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fused vertebrae

Old 01-19-11, 07:00 PM
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fused vertebrae

Am I destined for failure with 2 fused lower vertebrae? I swear I've tried everything. Chiro, PT, hip exercise, range of motion stuff (which only seemed to make matters worse), core strengthening, weight training, changing my run technique to a softer landing with an emphasis on feet landing under center of mass (previous heel striker and over strider), god knows what else I've done in the past 2 years.

Is anyone successfully training for triathlons (or anything else for that matter) with fused vertebrae, or am I destined for failure with this freakin' fix they did when I was in the freakin' 6th grade????

Back ground - Sunday I did a simple 3 mile run. Monday I did absolutely nothing (besides my usual core routine). Monday night, I decided to sleep on my stomach. Woke up when the alarm clock went off for my swim, and holy crap, I slept the entire night on my stomach, holy crap my back feels like someone kicked it all night long (i swear my wife loves me). Could it simply be that I screwed up by sleeping on my stomach? Could that really wreak this much havoc on ones back? **** I'm only 29 years old... granted, I did have my vertebrae fused when I was a child. I've barely been back to training! Started cycling and swimming a couple weeks ago... a whopping 8 hours a week of exercise... barely what the government recommends.

Can ya tell I'm frustrated? I hope someone has words of encouragement, and just tell me that yes, I slept wrong, that my meek 12 miles per week for running was NOT the culprit to my sudden debilitating back pain. This is starting to become a pain in my rear... literally and figuratively. Oh well, at least this time I don't have sciatica.
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Old 01-19-11, 08:38 PM
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Hey relax! This stuff takes time. I climbed Mt. Rainier with a woman with fused vertebrae. Her doctor said she'd never walk again.

I don't have fused vertebrae, just other back problems, so listen and question. First thing I'd say is 8 hours is too much to start with. Second is stop running and start riding. You might be able to pick the running up again when you get better. Road biking is amazingly easy on the back. I have lumber stenosis, arthritic facets, one fractured vertebra, and some old soft tissue injury in my back, and I'm getting it back, by golly. Sleeping on my stomach used to kill me too, but it's gradually getting better so I can do that and even roll over without wincing.

Take a look at my Winter Training thread down the page to see what I'm doing. It's going to take a while to see real improvement. After my back injury, I rode my bike twice a week, about 60-80 mile/week, did some floor exercises, and did some Pilates. After a few months, my back started to feel better. I went to the gym for a few weeks and did some easy lifts until it felt good enough to start working it harder. Then I started the program shown in my thread.

Once I could move around without serious pain, what worked for me was to work my back until it hurt pretty good, then rest it, then repeat. Just light floor exercises didn't improve it much. I had to work those muscles real hard before I got real improvement. I think the back machine and barbell squats at the gym are the two most important weight exercises I'm doing. Not a lot of weight, a lot of reps instead. Other than the gym, cycling and hiking or snowshoeing have been the best things I've done for it.

So I'd start with the floor and body weight exercises and Pilates, then progress to harder work as your back gets stronger. Just google "back exercises" to see a zillion of them.
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