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Old    Nick Schrein (wakeboardern1)      Join Date: Aug 2007       01-16-2012, 9:49 PM Reply   
So, a chiropractor diagnosed my back/leg pain as a herniated disc, which was unfortunately after I had signed up for the tough mudder in May... I just started my first day of training, and found that I was dragging my leg after half a mile. I still can't stand on my right toes after about 4 weeks since the pain first showed up... Although it hasn't been as painful in recent times, especially after snowboarding, which seemed to loosen me up and take away a lot of pain, after this mile run my back is feeling pretty painful...

My question to all of you people out there who've had this, do you think I'll be ready for the tough mudder in may? it's a 12 mile course. I'm gunna keep running and pushing it and building up mileage, but my concern after tonight is that I might just undo all of the progress I made over the last few weeks.
Old    Mikeski (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       01-16-2012, 11:56 PM Reply   
I feel your pain. Do you know which disk? I have herniated my L5/S1 and my L3/L4, both were fixed with orthoscopic surgery. I tried to live with the L5/S1 herniation for almost a year and my quality of life was very bad. It reached an all time low when I started losing control of my bowels. That's what pushed me to go under the knife. It was so successful the first time that I didn't hesitate the second time. After 2 back surgeries I still enjoy almost everything I did before the first herniated disk.

Based on my experience I would say you will not be ready for tough mudder unless you get under the knife at least 3 months before the event.

You need an MRI, without it they are guessing about your injury.

Shoot me an email if you want to talk more: mikeskiw@gmail.com
Old    Stanfield (stanfield)      Join Date: Mar 2004       01-17-2012, 11:26 AM Reply   
First off, a chiropractor didn't diagnose anything. If you are having back issues, you need a MRI and a highly skilled team to interpret the scan. I have 2 herniated discs, one in my lower back (L4-L5) and one in my neck (C5-C6) as well as 3 others that are "bulging". What you have to understand is that if you truely do have a herniated disc, there is no fix. Go run your race, do what you're going to do, because you really can't make it any worse or better. I'm assuming Mikeski had a discetomy, but understand that doesn't fix anything, it just removes the herniation that is pushing on the nerves causing the pain. I'm glad it worked for him, but that procedure is very hit or miss. It helps some and it causes even more discomfort for others.

All I can really say is, I hope you just tweaked your back and didn't actually herniate anything. My quality of life has gone into the toilet since my back injury. I "manage" the pain through epidural injections every few months, anti inflamitory meds, pain meds, and muscle relaxers. I'm never comfortable, not even laying down. This type of back pain is just simply something you can never accurately describe to anyong that hasn't gone through it. I need 2 surgeries, but am waiting to do total disc replacement instead of a discetomy. Jury is still out on that too.

Good Luck
Old    Benjamin (bendow)      Join Date: Sep 2005       01-17-2012, 11:42 AM Reply   
My L5/S1 is herneated with a tear. I've been dealing with it for 2 years. Had epidurals, and all that crap. Dr. recommends surgery (discetomy or fusing). I chose to deal with the pain and not let it stop me from doing anything I find enjoyable.
Old    Deltagrubber (deltagrubber)      Join Date: Nov 2003       01-17-2012, 1:53 PM Reply   
L5/S1 as well. 7 years out. Cannot do high compression activities anymore including running and wakeboarding anymore, too painful. I cycle, mountain bike, snowboard and ski. Maintain core strength, manage pain accordingly and go about my life. Surgery shouldn't be an option if you can do some activities real well and still manage pain. You'll most likely have to give up some activities, it's a trade off. Like others say, surgery is not guaranteed to be a positive step!!!!!! You have to have a quality of life is is intolerable to select surgery, IMO. (and tolerable is a moving line....)
Old    Phatboypimp (phatboypimp)      Join Date: Apr 2005       01-17-2012, 2:29 PM Reply   
I second the notion of going to a spinal specialist and I would highly recommend against any chiropractic adjustments until you get a 1st and 2nd opinion. I actually ruptured my L5S1 disc doing squats in the gym 15 years ago. I have seen every specialist around the country and was lucky enough to be a part of a FDA Trial and received a "free" disc replacement surgery 5 years ago. I held out for the surgery because there are so many long term issues associated with a fusion especially at my age (was 35 at the time).

Much like everyone here has stated, the benefits of back surgery are really hit or miss. Fusions do solve a lot of problems but my doctor was not a believer in discectomy's for a variety of reasons. I would recommend that you see a couple spinal specialists and hold off on any training (I am clearly not a doctor but this is what I have learned over the last 15 years). Even with my disc replacement it was HIGLY recommended not to run except on a treadmill. I have had excellent success with my disc replacement and as many of you know this procedure has been going on for 20 years outside of the US.

It is likely that you will get a recommendation for steroids to reduce the inflammation of the disc and reducing the pressure on your nerve core. This would be a reasonable first step as far as I am concerned but it simply wasn't an option in my case. Happy to discuss more if you have any questions.
Old    Nick Schrein (wakeboardern1)      Join Date: Aug 2007       01-17-2012, 4:49 PM Reply   
Awesome, thanks for all the input guys. Right now it doesn't come across as something that needs surgery, but there is a constant lingering pain. Even with health insurance though, seeing a spinal specialist is not in the cards at this time, unfortunately. I just graduated and got a part time job at a Cookout, but I need to work for a while before I'll even have money to spend beyond rent and other bills.

I have been able to snowboard pretty consistently, and like I said, it even made it feel better back when it was super painful. I found that when it does get bad, if I take some aleve just spend about 20 minutes stretching my legs and back, I wind up feeling much much better. And I understand about the chiropractor not being a "real" diagnosis, but I spent about a week and a half around christmas in such severe pain that I could hardly move around. My aunt works at a chiro's office, so she got me in for cheap, except the adjustment really didn't make me feel any better...

I've had pain in the same spot before, but never had the sciatic nerve pain until this incident. I'm trying to figure out what I did that caused this now, but I just can't figure it out. I had to move coke syrup and bottled drink inventory at work a few days before this, which requires me to be bent over a lot. I know you're not supposed to lift with your back, but when you have to be hunched over to get into an area to move the boxes around, there aren't really options. Unfortunate side effect of being 6'6".

Nonetheless it's aggravating me about the running bit. Last night after I finished up a mile was the worst it had felt in a while. I'm assuming that the repeated impact and forced movement increased the swelling and made it worse. Would taking some anti-inflammatories before I run be a good idea? I can deal with the pain, as I've dealt with near constant knee pain for the last five years from repeated MCL sprains, it's just that I'd like to try to minimize it.

Phatboy, I find it interesting that you were told not to run on things other than treadmills. I could see how that might be better than running on pavement, but what about cross country training on grass or dirt?

Last edited by wakeboardern1; 01-17-2012 at 4:55 PM.
Old    Mikeski (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       01-17-2012, 5:39 PM Reply   
Even now as I consider myself "fixed" for the most part, running is not really an option. I can run just fine but the days following a run are barely tolerable as things start to flare up. That option went out the window several years ago before I underwent the knife the first time. I also have an ankle injury that prevents running but the back doesn't allow it either. All 5 of my lower disks are dark in the MRI and bulging at various levels. My first MRI clearly revealed a hernia (looked like a slice from a grape) pinching the sciatic nerve causing the majority of my issues. The hernia was pinching the nerve down to about 40% of its original diameter. This was obvious once a trained technician explained to me what I was looking at. My doctor explained exactly how he would perform my discectomy and what kind of relief I should expect from a successful surgery. Also keep in mind I only decided to do this after over a year of chriopractic, physical therapy, accupuncture, and whatever else there was to offer. It was actually my physical therapist that convinced me to go see a surgeon.

Based on the other information you describe and the fact that you are still running, I would suspect that your injury is not yet cause to go under the knife. Take a break and stop training until you forget about your back issues, then start doing some serious core strength training along with stretching. Ice is your friend with this type of injury, heat is your enemy. You need to drive the swelling out of the tissue. That's what they always told me. Stretch, stretch, stretch!
Old    Jason Buffalow (buffalow)      Join Date: Apr 2002       01-17-2012, 7:22 PM Reply   
Hey Nick - Are you self employeed? Super Anal? High Pressure job? Most people I know that have this type of injury are. Where you can do plenty of things with your back, but certain things not. I was stretching 3 times a day, special chair, special bed, chrico, physcial therapy, tons of medicine, heat/ice, etc.. I had the exact same problems here. Heard it all, seen it all, told to go to surgery. Than I heard this doctor on Howard Stern, figured what the hell I could not get out of bed anyways. Read the book and changed my life. I now play 8-12 hours of highly competitive volleyball again a week, wake-boarded all summer, with little to no pain. I stopped taking muscle relaxers, anti inflams, pain killers etc.. As I sit here in my 12th hour in my chair and played 4 straight hours of collegiate level volleyball last night, I have not an ounce of pain. A little sore just from being old and fat, but not pain. Not saying it will fix you, but for the $10, might change your life. So you know I have no tie to this. I have let other read this book and it changed their life as well. A year ago I could not sit in a chair for 1/2 hour, could not play any sports or wrestle with my kids.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...pf_rd_i=283155


I swear you sound EXACTLY like I did. Could not explain it and I was always looking to blame myself or what I did to cause that. I was making all of the same "connections" you were - Wakeboarind caused it, being fat caused it, being 6'3 caused it, picking something up wrong caused it. It was none of it. It was simply mind over matter. Than read that is could be a mental issue related to stress found that he found in over 80% of his clients. Literately he starts out the book with yours/my story. It's freak'n nuts man. Read it.
Old    Kirk Johnson (akdoc)      Join Date: Feb 2004       01-18-2012, 9:50 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanfield View Post
First off, a chiropractor didn't diagnose anything. If you are having back issues, you need a MRI and a highly skilled team to interpret the scan. I have 2 herniated discs, one in my lower back (L4-L5) and one in my neck (C5-C6) as well as 3 others that are "bulging". What you have to understand is that if you truely do have a herniated disc, there is no fix. Go run your race, do what you're going to do, because you really can't make it any worse or better. I'm assuming Mikeski had a discetomy, but understand that doesn't fix anything, it just removes the herniation that is pushing on the nerves causing the pain. I'm glad it worked for him, but that procedure is very hit or miss. It helps some and it causes even more discomfort for others.

All I can really say is, I hope you just tweaked your back and didn't actually herniate anything. My quality of life has gone into the toilet since my back injury. I "manage" the pain through epidural injections every few months, anti inflamitory meds, pain meds, and muscle relaxers. I'm never comfortable, not even laying down. This type of back pain is just simply something you can never accurately describe to anyong that hasn't gone through it. I need 2 surgeries, but am waiting to do total disc replacement instead of a discetomy. Jury is still out on that too.

Good Luck
You do know chiropractors can order MRI's correct? I order MRI's all the time for patients with disc symptoms and find out what is going on, ruptured, torn, bulging, etc... Anyway, you have a severe misconception of what a chiropractor actually does in practice.
Old    Deltagrubber (deltagrubber)      Join Date: Nov 2003       01-18-2012, 10:10 AM Reply   
Buffalow - thanks for the tip, I just ordered it since I have a new PT prescription from my new doc, I thought I'd try the book first. Hella easier to read on BART than go see a PT for 7 weeks.........
Old    Jason Buffalow (buffalow)      Join Date: Apr 2002       01-18-2012, 10:44 AM Reply   
Yhea. I did the whole chiro thing, MRI's and it all and they all agreed that being 42, 300 Lbs and 20+ years of abuse on my body was the cause of my bad discs, bad joint (forget the technical name of joint where spine goes to pelvis area). Funny thing is after Monday night very aggressive volleyball a lot of body is sore, but not my back. Former ankle and knee surgeries are very sore, but not back. Crazy.

I am still stretching like crazy and making sure I warm up before going all out, but I think a lot of that is more about my age than a bad back.

I do not discount chrico's, PT's or doctors. If you have a legit issue, than it requires professional help. However when the doctors and such can not pin point it and give you very general advice on how to fix something, it's time to read this book. Before anyone may want to fight with me, I don't really care because I am no longer in pain and can exercise 100%. If I am mental - than ok, but that book was literately written for guys like me. just wish I had found it 2 years early. Would have saved me tons of time, money and pain not to mention the lost fun with my kids.
Old    Stanfield (stanfield)      Join Date: Mar 2004       01-18-2012, 3:20 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by akdoc View Post
You do know chiropractors can order MRI's correct? I order MRI's all the time for patients with disc symptoms and find out what is going on, ruptured, torn, bulging, etc... Anyway, you have a severe misconception of what a chiropractor actually does in practice.
Years ago, my chiro was the one who suggested I get my first MRI and referred me to a specialist. I'm pretty familiar with it all, but congrats to you I guess.
Old    Da MOOSE (da_moose)      Join Date: Feb 2004       01-19-2012, 11:59 AM Reply   
Ice ,, keep it ice up.takes the presure off ,,and do nothing ,NOTHING AND ICE ,,, thay told me , you"ll never going to walk out of pain ..,.. Next week
,,, IM GOING TO RUN
Old    Jason Buffalow (buffalow)      Join Date: Apr 2002       01-19-2012, 12:02 PM Reply   
Funny they all told me the same thing. Read that book and he says just the opposite. I played (4.5) hours of competitive volleyball last night with nothing more than a little soreness today. I was diving all over the gym, smashing the ball, blocking, etc.. I jsut can't tell you how this changed my life.
Old    Da MOOSE (da_moose)      Join Date: Feb 2004       01-19-2012, 12:09 PM Reply   
I been told Doctor's are just practing "medicine"
Old    Nick Schrein (wakeboardern1)      Join Date: Aug 2007       01-20-2012, 1:57 PM Reply   
Thanks guys. I'll definitely look into that book once I start pulling in paychecks buffalow. Moose, I've discovered that as well. Following my own rehab plans and being active did more good for my bad knee than anything a doctor ever did, so I'm going to try that path here for the back as well. I'm going to avoid lifting things that might require my back, but I'm gunna do what you all recommended and do core workouts to build the strength back up.

I've been running consistently this week and stretching every day this week. I've also been taking ibuprofen. So far my back hasn't given out like it did earlier this week after that first run. However I'm still dragging my right leg. If I stay at a steady mellow pace, I can roll off my calf, but if I try to book it, I can't keep myself up on my toes on my right leg and wind up running flat footed on my right leg.

If I can get myself back to feeling about 80 or 85 percent, I'll probably try to start up p90x again and just take it easy on some of the back stuff. I'd say that I'm around 70-75 percent back now (0 being when I couldn't get out of bed 4 weeks ago). But I've already dropped the 180 bucks on the Tough Mudder, so not doing it is something of a non-option considering that my team is relying on the fact that I'll be there. I'm kind of the team leader...

I'm not looking for an easy way to get out of pain, but I am looking for the non-surgery/non-doctor involved methods. I've never had an experience with a doctor where they did anything beyond just give me some drugs and a sheet of paper with stretches... Even with my torn bicep, partial shoulder dislocations and screwed up rotator cuffs, it's always just stretch and do rehab exercises.

Last edited by wakeboardern1; 01-20-2012 at 2:00 PM.
Old    Jason Buffalow (buffalow)      Join Date: Apr 2002       01-20-2012, 2:50 PM Reply   
Hey Nick, I should have that book back in about 2 weeks. I handed it to my buddy who has similar issues. If you have not got it by than, I'll mail it to you. Honor system to get it back to me though. Otherwise I'll have to spend $500 in gas to come get my $10 book
Old    Nick Schrein (wakeboardern1)      Join Date: Aug 2007       01-22-2012, 12:35 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by buffalow View Post
Hey Nick, I should have that book back in about 2 weeks. I handed it to my buddy who has similar issues. If you have not got it by than, I'll mail it to you. Honor system to get it back to me though. Otherwise I'll have to spend $500 in gas to come get my $10 book
Haha, alright. As of next monday I should have a 400 dollar paycheck, so I think I'll likely be square on buying the book, but thanks. I'll let you know what's going on. I'm definitely interested in that book though. Even if it turns out to only be a slightly bulging disc or even just some kind of severe back muscle issue that mystically caused the sciatic pain, it is for sure something I'll probably want around later on when I'm older and likely will herniate a disc.
Old    Matt (duramat)      Join Date: Feb 2008       01-22-2012, 1:53 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakeboardern1 View Post
Haha, alright. As of next monday I should have a 400 dollar paycheck, so I think I'll likely be square on buying the book, but thanks. I'll let you know what's going on. I'm definitely interested in that book though. Even if it turns out to only be a slightly bulging disc or even just some kind of severe back muscle issue that mystically caused the sciatic pain, it is for sure something I'll probably want around later on when I'm older and likely will herniate a disc.
Goin off my experience with dragging a burning foot on fire trying to run, hop, skip, walk and in about tears to get to my next flight.....you've herniated it. I was getting fawcet injections monthly. Then it was lights out and literally dragging myself up the stairs. I went to the ER begging for surgery and the just loaded me up on some morphine (good stuff) and sent me home. By the time I met with a specialist I was feeling better. "no sense in going in and cutting ya up when your already feeling better" he said. The days of Wakeboarding are over, surf only. I live vicariously through my buddies.

It's taken 2 years to baby me back to feeling good on my lower back (L4/5) I was running after one year. Good luck bro. Stretching has been key to recovery for me but I took it easy.

I'd gladly walk away from $180 to feel better knowing I need it. My luck would be that I inflamed it again and was out of work for more time all the while running around like an over excited cocker-spaniel. (not fun)

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