Disc Degeneration and getting fit

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 22, 2012 3:26 AM GMT
    Hello Men!

    Here's the scoop: I have medium disc degeneration 2 places in my back: Between L5S1 as well as S1S2. My Doctor has told me no street running, no treadmill, and no high impact.... forever.

    I am 6'4", weigh 195lbs, have 15-17% body fat and want to get to a lesser body fat state, increase overall muscle mass, and bet to a fit point where my doesn't hurt constantly and I look and feel amazing.

    I've been out of the gym for over 2 months, in physical therapy stengthening the core through exercise, planks, etc, and currently have an LA Fitness membership.

    By all means, tell me what I can do to get fit! Plus add a nice amount of muscle.

    Thank you.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Dec 22, 2012 3:30 AM GMT
    Swimming should be a good exercise you can do that won't put strain on your spine.
  • starboard5

    Posts: 969

    Dec 22, 2012 4:59 AM GMT
    passionate88 saidHello Men!

    Here's the scoop: I have medium disc degeneration 2 places in my back: Between L5S1 as well as L1S2. My Doctor has told me no street running, no treadmill, and no high impact.... forever.

    I am 6'4", weigh 195lbs, have 15-17% body fat and want to get to a lesser body fat state, increase overall muscle mass, and bet to a fit point where my doesn't hurt constantly and I look and feel amazing.

    I've been out of the gym for over 2 months, in physical therapy stengthening the core through exercise, planks, etc, and currently have an LA Fitness membership.

    By all means, tell me what I can do to get fit! Plus add a nice amount of muscle.

    Thank you.



    L5-S1 is a common place for lower back problems to develop, as is L4-L5. There is no L1-S2. Did you mean T12-L1...L1-L2?

    What kind of doc did you see? An orthopedic back specialist or a neurosurgeon, I hope.

    The PT is a good place to start and a good place to get advice. You should probably avoid spinal extension of any kind, so any kind of back bending is bad. Running is over rated. When PT clears you, try elliptical for cardio, or swimming, as another poster mentioned.

    Eventually, the disc material can desiccate...sort of dry up, and you will actually be at lower risk for herniation. But it is important to keep the intervertebral spaces open. The right kind of stretching is important. Yoga can help but you must learn it from a qualified teacher. You can hurt your back doing yoga improperly.

    Also, not only is high impact out, squats are probably out for good, as well.

    Good luck, and give us an update.


  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2605

    Dec 22, 2012 11:48 PM GMT
    As above, swimming is a good, all round exercise; low impact on bones and joints, cardio, and some muscle building.
    You could reduce the fat in your diet, especially saturated animal types, to help with body fat percentage/definition, etc.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 23, 2012 12:06 AM GMT
    I have the same back issues.

    Take advantage of that probable Olympic-sized, uncrowded LA Fitness lap pool.

    There are certain brands and models of ellipticals and incumbent bikes which are zero impact that I use all the time.

    Try an LA Fitness yoga class, particularly hatha yoga or "beginners." Increased flexibility means less back pain. Plus there are additional "perks."

    If possible, try to go to the gym twice a day, weights in the morning and cardio at night, or vice versa. Otherwise, don't overdo the cardio - sometimes ten minutes of HIIT is all you need.
  • MidwesternKid

    Posts: 1167

    Dec 23, 2012 12:07 AM GMT
    Swimming will be your best bet if you have to stay away from high impact. Great way to build muscle too.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 28, 2013 5:25 AM GMT
    seems to be a common issue on forums, i agree here, i swim a lot at gym, low impact, the pool is not that deep, so i walk in the water too building resistance

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  • suprbilt

    Posts: 16

    Jan 28, 2013 5:38 AM GMT
    I had a back problem ..i used this machine to help rebuild it .

    Louie Simmons Reverse Hyper Instruction

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    Jan 28, 2013 5:39 AM GMT
    It's probably a good idea to ask your PT where next, although at the age of 24, you have a long road ahead of you - and the destination will change.

    I would also recommend yoga or Pilates to increase your core strength, balance and symmetry - get a recommendation from a Physiotherapist - most ive met either do, or instruct either yoga, Pilates or both

    Swimming will help too, but again, be careful, back extension is something that the body does often in swim strokes, you may want to consider a swim coach.

    As one of the other posters said, squats are off the agenda, any type of presses should be performed very carefully, and keeping your spine neutral may not be achievable. Again, get in the ear of your pT.

    Best of luck mate - hope things start to go your way soon!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 28, 2013 5:57 AM GMT
    sc69 saidIt's probably a good idea to ask your PT where next, although at the age of 24, you have a long road ahead of you - and the destination will change.

    I would also recommend yoga or Pilates to increase your core strength, balance and symmetry - get a recommendation from a Physiotherapist - most ive met either do, or instruct either yoga, Pilates or both

    Swimming will help too, but again, be careful, back extension is something that the body does often in swim strokes, you may want to consider a swim coach.

    As one of the other posters said, squats are off the agenda, any type of presses should be performed very carefully, and keeping your spine neutral may not be achievable. Again, get in the ear of your pT.

    Best of luck mate - hope things start to go your way soon!



    This might work for squats, with or without the weights, i swear by the ball, everyone with a bad back should have one at home!



  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 28, 2013 6:16 AM GMT
    ..
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 28, 2013 6:29 AM GMT
    suprbilt saidI had a back problem ..i used this machine to help rebuild it .

    Louie Simmons Reverse Hyper Instruction




    Wow, that's awesome!!! Thank you so much for this vid icon_smile.gif

    I'm going to find one of these asap!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 28, 2013 6:44 AM GMT
    ^
    That does look awesome. I doubt it's available at my gym, nor many others. I'd love to try it.

    I forgot to mention that you should ask your pt about inversion. I've found inversion therapy (hanging upside down by my ankles) on my Teeters Hang-ups table to be invaluable. Only two of their many models are designed with elongated ankle clamp handles for people with bad backs and I use one of them, the Contour L3 and love it. I love also doing sit-ups on it while hanging from my ankles, it's probably the most effective ab exercise there is. I don't think gyms EVER carry these given liability issues, particularly because (I think) their "commercial" models aren't really durable enough for regular gym use.



  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Jan 28, 2013 6:54 AM GMT
    Sounds like the physical therapist is definitely the place to go for advice, especially if yo have one that works well with your doctor.

    I did a run of pt once and when I finished, they told me that the facility was also available on a membership basis, like a gym. Less than $73 per month as I recall and all sorts of really specialized equipment.
  • wild_sky360

    Posts: 1492

    Jan 28, 2013 8:21 AM GMT
    It might make you feel better to know I've lived with disc problems since a snowmobile crash as a kid. After years of Chiropractic, I finally got relief by focusing at the gym on a daily core toning program. None of it is at the intensity of body building, though I may graduate to that some day. All i want to do is strengthen my core.

    Crunches and other ab work is followed by reverse crunches, back extensions, and rowing. I stretch before, during and after sets. For many years now, I rarely have flare ups of back pain; something my younger but sedentary boyfriend is often crippled with. If anything I'll experience a temporary overuse soreness from the gym. But that is much preferable to the debilitating disc and nerve pain.

    So once you get your acute pain under control enough, and can focus on getting the core strengthened, there's a good chance you won't be troubled by this chronically, if ever again.
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    Jan 28, 2013 12:57 PM GMT
    I have a question for you:

    Are you physically able to do a body weight squat? Again....not talking about using any weights here. Just asking if you're capable of doing the range of motion of a squat.

    And on a side note, how can you list yourself as "overweight" at 6'4, 195?
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Jan 28, 2013 3:09 PM GMT
    Hmm, I was just contemplating pushups on another thread.... I would suggest pushups as a way to increase back strength. But proper form would be essential because you could rehurt your back if you let your hips sag.
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Jan 28, 2013 3:11 PM GMT
    Scruffypup saidI have a question for you:

    Are you physically able to do a body weight squat? Again....not talking about using any weights here. Just asking if you're capable of doing the range of motion of a squat.

    And on a side note, how can you list yourself as "overweight" at 6'4, 195?
    Probably means he lacks muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat.
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    Jan 28, 2013 3:31 PM GMT
    passionate88 said
    Here's the scoop: I have medium disc degeneration 2 places in my back: Between L5S1 as well as S1S2. My Doctor has told me no street running, no treadmill, and no high impact.... forever.

    I'm thinking you're very young for that condition. Did you have some severe back trauma when you were young? I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease (L4-5), but not until I was 47, after 25 years in the Army.

    I'm not a doctor and I'm not gonna dispute your own physician. But have you had a second opinion? In the meantime do what your doctor says. But you really might want to have another orthopedic specialist look at you.