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Herniated disc on same steep climb

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Herniated disc on same steep climb

Old 03-07-21, 07:16 PM
  #1  
jojoma
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Herniated disc on same steep climb

Hello,

15 months ago on an 18% section of a climb grinding in the saddle, I herniated (I think) a disc in my lower back. The pain was so sharp and intense I had to stop immediately and go home. After about a month of rehab and recovery, things were fine and the past year has been ok. Lots of training, but no back blowups. I even got over the mental issue of fearing my back might go out. Until today. In a dejavu moment, on the same stretch of climb, the same thing happened. A bomb went off in my lower back, in I'd say the L4/L5 area, causing me to immediately unclip and stand motionless for about three minutes. Good thing I was close to home and it was all downhill.

Anyone else have a similar issue? Should I pursue surgery?

Thanks a lot for any insight.
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Old 03-07-21, 07:18 PM
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We aren't doctors on here. I suggest that you talk to one about surgery or other options.
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Old 03-07-21, 07:34 PM
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Don’t rush into surgery, because it is no panacea and there is the potential for complications. I herniated a disc about 4 years ago and was immobile for about a month. Reduced activity for a year, but with the right physical therapist, I am back to 95% with little to no pain. Before I couldn’t walk stairs and could barely go 15 feet with crutches, the pain was so excruciating. What I learned was that I would never again do what I did which caused the injury (carrying 300 lbs of wet dirt in a wheel barrow down a very steep incline and then walking it about 300 yards down another incline to dump it. I learned my lesson and with that kind of pain (morphine in the ER did NOTHING).

All injuries are not alike but good therapy and knowledge about what hurts you might serve you well. You can and probably should seek medical attention but keep in mind not every surgeon will turn away potential profit unless they are highly ethical. I would find friends in your area that have had back injuries for recommendations of an ethical and principled surgeon. I’m sure glad i did.
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Old 03-07-21, 07:43 PM
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I blew out a disc when I was in my mid-40's working for Uncle Sam in a foreign country. Adrenaline got me through the moment, but then I crashed. Pain brought tears to my eyes and I couldn't breathe or stand up. I never had the surgery and on rare occasions it will still flare up on me, but I haven't jumped out of a plane since then either. I'm 71 now and still going strong, despite living foolishly. Do what you feel is best for you, but like someone else mentioned, surgery isn't a panacea. Good luck.
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Old 03-07-21, 07:51 PM
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if your seat is set to high, it will rock the hips & your body will follow. Make sure you are not rockin while you're rollin.

Slow steady stretches always something that helps sooth a back issue when it pops up.
ymmv
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Old 03-07-21, 09:40 PM
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Bad back from my 20's due to hard manual labor jobs. As I got older these hard labor jobs finally made my back so bad that I had to change professions. I've blown out my back a bunch of times, crawled on the floor to go to the bathroom. All the highlight moments of treating your back like toilet paper. Discussed surgery a couple of times with doctors. Doctors told me I was better off letting it heal and stop doing whatever I was doing to hurt myself. In my late 60's and my back is not real good but I work all the time and it doesn't hurt day in and day out. I keep all my physical output within the limits my back sets. As rsbob also noted, I can't do what I once did at all. I don't miss the back pain either.
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Old 03-08-21, 01:22 AM
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I had a bad L4-L5 experience a few years ago (near fatal seizure which cause my back to collapse and etc.).

My wife is a surgical nurse who works with orthopedists. Want to know what my experience taught me that could be relevant to you? You'd be crazy to take medical advice from strangers on a bike forum. It's nice that we can share experiences, and perhaps gain some hope for recovery / treatment. But any problem with your back that causes you pain like that means you see a doctor. And not the country general practitioner type, either.
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Old 03-08-21, 03:34 AM
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Hmmm, last time I hit my hand with a hammer, it really hurt. Wonder what will happen this time, dang, ouch f... me that hurt.
If there's one thing I've figured out with backs, if something hurt my back last time, there's a damn good chance it'll do the same again, so just don't do that thing any more. If you insist on riding up that hill, change your gearing so you don't need to grind up, you need to change something in the configuration of the activity so the results aren't the same.
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Old 03-08-21, 05:25 AM
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What does your orthopedist recommend?
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Old 03-08-21, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by jojoma View Post
I herniated (I think) a disc in my lower back.
Since you don't actually know what is going on, I'd suggest seeing a doc before you cut on anything.
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Old 03-08-21, 07:00 AM
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Get a MRI could be a Bone Spur. I have Both Problems..
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Old 03-08-21, 07:14 AM
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Dont take the medical advice of some some internet forum as the last word.

Be sure to get a second opinion from another internet forum as well.
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Old 03-08-21, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
Dont take the medical advice of some some internet forum as the last word.

Be sure to get a second opinion from another internet forum as well.
Or ask your Bike Mechanic.
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Old 03-09-21, 12:59 PM
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I herniated two or three disks when I was 21, now 43, from a motorcycle accident. While I have dealt with back related issues over the years, one thing that really helped me was realizing my hips were out of alignment too. I would get my back cracked from a chiropractor only to be back a few months later. My hips being out of alignment did not allow my back stay in its proper position. I chose physical therapy instead of surgery. If I were you, I would get an MRI and see a physical therapist/osteopath/massage therapist/chiropractor that deals with sports related injuries.

just recently my back feels like it popped back into place, a good thing, and I attribute it to riding my bike more. I only started riding a bicycle weekly 6 months ago. Im still pretty new.

Also, get pants the next size up, make sure your underwear is not tight and buy some suspenders.

Belts and tight pants = pain
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Old 03-09-21, 01:24 PM
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You trying to climb that 18% grade in the 53 front and 11 rear?<this is exaggeration and maybe sarcasm if you need to be clued in>

Usually that blows out knees, but if you already had back issues and are hunched up trying to pedal a ridiculously high gear ratio, then I might can see a herniated disc happening.
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Old 03-09-21, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Or ask your Bike Mechanic.
Good suggestion to ask a professional.
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Old 03-09-21, 07:06 PM
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Herniated discs don’t hurt locally. They press on nerves and cause pain and weakness in the places where those nerves go.

The only legitimate purpose of disc surgery is to fix well defined nerve problems when conservative treatment is unlikely to succeed. It is never appropriate for “back pain.”
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Old 03-09-21, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Trevtassie View Post
Hmmm, last time I hit my hand with a hammer, it really hurt. Wonder what will happen this time, dang, ouch f... me that hurt.
If there's one thing I've figured out with backs, if something hurt my back last time, there's a damn good chance it'll do the same again, so just don't do that thing any more. If you insist on riding up that hill, change your gearing so you don't need to grind up, you need to change something in the configuration of the activity so the results aren't the same.
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Old 03-09-21, 10:53 PM
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Sounds like you pulled or tore a muscle maybe?
Perhaps climb a different hill....
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Old 03-10-21, 02:09 AM
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Most of all, DON’T GO BACK TO THAT SAME HILL.
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Old 03-10-21, 06:24 AM
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Id try that hill a third time just to be sure.
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Old 03-10-21, 08:56 AM
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Surgery is the action of last resort.
get it properly diagnosed and start with the most conservative treatment - which is probably rest and mild physio. Chiropractors are quacks.
be sure to follow any recommendations regarding prevention.
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