In October of 2005 toward the end of a great season of cycling, my back went S-P-R-O-I-N-G. I went from riding centuries to barely being able to walk. I was on crutches, got a handicapped tag for my car and was reduced to using one of those electric carts in the grocery store. Oh, yah, and I gained 20 pounds in three months. The thought of cycling seemed so remote that I even stopped visiting BF.
Turned out to be a bulging disc, which was relentlessly pressing on a nerve.
Finally, with the help of physical therapy (which turned out to be a prescription for lots of core exercises), walking became easier, then I jogged a little. Now I'm able to run 30 minutes without pain, and I'm even riding a little (Went 12 easy miles the other day and do light spinning for 30 minutes several times a week).
But the real sign that I'm coming back is my return to BF. Glad to see you guys are all still here. And if I can give some unasked for advice--make sure you do your stretching and core exercises, in particular those that work the transversus abdominus--a set of muscles that is usually ignored but very important. Some basic info here:
If anyone has some good exercises for this group of muscles, I'd be really grateful.