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Popths
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Aug 2016
1889 posts

re: Just found out I have a bad back
I had shots, nerve oblations and a rhysotomy. Finally had fusion of L3,L4 and L5. Still trying to get back to some normalcy. I had been a gym rat for over 20 years. Have deteriorating disc disease. Guess I have a “new” normal. A good physical therapist should be able to answer your questions. You may need to refocus your workouts to more cardio, more lean and less bulk. Concentrate on lower weight and high reps. I recently started lap swimming and have dropped 20 pounds since the beginning of July. In the long run, a good cardio will pay out better dividends. None of us are getting any younger. I found out about my back problems 25 years ago. I was 33 then. Welcome to life.


jennyjones
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since Apr 2006
6584 posts

re: Just found out I have a bad back
quote:

do like Louie Simmons did and build your back with reverse hypers to start then belt squats and the other exercises he recommends?



Reverse hypers are the shite


Yeti_Chaser
Member since Nov 2017
606 posts

re: Just found out I have a bad back
Take it slow. You're life isnt over yet, but it will be if you overdo it. I had a similar issue at a young age and tried PT, dry needling, and the epidural shots but nothing worked. I had surgery and for the first 6 months I was convinced that I was worse off than before the surgery. But it drastically improved over time and now I'm 3 years post surgery and feel great.
I completely shut down weights for 2 years because I wanted to be overly cautious being so young. Swimming laps is great for your back and you can still stay fit just doing body weight exercises. Obviously you'll be better off trying to cut rather than bulking. A PT will be able to help you determine what exercises you can and can't do but I would absolutely stay away from leg press as it loads up too much pressure on that area. Also avoid running on treadmills or concrete since those discs are shock absorbers and you dont want to shock the spine too much. Run on grass.

I didnt start lifting weights again until after 2 years but I'm still careful. I never load a bar on my spine. I've just recently started overhead press and deadlifts but if I feel any pain I shut it down and try again next time. Pay attention to your body and use good form.

For leg work try to do single leg so you can use less weight. Be careful with leg curls that you dont use your back. Bulgarian split squats have been great for me. Pistol squats are good too if you can do them. If not focus on flexibility and get there. Also swimming will help you with all your body weight exercises.

As far as flexibility goes, it's very important to have loose hamstrings and hips. Take up some yoga to help you get there, but the hamstrings pull on the spine so you need to be flexible.

Reverse hypers have been great for me as well. Get a stability ball for abs and back extensions, and maintain a good pelvic tilt on ab work.


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BeachDude022
New York Yankees Fan
Dallas
Member since Dec 2006
27924 posts

re: Just found out I have a bad back
I forgot to mention that I still can’t do bent over barbell rows just yet. Some days I can, others, my back won’t allow me to. Same with dumbbell shoulder slings. Just listen to your body. If there ever was a time to listen, it’s now.
This post was edited on 8/8 at 9:42 am


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specchaser
LSU Fan
lafayette
Member since Feb 2008
1951 posts

re: Just found out I have a bad back
Lived with a bad disc at L5/s1 since high school. It does suck but it happens to most men at some point, Some sooner than later.

Do the physical therapy, don’t be afraid to try different treatments (within reason). Sometimes injections relieve the pain for years for some they don’t help. Yoga is great. Anything to strengthen the core and increase flexibility are good. You’ll still be able to workout but do as others mentioned. Lay-off certain exercises and don’t try and go super heavy. Just be smart about it.
What you should NOT do is become sedentary. Just modify your workouts and keep seeking out different treatments that may work.


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Tiger in Gatorland
North Carolina St. Fan
Love you Dad 47-08
Member since Sep 2006
6738 posts

re: Just found out I have a bad back
Now is the right time for you to join CrossFit.


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TigerLunatik
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Jan 2005
32815 posts

re: Just found out I have a bad back
quote:

I had shots, nerve oblations and a rhysotomy. Finally had fusion of L3,L4 and L5. Still trying to get back to some normalcy. I had been a gym rat for over 20 years. Have deteriorating disc disease.

Well, now I feel like an insensitive frick because I've never had anything diagnosed, just have almost always had some sort of back pain, almost always lower back. Not accounting for an injury, it's never really kept me from working, playing basketball, softball or working out as an adult. It is however by far the part of my body that I've hurt or injured the most in my life. I used to be really fat up until when I started exercising and dieting at 37 so carrying that extra weight seems to have put some wear and tear on my ankles, knees and lower back.

Anyways, sounds like you're improving. Hope it continues.


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Proximo
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since Aug 2011
2759 posts

re: Just found out I have a bad back
No your life isn’t over. I had a spinal fusion because of an accident at 19 years old and I’ve been deadlifting and squatting 300+ pounds for over 10 years since then. I picked up heavy weight training 1 year post-surgery. I also have 2 bulging discs in my lower back from it that cause me intermittent pain but it’s manageable.
This post was edited on 8/9 at 6:11 am


TBoy
Notre Dame Fan
Kalamazoo
Member since Dec 2007
12230 posts

re: Just found out I have a bad back
Keep exercising. Keeping the muscles strong will assist the structure. I have a disc and it only flares up when I don’t exercise.


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thatguy777
LSU Fan
br
Member since Feb 2007
1801 posts

re: Just found out I have a bad back
Big thanks to everyone in this thread giving me optimism with my situation. I am determined to focus on my core and stretching for now. Going to give up the free weights for a little while I focus on getting my core as strong as possible and dropping the small amount of weight that I can lose. Will be going to see a PT asap. Hopefully will be back to lifting again in the near future, but will probably not go heavy for a long time, if ever again, unfortunately.



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NOLALGD
Ark-Pine Bluff Fan
Member since May 2014
1308 posts

re: Just found out I have a bad back
quote:

Hopefully will be back to lifting again in the near future, but will probably not go heavy for a long time, if ever again, unfortunately


Good luck on your journey and hope you eventually get back to lifting comfortably again. Also for encouragement, while I fully endorse heavy lifting for people who can....for your long-term health being able lift a moderate amount of weight for a high number of reps with perfect form and balance is probably better than having a big max, but sloppy form and technique. And its definitely more sustainable as you age.


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Average White Guy
Member since Jul 2019
31 posts

re: Just found out I have a bad back
quote:

Just found out I have a bad back




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mattchewbocca
LSU Fan
houma, la
Member since Jun 2008
2101 posts

re: Just found out I have a bad back
Most people have bad backs and don’t know it


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LTechtiger21
LSU Fan
Bossier City
Member since Nov 2006
73 posts

re: Just found out I have a bad back
As a PT myself, I would suggest you find a PT that either understands weight lifting or has a background in sports medicine. Often times an MRI with those findings aren’t indicative of what’s causing your pain. I was diagnosed with a herniated disc ~10 years ago after feeling a sharp pain when I bent over to pick up a plate. Had an MRI that showed a bulging disc and Doc told me no more squats etc...ended up missing out on about 7 years of deadlifting, squats, and a bunch of other stuff I enjoyed all the while continuing to have back pain.

Turns out about 20% of 20-30 years have asymptotic bulging/herniated discs on MRI and that number goes up as we age. My issue was most likely due to something else. I’ve been back to lifting heavy on squats and deadlifts for 3-4 years now and rarely have any issues. When I do it’s usually due to overtraining.

Dr. Aaron Horschig has some good information on lifting and rehab. Here is one of his articles and a link for more of his articles. Let me know if you have questions I can help with.

LBP epidemics

LINK


DeafJam73
USA Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Sep 2010
13636 posts

re: Just found out I have a bad back
quote:


Reverse hypers are the shit



Should be a staple for anyone who strength trains.


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DeafJam73
USA Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Sep 2010
13636 posts

re: Just found out I have a bad back
quote:

When I do it’s usually due to overtraining.


Absolutely this. I think a lot of us have it ingrained in our psyche that everyday has to be a balls to the wall, grueling session. That’s just not true. I don’t always do it, but rest weeks are important. Giving your body a chance to heal is where the strength gains comes from.


Popths
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Aug 2016
1889 posts

re: Just found out I have a bad back
Lots of good advice here.


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Big Scrub TX
LSU Fan
Austin
Member since Dec 2013
19092 posts

re: Just found out I have a bad back
quote:

Are there specific workouts I should be doing on a daily basis? Can I still do squats or should I be doing machine leg press? Overhead press? Deadlift?

I have a lot of questions right now. The doctor pretty much told me do what I can in which the pain is manageable. Thing is my back only hurts when I wake up in the morning or sit for a prolonged period. I haven't scheduled PT yet as I just found this out in the past day, but will do that soon. Hopefully they have some answers as well.

TLDR; Back fricked, is my life over?


L3/L4 here. My two cents: you should stay away from yoga. You should focus on doing training to strengthen your "core" - meaning mainly quads, hams and glutes. Lots of that stuff can be done with just body weight exercises. Learn to use proper form ALL THE TIME. Drop a pencil and want to pick it up? Do the right "squat" to get down there to get it. etc.

Good luck!


TigerNutwhack
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Jan 2004
3749 posts

re: Just found out I have a bad back
quote:

L3/L4 here. My two cents: you should stay away from yoga. You should focus on doing training to strengthen your "core" - meaning mainly quads, hams and glutes. Lots of that stuff can be done with just body weight exercises. Learn to use proper form ALL THE TIME. Drop a pencil and want to pick it up? Do the right "squat" to get down there to get it. etc.

Good luck!


Why stay away from yoga? I'm going to get an MRI today to try to diagnose a lower back injury that's been plaguing me for years (after a major flare up last week I'm finally taking it seriously), and I've been doing more yoga in the last few days to stay active while avoiding aggravating the issue. When I take it nice and slowly it really seems to help loosen my entire posterior chain and mitigate my pain so I'm just wondering if I'm going to pay for that later.


Big Scrub TX
LSU Fan
Austin
Member since Dec 2013
19092 posts

re: Just found out I have a bad back
quote:

Why stay away from yoga? I'm going to get an MRI today to try to diagnose a lower back injury that's been plaguing me for years (after a major flare up last week I'm finally taking it seriously), and I've been doing more yoga in the last few days to stay active while avoiding aggravating the issue. When I take it nice and slowly it really seems to help loosen my entire posterior chain and mitigate my pain so I'm just wondering if I'm going to pay for that later.
I think it's way more likely to injure/exacerbate than it is given credit for. I also think flexibility is overvalued relative to strength.

I think it's smart for you to to wait and see your MRI.


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