictions!

Again, I have to say, taking it slowly and one day at a time is the answer for me. But, I am going forward and that is the main thing, so good luck to all my back-pain mates on this site and everywhere else. There IS light at the end of the tunnel. Cheers, Julie.

PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:31 am
by randolph
Hi Jblunt

Just in case, you didn't pick it up in the conversation between Dean, Ken and Jules after your post, I'd encourage you to read Dean's books, the articles in the website, and forum posts that deal specifically with problems similar to yours. There's a lot of helpful info here, and it takes more than a few minutes to digest it.

You've lost nothing by postponing the surgery. You just might find you can cancel the surgery forever after you try RYB.

Randolph

Herniated Disk

PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:57 pm
by jblunt
Thanks for the replies. I have been doing twice a day the cobra. I am doing the back bend, side bend and the hib shrug 3 times a day. I still have pain in my right leg when I sit down. Also, in the last week I have had numbness in my left thigh. But I feel I have more strenght and the paine in the right leg is not as bad as it was before the exercises.

Any suggestions regarding other PT that I can do.

PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 5:21 am
by randolph
Hi Jblunt

I found some of the exercises that Dr Stuart McGill recommends in his book on lower back disorders to be of benefit to me. Several were helpful during the acute stage of my sciatica; I continue to do several others as part of my daily exercise routine, to build up strength and conditioning and flexibility.

Randolph

Herniated Disk

PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 1:11 pm
by jblunt
I have been doing the cobra, backbend, sidebend, hip shrugs for 4 weeks and my pain in my right leg has almost dissappeared. These exercises really work. I still have numbness in my left thigh and some burning feeing at night in the left thigh.

Would it be good to start trying other exercise in Dean's book or should I take it slow before moving on to the advance exercises?

Thanks to every one for your support and help.

PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 4:57 pm
by Dean
Hi jblunt,

If it's been four weeks, you're probably ready to start adding some of the advanced exercises about now. Just start out adding one or two at a time and take things gradually.

Dean

Herniated Disk

PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 3:33 pm
by jblunt
Dean,

What advance exercises in the book would you suggest? I fear to do one that might cause the pain to come back.

Thanks.

Jimmy

PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 5:50 am
by Dean
The decompression and mobilization exercises are the most important for dealing with herniated discs and sciatica type problems... but all of the exercises are safe to do. Just pick one or two from all four areas and try them out.

Some sample routines are also listed in the back of the book to give you some idea of the possibilities.

I do all of the exercises in the book ... just not all at the same time. Some I do 5 or 6 times a day ... almost without thinking about it ... and others I only do once or twice a week.

As you get familiar with them, you'll work out your own system for incorporating them into your routine.

Dean

PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 11:52 am
by kshum88
Randalph,

What do you think of Dr. Stuart McGrill's book? Is it helpful? I know he presented some ideas contradictory to Dean's method, such as avoiding doing certain excercises like sit ups, pelvic tilts, leg raises, etc. and recommend some others. I haven't read the book but am wondering if it is helpful for treating back pain.

Kevin

Herniated Disk

PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 4:14 pm
by jblunt
Dean,

Before finding out I had a herniated disk I work out 3 times a week with weights and jogged 3 miles. I know I can't do this but I would like to go back to lifting weights and if not jogging, walking 1 to 2 miles. Would this be wise to start doing now or should I wait for a period of time and just do the advance exercises for now.

Also, I had a part time job doing audio/visual work. It requires some bending and lifting items that weigh 50lbs. or less. I was wondering if I could start doing this in the near future?

Thanks.

Jimmy

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 10:55 pm
by Dean
I would just do the advanced exercises for now.

Perhaps in another month or so you could start to add a few light weightlifting exercises to your routine. But don't rush it. The weights will still be there AFTER your back is 100 percent.

Trust me, a setback at this point will cost you more than if you just take things slowly.

Dean