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mosley1990
05-31-2011, 03:25 PM
I went to the doctor today to get my MRI results and it turns out I have a herniated disc. Has anyone else had one? It really worries me about being able to squat or deadlift. I'm just freaking out a bit right now looking for some advice and to see if anyone has been in this position. The injury occured deadlifting. I guess my form went all to hell on my second rep.

dbc3po
05-31-2011, 03:34 PM
Ive had one. I couldnt walk for 2 days due to swelling and nerve damage. The docs will give you shitty news, but you will be back. I was told I would never lift again and I just squatted 900 in my last meet. What I did was a shit load of pull through, kbell swings, light parallel good mornings and a ton of stretching. I didnt have access to a reverse hyper but I tried every machine I could at the old commercial gym to re hab it. Biggest thing is to let some of the pain go away then start the rehab, dont start to early. I still have a flare up here and there but nothing a little stretching cant help.

LouPac
05-31-2011, 06:32 PM
I have a herniated disk in my L5 and one in my C5. For a while the L5 severely limited me. I could barely walk some days and my wife had to put my shoes and socks on. I went to a chiropractor and physical therapist for 2 months where I had traction and other stuff done. It only bothers me when I don't work out now, or when I max out on deads. It never bothers me during squats.

mosley1990
05-31-2011, 06:48 PM
So far you guys have given me some hope. it has been probably close to a solid month now and the doctor told me he would try PT for 3 weeks then he would consider another option and even mentioned surgery. I feel like he is jumping the gun on that one. My herniated disc doesn't sound as bad as dbc's but closer to Lou's. The pain has started to let up and I can put my socks and shoes on by myself now with some discomfort. Did you all just have pain down one leg or both? Mine only goes down my right leg starting with my glute, skips my thigh, then picks back up in the calf in which i have some slight loss of feeling and a definite weakness right now (calf can cramp and the only way to get it to release is to stand of it for a couple minutes lol)

Thanks for the replies so far, guys.

Off Road
05-31-2011, 07:01 PM
I have 3 herniated discs, nerve damge, and was pretty messed up in general. I recieved a 65% disability rating, I was basically a parapalegic for a year and I was off work for three years before I could finish rehab and start rehabilitation. I learned to lift weights while I was in rehab from my PT. Today I can squat pain free but the deadlifts are still limited, I just have a hard time starting the lift from a bent position. There is hope :)

LouPac
05-31-2011, 07:11 PM
So far you guys have given me some hope. it has been probably close to a solid month now and the doctor told me he would try PT for 3 weeks then he would consider another option and even mentioned surgery. I feel like he is jumping the gun on that one. My herniated disc doesn't sound as bad as dbc's but closer to Lou's. The pain has started to let up and I can put my socks and shoes on by myself now with some discomfort. Did you all just have pain down one leg or both? Mine only goes down my right leg starting with my glute, skips my thigh, then picks back up in the calf in which i have some slight loss of feeling and a definite weakness right now (calf can cramp and the only way to get it to release is to stand of it for a couple minutes lol)

Thanks for the replies so far, guys.

If I recall correctly, I had pain just down my right leg. Fwiw, my doctor had recommended epidural shots and then surgery, but I declined and went to a chiropractor. Leave surgery as the last alternative when all else fails.

dasfonzie
05-31-2011, 08:25 PM
So far you guys have given me some hope. it has been probably close to a solid month now and the doctor told me he would try PT for 3 weeks then he would consider another option and even mentioned surgery. I feel like he is jumping the gun on that one. My herniated disc doesn't sound as bad as dbc's but closer to Lou's. The pain has started to let up and I can put my socks and shoes on by myself now with some discomfort. Did you all just have pain down one leg or both? Mine only goes down my right leg starting with my glute, skips my thigh, then picks back up in the calf in which i have some slight loss of feeling and a definite weakness right now (calf can cramp and the only way to get it to release is to stand of it for a couple minutes lol)

Thanks for the replies so far, guys.


I herniated two discs a couple years ago and it still hurts but is manageable. i have pain right at the base of my spine on the left side but also in my right hip and pain in my right quad/glute/ham almost daily as well as numbness in my right calf and foot. i also found out that i had arthritis in my right hip, i don't know whether this was a direct cause from my squatting injury but that's when i became aware of it, so maybe you will have a better time recovering than i have

I know that doesn't sound fun, but I found a good chiro and pain specialist. also initially i saw a physical therapist until my insurance said no. yoga, stretching, pain meds, heat and ice are kind of a part of my daily life now, especially since i've started lifting regularly again, but you can definitely keep making solid gains, you'll just have to deal with some moderate pain probably,

mosley1990
05-31-2011, 08:29 PM
This has definitely lightened the mood on this subject for me. I'm only 20 and was really looking forward to hitting some big numbers this year. I thought I was pretty much done but, after what all you guys have said I have hope that I can make a recovery and get back to smashing weights. Do you guys prefer to deadlift sumo or conventional? I was curious if this would maybe help take some stress off my lower back once it heals. I have always been a raw conventional puller (was pulling conventional when this happened) but, if changing to sumo full time would help then i would gladly make the change.

LouPac
05-31-2011, 08:32 PM
This has definitely lightened the mood on this subject for me. I'm only 20 and was really looking forward to hitting some big numbers this year. I thought I was pretty much done but, after what all you guys have said I have hope that I can make a recovery and get back to smashing weights. Do you guys prefer to deadlift sumo or conventional? I was curious if this would maybe help take some stress off my lower back once it heals. I have always been a raw conventional puller (was pulling conventional when this happened) but, if changing to sumo full time would help then i would gladly make the change.

I deadlift conventional. I'm not saying you won't have setbacks, but once you get yourself all healed, you should be fine. In the beginning you just really have to stretch a lot, every single day.

mosley1990
05-31-2011, 08:48 PM
I deadlift conventional. I'm not saying you won't have setbacks, but once you get yourself all healed, you should be fine. In the beginning you just really have to stretch a lot, every single day.

Good lol i really didnt want to give up pulling conv raw. I'm fine with stretching i needed to start doing that anyway.

jkstrength
05-31-2011, 09:53 PM
I ruptured a disk in 2009. I mean completely blew it into my spinal cord. Surgeon said he pulled chunks of disk out the size of the end of his thumb. Lost 70% of the disk. Just started competing last year and so far, I have no problems with it other than I still can't really flex my right calf due to nerve damage. I pull conventional.
As others have said before, streching is extremely important. Also, I did lots of hyperextensions, pull throughs, etc... Hope this helps.

mosley1990
05-31-2011, 10:41 PM
This definitely makes me feel better about it. How long did it take you all to get back into training?

AdamBAG
06-01-2011, 07:57 AM
I'm about 22 months out from a pretty severe herniation of L5-S1. I still have sciatic pain, but not from lifting. Usually it is from too much sitting and letting my hips, glutes, and low back lock up.

The key for coming back is to be patient. If the herniation is bad, you will hurt it again if you don't play it smart. I know this b/c the first six months I would start feeling better and then hurt myself again.

So starting in December of 2009 I decided that I totally stopped squatting and deadlifting and just rehabbed myself. My lower work was back extensions, lunges, split squat etc. Anything that didn't load my back a lot.

After 3-4 months I started squatting and pulling again using 5/3/1. I started my squat max as 135 and my deadlift max as 205 (lightest weight so that I'd always have a plate on the bar). I've been doing 531 for about 15 months now and I recently squatted an easy 365 x 3 and pulled an easy 440 x 3.

I personally felt the reverse hyper did not help me and actually hurt me. My disk would move so easily that it could not take the stress from the RH.

I also have an excellent chiropractor who is a lifter, which has helped a lot. He identified some weaknesses in my glutes and prescribed some exercises to strengthen them. Also, he added single leg work into my training in order to keep both sides balanced.

I wish you luck. Be patient. You can lift heavy for a very, very long time. This isn't like a pro or college sport where you have a limited window to compete.

jkstrength
06-01-2011, 10:26 AM
This definitely makes me feel better about it. How long did it take you all to get back into training?

I believe it was 12 weeks before I could get back to the gym. Had physical therapy the last 4 weeks of that. Then when I did get back it was light dumbbells or bar only for everything for another 2-3 weeks. I would say it was a somewhere around 5 months before I had a plate on the bar again but once I got there everything progressed so rapidly it was unreal. I also lost 15 pounds during the recovery process which they told me was normal for a lifter who becomes inactive but that weight came back quickly once I was back into it.

andhen2003
06-01-2011, 12:24 PM
i herniated a disc on Monday and found out what it was yesterday. i was stuck on the floor at one point for two hours and was UNABLE to get out of bed yesterday. When i had to pee so bad i couldnt take it anymore i bit down on my wallet and had my wife roll me out of bed. lower back full spasms constantly, which is the worst pain i have ever felt.

i see a very good sports medicine doc in NJ. he got me started on a bunch of drugs, did 8 shots in my back, and i am back at work today. he even did chiropractic adjustments on me YESTERDAY. i was howling in pain when he did it (with all the interns watching as he demonstrated). today, my back is great but i feel like shit from the meds (probably the steroids he gave me). he said he absolutely thought i could go back to powerlifting, and fairly soon. he said mine wasn't too bad, as there was no pain radiating down my butt, legs or groin. definitely just a herniation, rather than a blow out.

let me know how you progress and i will do the same.

mosley1990
06-01-2011, 12:30 PM
I'm about 22 months out from a pretty severe herniation of L5-S1. I still have sciatic pain, but not from lifting. Usually it is from too much sitting and letting my hips, glutes, and low back lock up.

The key for coming back is to be patient. If the herniation is bad, you will hurt it again if you don't play it smart. I know this b/c the first six months I would start feeling better and then hurt myself again.

So starting in December of 2009 I decided that I totally stopped squatting and deadlifting and just rehabbed myself. My lower work was back extensions, lunges, split squat etc. Anything that didn't load my back a lot.

After 3-4 months I started squatting and pulling again using 5/3/1. I started my squat max as 135 and my deadlift max as 205 (lightest weight so that I'd always have a plate on the bar). I've been doing 531 for about 15 months now and I recently squatted an easy 365 x 3 and pulled an easy 440 x 3.

I personally felt the reverse hyper did not help me and actually hurt me. My disk would move so easily that it could not take the stress from the RH.

I also have an excellent chiropractor who is a lifter, which has helped a lot. He identified some weaknesses in my glutes and prescribed some exercises to strengthen them. Also, he added single leg work into my training in order to keep both sides balanced.

I wish you luck. Be patient. You can lift heavy for a very, very long time. This isn't like a pro or college sport where you have a limited window to compete.
I think my herniation is just moderate. I didnt get to really see the report but, he left it laying there and it said something about a moderate herniation. I just can't wait to squat and deadlift again lol. they are my favorite lifts.


I believe it was 12 weeks before I could get back to the gym. Had physical therapy the last 4 weeks of that. Then when I did get back it was light dumbbells or bar only for everything for another 2-3 weeks. I would say it was a somewhere around 5 months before I had a plate on the bar again but once I got there everything progressed so rapidly it was unreal. I also lost 15 pounds during the recovery process which they told me was normal for a lifter who becomes inactive but that weight came back quickly once I was back into it.

So much for competing this year lol. Thats okay though, id rather heal completely then come back than to reinjure myself. I'm very tired of just doing floor press(just trying to eliminate myself wanting to use leg drive right now lol)

theBarzeen
06-01-2011, 04:10 PM
My wife ( who also competes, but won't get on the forums) put 3 disks out in a car accident last year..... she continued to squat but was in a lot of pain ( mid-400's at 132)... she started chiro and physical therapy and after 6 months of squatting raw with the bar, then dimes, then quarters she finally worked up to a plate. She spent a few months just doing reps with a plate before she got the go ahead to put any weight back on her.

Now a year later she can squat almost where she was before the accident, but her deadlift hasn't come back yet.... went from low 300's to mid 200's. Almost pain free. We did lots of rehab work, rows, high pulls, etc... the disks were in her neck and upper back so I know it's different from most of you guys who put them out in the lower back..... but it shows that you can come back from it.

MikeWilliams
06-01-2011, 04:14 PM
i got 2 herniated discs and a pinched nerve and arthritis throughout my back...I used to have problems with deadlifting but I worked through it..I would get that paralyzing pain where you can't move..can't sleep...but it all went away

RhodeHouse
11-29-2012, 06:33 AM
Be very patient and smart. I didn't take the time to read any of the other esponses. I've had 2 in my neck and currently have been dealing with 2 in my low back for the last 3-4 years. I have tried everything from not training to just plowing through it.

First, go to physical therapy and get some of the basic rehab work that a Pt can help you with.

Looking back, the best thing I've done is to stop squatting and deadlifting and find similar exercises and work the shit out of them. give yourself timelines. Maybe 1 month of no squatting or deadlifting. Maybe 2 months. After a pre-determined amount of time, TRY squatting and see how you feel after the session, next few days, etc... The next week, TRY deadlifting and see how you feel. Now, don't load up the bar and be an asshole. Put 135 on the bar and go. Maybe sets of 3-5. Maybe try 185? If it feels good, stop!

If ANYTHING acts up - STOP! Find a Leg Press, preferably and standing type and work your squat and deadlift that way. I would stay away from any kind of Leg Press where you sit. Horrible back position and you just make things worse.

Try leg extensions and leg curls to work the muscles while you rehab the back.

Don't do any sit-ups and movements of the like. Do a shit ton of planks and bridging and bracing movements to build up stability.

Stay away from Standing Military Pressing and any kind of DB Rowing or BB Rowing. Do all back work with some kind of support.

Ice and do all little exercises/rehab stuff as often as possible. At least everyday. Stretch. Don't stretch hard, but get a light stretch in and loosen up.

No matter what, be patient and look at the long haul. Who cares if you squat and pull in a year. I'd be more interested in being able to it the rest of my life, rather than right now, getting injured and maybe never being able to train the way you want to because of injury.

Good luck.