Hi, my name is UnknownSoldier and I am the author of this website. I am personally dealing with a herniated lumbar disc in the L4 L5 and impingement on the S1 of the spine. I also have bad posture which gives me some pain in the thoracic sector of my back. I decided to create this blog-site to share my own personal experiences, provide you with possible treatment and surgery options, and provide a way for others with back injuries to share their experiences with one another. Just to be clear, I am not a doctor and any advice found on this website should be discussed with your doctor beforehand. I am simply another victim of a back injury and just looking to provide others with support and information that I have obtained over the years.
How Did I Injure My Back?
When I was in my late teens and early 20’s, I was big into strength training and power-lifting. I never competed or anything like that, but I was always pushing for personal records with respect to the amount of weight I can lift for 1 rep. At my best, I weighed 200lbs and had the following numbers:
- Bench Press: 405lbs x 1 rep
- Squat: 635lb x 1 rep (at parallel)
- Dead-lift: 545lb x 1 rep
- Clean and Jerk: 315lb x 1 rep
- Snatch: 275lb x 1 rep
I was always motivated and kept pushing and pushing. I was a natural weight lifter and ate really healthy. One day I was squatting and I kind of felt a pop in my lower back. I had a little bit of pain but nothing that major. I decided to take off for a few weeks and just rest. No matter what I did, I always had this slight annoying pain in my lower back and into my butt. I decided to pursue medical treatment.
Doctor’s Diagnosis and Herniated Disc Treatment
I had and MRI done and it showed that I had an L4 L5 herniated disc and impingement on the S1. As time went on I still continued to do my weight lifting. Eventually the pain got worse and started going into my left leg and left foot. Depending on the day, I have pain and numbness starting from my lower back and going into my butt, left leg, and left foot.
I decided to quit weight training while I received treatment. My job is demanding enough where I need to stand on my feet all day and perform some physical activity, this is straining enough. I have tried chiropractic therapy for 1 month as suggested by my pain management doctor. I didn’t really notice any improvements from that. I have also been undergoing Physical Therapy. Physical Therapy definitely helps and makes me feel better but it’s only temporary relief. I try to go at least once per week. I work Monday through Friday over night, so I try to go to physical therapy on Friday’s when I get off work so I can just relax for the weekend. I’m also taking oxycodone for pain medication on an as needed basis. Physical therapy definitely helps improve my quality of life. I went to a few different places before I found a good physical therapist. I’m very happy with the place I go to now.
I have also tried 3 epidural shots. I didn’t really feel much relief from the shots. I would say that they worked for a few days but they wore off pretty quickly. I don’t think I’m going to try them again. My doctor suggested a 4th shot but I’m still debating if I should try it again.
So as of now I am dealing with my herniated disc issues with Physical Therapy and Pain Medication. I am trying to develop an exercise regimen for myself and just change my fitness goals completely. I am going to avoid doing any exercises that compress my spine such as heavy squats, clean and jerk, and dead-lifts. I’m going to focus on strengthening my back and abdomen muscle mainly to help support good posture. I’m also going to include stretching and some cardio sessions. I’m probably going to perform this like 3 days per week. I feel like I just need to start exercising again but in an intelligent way. Obviously I won’t be able to perform my power-lifting routines again. As you get older things have to change anyway. My goals now are to just take care of my back and stay in shape.
I am definitely not at the point where I would consider herniated disc surgery just yet. If I am ever to consider surgery it would have to be because I couldn’t really walk or go about my daily life due to pain. As of now the Physical therapy, heating pads, and pain medication is helping me maintain my currently lifestyle. I just have to take it easy sometimes. I had 2 flare ups last year where I had to lay in bed basically for a few days because I lifted something very carelessly. I am very focused on form and using my knees now whenever I go to lift something. I never want to experience those flare ups again because they were so painful I couldn’t even walk. I would say that if my daily life was like that, then I would have no other choice but to undergo surgery.