Herniated disc(s) - ride again?

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#1
Looking for feedback from those that have experienced herniated discs, and how they handled the situation regarding riding dirt again. I've recently been diagnosed with herniated lumbar discs L4-5 & L5-S1. I managed to ride and race a hare scramble prior to finally getting an MRI, but loading the bike afterwards was trying. Now that I know what's wrong, all the information I'm getting is focused on becoming as pain free as possible -- nothing much with regard to how much activity can be resumed. Any help? What is there to look forward too?

Thanks
 
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#2
My brother had a couple herniated discs in his back about 7 years ago. He underwent surgery where they fused the discs, and wrapped a titanium cage around them. A little over a year later, he bought a new XR400, and he's been riding with no trouble every since.
 
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#3
I have been diagnosed with L4-5 this past spring. I was just getting fast enough to hang with the fastest rider in our group when the the pain became unbearable. I was crawling around the house for about a month. Not able to stand upright for more than 1 minute. I saw the doctors and they all said I should try to lose my ample mid-section with exercise and diet. Surgery should be the last resort.

It has been about 5 months since I have ridden and have relatively pain free for about 3 months. I haven't lost much weight, but I am working on it. I do notice the pain in my left leg if I have been lifting heavy objects.

I am going to try riding again (slow and easy) with-in the next few weekends. I will let you know how things work out.
 
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#4
I have a herniated disk in my lower back also (can't remember which one, exactly). This was diagnosed approx. two years ago. Mostly I still get soreness, although I was incapacitated once (did the crawling-around-the-house-gig for a week).
The important thing is to keep you midsection strong, which means you need strong stomach and back muscles to support your back.
Also, excess weight (I'm guilty!) does not help.
I've tried to minimize any type of motion that would aggravate my back, I'm careful how I lift heavy objects, etc.
Make sure you sleep on your side with a pillow between your legs, don't sleep on your stomach. Keep yourself hydrated, too.
Good luck.
 

Jon K.

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#5
This would probably get better replies over in the "training" forum.

So how in Hades is anyone going to lose weight whilst layed up with a bad back?

Right now about all I can do (without screaming like a little girl) is eat!
 

truespode

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#6
I have pain in my sciatica. I use the eliptical trainer at the gym b/c it doesn't hurt like the treadmill or stationary bike where I have to lean over.

For upper body I try to use the weight machines b/c they can isolate things better. I do very light weights and lots of reps. It has been slow going but I'm feeling better even though I have times when my back, butt and leg hurt so bad I can't put weight on it. I do think in time it will be a lot better again.

Ivan
 
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#7
Fractured spine twice
Herniated disc L345 S1
Left ACL torn
Both shoulders dislocated
Left tibial plateau fracture
and RIBS
I race 2 to 3 weekends a month. Pain is something you just learn to deal with.
How bad do you want to ride? I'am 50 and a Dirt Addict. Anybody know of a good 12 step program? LOL
 
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#8
L4 -L5 here also. Going on 14 years now. I took along time off of riding (10 years) partially because of my back but there was other issues also. When I started riding again my back was still painful and always will be. Riding actually helped my back to get stronger and be less painful most of the time. However, I have had a couple of boughts of crawling around the house for a couple of weeks from over doing riding. I stay away from jumping and stand up when I ride as much as I can so my legs absorb the shock.

Invest in a good kidney belt!!! I like the Kevco Stubbs version. Mine is a MSR but it is made by Kevco.

Also continue stretching even after your pain starts to subside. Last year I almost gave up riding again because of reinjuring my back while riding. Since then I started stretching on a regular basis and lost 15 pounds. I still have back aches every day and usually a little in my left leg, but I feel better now then I have for a couple of years. I even managed to complete about a five hour enduro last Sunday. It will take my back a few days to loosen up, but I plan on riding next weekend again.

Be PATIENT, exercise when your able, stretch a couple of times each day and eventually you will be riding again if you so desire.

Good Luck and make sure your doctor knows his stuff.
 
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#9
MAN, one word SURGURY!!! I dealt with a herniated disc for 6 years due to a stock car accident. I finally went and had them fussed, and I can't believe how stupid I was not to get it done earlier, I was riding sno-cross 3 months after surguury. Best thing I have ever done. Don't delay go under the knife today. Just my $.02.
 

Draybob

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#10
I have to agree with SK 250. If you are miserable look at the surgery option. Most of it can be done arthroscopically now if the herniation isn't too serious. I had L4-L5 surgery back when they opened you up and I never regretted it. I do stretching excercises on my back and try to exercise it lightly to maintain tone in that area. I'm 39 now and had the surgery back in '86. I ride the rocks in the mountains of central PA which can be murder on your back and I have very few problems. If it starts to bother me now I just do my therapy and it goes away in a couple of days. Like Monkey Butt says a belt would help too. Good luck, back pain is a terrible thing to deal with.
 
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#11
I'm glad you guys had success with back surgery, but some people have more problems after surgery then before. Nearly every back surgeon and sports doctor that I have consulted with strongly suggested that I avoid surgery and save that option as only a last resort. Based on the information that I've been given from countless doctors, one of the potential problems with fusing vertebraes is that in about 10 years the disc above and below the fused vertebraes often wear out and become herniated. Of course you are worse off then before if that occurs. Besides there are always POSSIBLE complications with back surgery. Surgery might be the best thing for you, but I still suggest a conservative approach to begin with and see how you do.

I am just a guy who's been dealing with this for a long time, so don't take my word for anything. Follow a GOOD doctors orders and good luck!!
 

Jon K.

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#12
I have something wrong with my T-12. The doc dosn't know what is going on; I had X-rays that show nothing. They tell me that the T-spine is very durable and is usually only damaged by trauma. I have banged it around a bit, but that was 25 years ago.

Now they want me to do an MRI. The deductable for my insurance is huge, looks like it is coming out of my pocket. :whiner:

What should I expect to pay for an MRI?

Anyone here have an MRI machine in their garage? :thumb:
 
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#13
Around 1200 for an MRI that might not include the reading (report) that's around 200.Places very here on price and if your paying cash or insurance. Surgery is sometimes a tossup.some do well others not.Depends a lot on the nature of the injury and how bad the disc is involved.There's lots of guys walking around with disc buldges that have no pain.The Surgeons usually go with what's prudent.Some need fusion.sometimes discs can be shaved or vacummned and don't require fusions and bone grafts.
The disc has 2 parts. An inner gelatenous nucleus and an outer fiborous ring,actually 14 concentric rings that bind the nucleus.Typically those rings break down from the inside out until the inner puts enough pressure to buldge the wall.Weak link is right where the nerve root exits out of the opening between the vertebra above and below. This is where it gets dicey and pain gets unrelenting and travels.I've seen guys pull out of this.But that took time and they started to get results.If you go surgery find the best you can that have done mucho surgeries.
I never had an MRI but had L5/S1 symptoms big time.Baby toe is still numb.I quit surfing for 2 years.A friend who just graduated from Chiro school came over and adjusted me everyday for a month.I'd had leg pain for 2 years.No change until the fourth week.Woke up one day and no symptoms.So I went back to school and now I adjust them.
 
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#14
How about anyone wit c disc herniations? I was in a bad acccdent on fathers day at a track, what should I be looking foward to? by the way I have a c5-c6 herniated disc......
 
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#15
I was returned to full duty at work, so I figured I'd go for a ride -- I entered a hare scramble this past Sunday with the intent to merely ride, not race. The ultrasound & traction seemed to have helped localize the pain to my back, as the pain shooting down my leg has lessened. Could be the PT, could be just rest and time. During the past few weeks I've been careful to not do anything too demanding of my back. I managed to make a couple laps w/o any trouble, and I took it really easy pushing the bikes back in the truck. The after effects of the ride didn't seem to cause me any additional back related pain. Things are getting better, but as others have said -- this back pain will never go away now that the discs are hernaited.

The important thing for me to do now is take it easy so I become fit enough to start a strengthening regimen for my back. It's too bad I waited until I was almost 38 years old before becoming concerned about my long term health -- back pain sucks hard. For so long I thought if I was able to ride, I was fit enough. So untrue -- the loads we subject ourselves to are too demanding to take casually. I wish I'd known better and acted accordingly. I really feel for those with more incapacitating pain and injuries -- this stuff can really get a person down.

~Chris