prolapsed disc - how much would it hurt???

matthew34 Posts: 13

A while ago I was in quite a lot of pain followign a back stain. The initial pain has died down but I still have an annoying pain and stiffness in my lower back that I'm worried is a disc probelm. It isn't debilitating but it is quite tender and my mobility is suffering.

However as I have little experience of disc related problems I don't know if this level of discomfort could signal a disc problem, or whether it is much more likely to be a muscle strain that I can start trying to sort out. My physio doesn't seem to think that it is disc realted but I can't help worrying that it might be.

I should say that after years of cycling (i'm 36) my hamstrings are in a terrible state and maybe this isn't helping with the back problem.

I appreciate that this is a tricky question but really I just want to hear from anybody that I might have some experience of persistent back problems or actual disc problems.



  • Hi Matt

    I currently have a lower back slipped disc. It started with a sore hamsring, so went for
    physio, 10 sessions later no change. He tried everything, stretching, tens machine, even
    traction! eventually went to see a consultant and had an MRI scan. Scan showed a slip disc
    which was pressing on my sciatic nerve hence a feeling of a pulled hamstring. The strange thing with mine is that the more I keep active and riding the better it is. I've read up loads on the problem and all say to keep active.

    I'd suggest doing lots of stretching and above all go and get a scan just so you know exactly what the problem is.

    PS I'm 37 so must be old age arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! It'll never stop me ridin!!
  • thanks Wayne

    I think that I'll take your advice and try and get an MRI to get to the bottom of this.

  • brownbosh
    brownbosh Posts: 602
    I have 2 prolapses inmy neck one in my lower back and facet issues top and bottom plus missplaced hips, aa leg length discrepancy and sciatica. As has been said keep exercising, take advice on spinal mobilsation exercises, spin small gears up hills and warm up well. Dont stretch until after a work out and even then make sure its done in the anatomically correct way. Back problems curse my daily life but i still manage 200 miles per week on the bike. The bike is the easy bit!!!!!
  • fenski
    fenski Posts: 119
    Hmm, interesting thread. About a month ago I damaged something in my lower back by raising my saddle too high (don't ask why...) then going for a longish ride - as soon as I got off the bike at the end of the ride, I knew I had done something not very good. My amateur diagnosis led me to believe I may have done something to my sacroiliac joint.

    I decided that the best thing to do was to stay off the bike until things felt better - however things still don't feel any better :(

    The advice on this thread seems to suggest that I've done the wrong thing by avoiding the bike?
  • bill57
    bill57 Posts: 454
    I had a lower back disc problem earlier this year, second time for me. Sciatica both times, which I believe is one of the commonest symptoms of this injury. I had pain right down my leg, and the typical sciatica under the buttock pain. I limped badly, and certainly couldn't run, but cycling wasn't too difficult, strangely enough.
  • ellieb
    ellieb Posts: 436
    i am a surgeon who also happens to ride a bike and have a partner who is a keen cyclist. Here are the facts:
    Slipped discs don't in general cause back pain - they sometimes cause sciatica - which is nerve pain in the leg.
    Sometimes wear and tear in the back is referred to the buttocks and thighs and you feel pain there.
    if you have back pain then the best thing to do is:
    1) stretch your hamstrings after every ride and daily at least
    2)try pilates or the alexander technique
    3)keep active
    4)walk a lot
    5)don't get an MRI scan unless you have true sciatica (severe pain in the leg into the foot associated with pins& needles or numbness) it is a waste of time.

    Back pain is usually not caused by one event - think of the rest of your lifestyle - work etc. do you sit a lot at a computer? It's the worst thing you can do.
    You can be cardiovascularly fit but not be "back fit". that's where pilates/alexander technique come in.
  • peanut
    peanut Posts: 1,373
    ellieb wrote:
    i am a surgeon who also happens to ride a bike and have a partner who is a keen cyclist. .
    Before I post in response to the OP's question
    I would be very interested to know what you see in this scan of my spine.

  • hopper1
    hopper1 Posts: 4,389
    I had a ruptured disc a few years ago, which caused pressure on the sciatic nerve, just about parallising my right leg, such was the pain! :shock:
    Funny enough, like other contributors to the thread, I was most comfortable whilst seated and leaning forward at about 45°, similar to being on a bicycle. I didn't have a road bike at the time, so found solace on GSX-R!!!! :wink:
    An MRI identified the rogue disc, followed by a discectomy to remedy it.
    Intrusive surgery is a last resort, but I had no option. But, after suffering on and off for years previous to this instance, I can say it was the best thing that ever happened to me.
    Following the op, I woke up feeling brand new, suffering none of the possible post op symptoms I was warned about. :lol:
    That was ten years ago, still good as new, now.
    I do take a little more care nowadays, but I'm still not as thoughtful as I should be.
    You only have one spine.......
    Tip: When you go to bed, roll a hand towel up (about 2" diameter) place under the arch of your back. This will help support your spine in it's natural curved position whilst you sleep, and your muscles relax. :wink:
    Start with a budget, finish with a mortgage!