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Herniated disc and cycling

ts about a year that i am away from my beloved Bianchi. The reason is the bad condition of my back, mostly a herniated disc among with other smaller issues. The 1st doctor that ive visit told me that i have to hung my cycling shoes.It was one of the toughest moments of my life. I was full of tears

Ive tried every possible physical therapy that you can imagine.Some times i felt healthy and i tried to get back on my bike, and i was so happy, but after a few days the pain was back even worse than before.

Then they suggested me to visit the best neurosurgeon of the island. He said that indeed, my back is on a bad condition, but since that i dont have paralysis and the pain is something that i can live with its not a mandatory to make a surgery but if want to get back to cycling i have to do it. Being active will protect me in the future from more similar problems that i will face anyway, its just matter of time.

The million dollar question now. Has anyone of you has been through that? Is that makes you better? have anyone of you recovered from something similar? How long it takes? How fast i will be able to go back to my office? The doc promised me that i will be able to do what i was doing. Does that have some truth on it?

Posts

  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,822
    I had/have a herniated disc from a car knocking me off my bike.

    I was advised against surgery unless symptoms (which were bad enough to impact quite a bit on everyday life) persisted for at least another year.

    Sounds like you have waited and done exercises on a consistent basis without much of a positive response? In that case my experience is different - I found that manipulation by a physio didn't help but doing a range of core exercises, some glute activation stuff and a little stretching (I avoid aggressive stretches that might pull on the back) on a consistent basis has pretty much worked.



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  • yellowv2yellowv2 Posts: 237

    I had/have a herniated disc from a car knocking me off my bike.

    I was advised against surgery unless symptoms (which were bad enough to impact quite a bit on everyday life) persisted for at least another year.

    Sounds like you have waited and done exercises on a consistent basis without much of a positive response? In that case my experience is different - I found that manipulation by a physio didn't help but doing a range of core exercises, some glute activation stuff and a little stretching (I avoid aggressive stretches that might pull on the back) on a consistent basis has pretty much worked.


    This is also my experience, although I also use a Chiropractor.

  • grenwgrenw Posts: 788
    I did mine 10 years ago. It stopped me running so I took up mountain biking. Seemed to help a lot - I guess all of the core exercising. I'm now almost entirely a road rider and it doesn't seem to make things worse, in fact the more I ride the better my back seems to be. I've read that anything that gets the blood flowing is good for your back and indeed even a good long walk helps mine feel good. Probably the movement and 'warmth'

    Lounging around is what does for my back. Posture.
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 9,047
    edited July 2020
    I had a partially herniated disc circa 17 years ago, lived with it for 10 years, and tried pretty much everything under the sun aside from accupuncture.

    Happened across a thread on here where Jo McRae was mentioned, and recommended - messaged the chap, whose name I forget (David or Mike maybe), and was convinced enough to drop her a line.

    Her reply re-assured me she was worth a visit, ended up seeing her twice, and she managed to 95% sort what a doctor, physio, osteopath, masseur, tamars person, chiropractor as well as pilates and the alexander technique were unable to make any progress with.

    I just wish I had found her earlier, but I'm also so happy I found her eventually.

    There were times when it could really get me down, especially as I would try a 'fix' and it would not resolve anything, and I could see my options getting less and less.

    This was virtually, aside from accupuncture (Which I realise now would not have worked) a last roll of the dice, if it had not worked, I would have been resigned to chronic pain for the rest of my life.

    Friend of mine at work went to see her on my recommendation, and was equally impressed, and ended up sending his wife to her as well.

    I still get little setbacks, or issues, but critically I now have the 'tools' to head them off before anything really painful happens.
    I probably should do regular exercises with regards to it though, and if I did, I suspect I would not see these issues pop up.
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  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,258
    The OP hasn't really given people much to comment on really. A lot will depend on the level of herniation (ie stages 1-4) and the location of the disc itself.

    I had a stage 2 herniation around L3/L4 about 18 years ago now, which put me out of action for a few months, but aside from a couple of mild relapses within the subsequent 12 months or so, I've had no issues since. But none of that will be of any help to the OP is his problem is a different level/location.
  • rickeverettrickeverett Posts: 988
    Not as bad as OP but I suffered a bulging disc back in early April this year that put me out of action for a good 7-8 weeks.
    Thankfully rest, correct excesses stretching helped and it's almost 100% back to normal. I started going out very gradually about two or three weeks ago and can do 30-40miles max now. With stretching before and after.

    That's the killer- being religious with your recovery exercises at the time and after must be done.

    But the thought at the time of not being able to ride (especially as it was through that period of warm sunny weather and I just bought a new bike) got me down.

    Walking was the answer for me. Being in lockdown and in pain I started laps of the garden (quite big 200m a lap) and then later ventured out for walks over the fields etc. I changed my mindset from being bike focused to boot focused and still got the air and exercise.

    For most people in most cases you will get through it. I can only offer that positive thought and experience with back pain for anyone reading this thread now and in the future.
  • singletonsingleton Posts: 1,918
    I've got 2 herniated discs that still need to be managed, but I can cycle okay.
    I do other exercises as well, and for there are two things that are absolutely critical to my ongoing back management:
    1. Low weight. I need to keep my weight low to reduce the added burden and strain on my back.
    2. A strong core. Various ways to achieve this but don't just do sit-ups. I've found compound movements with kettlebells or sandbags to be the best long term for me.

    As well as the above, you may need to change your cycling position to something more appropriate.
  • Rilkal47Rilkal47 Posts: 22
    I herniated a disc in my lower back a few years ago while doing bent over dumbell rows, it was unrivalled agony for weeks.

    I started by taking three cuprofen tablets a day, they are small pink tablets behind the counter at the pharmacy its a form if ibuprofen but they are high dose tablets so I was on for two weeks then off for two weeks because they can cause stomach ulcers.

    My Physio then gave me two sets of exercises; firstly to deal with the issue and get the muscles back to working strength they were hip raises then straight leg lifts.

    Secondly he gave me a list of desk stretches which I do every hour I am at my desk.

    On top of all of that I found that deadlifting brought the most benifit, slowly going from just the 20kg bar up to 150kg shortly before lock down without any pain at all

    My physio was also very quick to point out that too many people either consign themselves to the scrap heap once back pain happens and that they then nurse it for the rest of their lives which makes the situation worse. They also don't realise that recovery for your back is a marathon not a sprint.

    Good luck and I hope you get better soon, everyone fobs of back pain as an overreaction until they actually suffer from it and then realise how debilitating it actually is.
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