Dieting with Obstacles - Severe lower back pain- exercise help?

09-29-2012, 10:42 AM
I'm very new to this whole forum (This is my first post, in fact!) and I joined here to get the general weight loss support I've seen and because I saw this topic! I have an extreme lower back issue that makes it difficult for me to exercise. I have three bulging discs in my back, one pressing up against my spinal column, one against my sciatic nerve (right side) and another that presses against a nerve in my left leg that runs through my knee. As a result, even walking for more then about 10 minutes becomes crippling. I have to get a wheelchair when I go out to places like the mall, or other larger stores.

I've been on a 1200 or less calorie diet for 2 weeks, the first week I lost 7 pounds, but this week I've gained 2 of them back! I know I need to start exercising.

Can anyone here recommend ANY kind of exercise I might be able to do? I've tried an elliptical, but it too is very painful (even backwards, and very slowly) and I can't lift weights because it puts a strain on my back. Even gentle yoga hurts! It's pretty silly. General advice would be welcome too- since I live a very sedentary lifestyle.

09-29-2012, 01:14 PM
i have the same problems n at 1 point thought i was going to have to get a walker just to get around my home (i just turned 45)! i started calorie counting along with cutting out processed foods whenever possible (sodium content) n went to whole grain breads, pasta n rice! the swelling in my joints n bloating started going away almost immediately! i started walking a very slow 15 minutes a day that was beginning of july, im at 2 sessions of 30min a day (1 session elliptical)! plus 30 min strength n 30 min abs a day! im feeling awesome, still have aches n pains but they r getting less n less im losing an average of 1lb a week n the inches r falling steady too! PM me if u need a friend who totally understands!

10-03-2012, 06:53 PM
I'm SO happy to find someone else on here who not only knows what's going on with me pain wise, but ALSO is dieting! How awesome! <3 I have to admit (and this is kind of silly) I can't figure out how to message someone on here! Haha..

10-04-2012, 10:51 AM
I would recommend looking into Theresa tapp, or ttapp. She is a physical therapist who created a workout not only for her clients but herself. She has sciatica I think is what its called, and can't stand up straight if she doesn't exercise right. She has regular and More versions of her workout, (more is for people with more weight, years, or health problems) they are modified.

I do not have back problems like you do, but my mom does and when saw do her 15 minute routine in the morning neither one of us wakes up hurting.

10-10-2012, 10:30 PM
The best kind of exercise you can do with back issues is the one that takes the most weight off your bones while doing it, IE swimming. I do that and I try to walk but I don't do walking very well these days. I have the same severe back issues plus I have autoimmune disease/thyroid issues. I've also been using resistance bands. My PT guy started me with those and I like them because I can use a band anywhere, even while watching TV, as much or as little as I feel up to on a given day. Every little bit helps. You don't need to exercise for an hour straight. If you can't you can't. Just try to do 10 mins, 5 mins, whatever you can whenever you can...

10-25-2012, 11:34 PM
Hi Taylor,

There are a couple of issues you have identified here. One of which is weight loss and the other is exercise.

Exercise is certainly a good idea to help you lose weight and obviously had a load of health benefits, however its important to note exercise is by no means an ESSENTIAL ingredient if you want to lose weight.

As long as you can ensure you are eating less energy than you burn so that your body has to use it's own mass (weight) for fuel - you will be losing weight!

I think magkelly's advice of focusing on exercise that takes as much of the resistance off your body whilst exercising is a fabulous idea - i.e Swimming!

Even if you can't swim much yet, start small and work your way up. This is something you can definitely achieve.


10-26-2012, 04:36 PM
Well, it seems that you and I have a similar problem, I had 3 bulging discs ( two of mine actually ruptured rather bad and ended up having two surgeries) but I know your pain. This is how I have lost 25 lbs so far, I still need much more but we will get there:
What has worked for me is first of all get a round of physical therapy just to learn what kind of exercises will help to strength your core and back muscles irregardless your weight. My neurosurgeon recommended me going to water aerobics class, it is so nice! You work at your own pace. Also, I used to eat 1300 calories at some point, lost some weight but then gained some... My doctor advised me to eat 1800 and try to exercise at least 3 days a week, little at the time, the important is that you move around. My body got out starvation mode and I started losing weight! I not only count calories, I watch fat/sodium content, it always help. Having chronic back pain is horrible but you know what? We can do this!
Good luck!

10-26-2012, 04:45 PM
I had two bulging discs a few years ago and had to give up my job because of it. A physiotherapist started me on a very simple exercise regime and as I slowly improved he added swimming and then he got me doing some weights and gym exercises.
swimming is the best exercise because you are supported and I would definitely get a physio to help you with the right exercises as it can easily be made worse with the wrong ones. No forward bending or bending with straight legs and lie on your tummy and gently raise push your upper body with your arms.
If the pain begins to spread across your back or get sharp or set of the sciatica then stop that exercise.
all the best, take it steady and you'll get there.

10-26-2012, 11:00 PM
Google chair aerobics. There are exercises you can do sitting down.