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Exercise with a slipped disc in my back...

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Old 04-12-2008, 02:05 PM   #1
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Default Exercise with a slipped disc in my back...

My baby is now 2, and I am still trying to lose the baby weight. I recently discovered I have low blood sugar issues, so restrictive diets are out of the question. I've been watching what I eat, and exercising, however a recent CT scan showed the cause of my excruciating back pain. A slipped disc has nearly paralyzed one of my legs... I am discouraged and disappointed. I'm not allowed to lift over 10 lbs, (I can't even pick up my kid), how am I supposed to exercise?
I have surgery scheduled for June, but until then, I'm at a loss. After surgery, there will be months of recovery time. Anyone been through this already? If so, how did you cope with the pain, and how did you get your exercise?
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Old 04-12-2008, 03:11 PM   #2
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Exclamation Desiree

First of all BIG , because I know what you're going through! Please, be careful and do exactly what your doctor tells you. You might try doing some seated exercises with light ( 2 or 3 lb) weights. If you Google 'seated exercises', you'll find a bunch of different sites..but make sure you clear it w/your doctor!

As for the pain, the only thing that helped me besides DRUGS was taking a hot shower, and praying a lot!

I hope that the doctor can move up your surgery date. I was blessed to have a great physical therapist after my surgery..pt wasn't easy ..but it helped a lot!

Please keep us posted!
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Old 04-12-2008, 07:00 PM   #3
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Hey that's a great idea! Thanks... I never thought of the seated exercises. Oh well... even if I can't work on my legs, I'll have super buff arms after surgery
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Old 04-13-2008, 07:00 AM   #4
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Sounds like a tough combo - the blood sugar and the back issue. I found that South Beach really carefully planned in Phase 1 (lots of beans, regular snacks) regulated my low blood sugar well. It's more even than it's been, well as long as I can remember.

I have 2 herniated discs, neither easily fixable. One between my shoulders causes chronic pain when walking/standing and one in my neck causes headaches and pinched nerves if I don't keep an eye on what I'm doing. I've had to sort out the difference between nerve pain and pain that is doing damage - not an easy thing to figure out. I found I've had to work out just a little beyond the start of pain, and push a few minutes each day. I stick with the walking or the elliptical primarily, no weights without my PTs approval. At this point I can get a whole workout in. Sounds like your situation is really different though.

If you can get through until post surgery with just little gains in fitness that may be the best goal for now. I hope the surgery does the trick for you!
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Old 04-13-2008, 11:41 AM   #5
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Ya, hope so... I also tried to figure out the difference between the nerve pain and the pain from me causing damage to myself... it's hard! I talked to my doc yesterday and she told me I could exercise, but as soon as I felt ANY pain to stop and not do that exercise again until I'm fixed. So, that's what I'm going to do. I also started the fat blaster diet this morning and so far, so good Mind you, it's only been 3 hours LOL
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Old 04-14-2008, 09:15 AM   #6
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I have two slipped discs in my lower back. I never had surgery, but I did have months of physical therapy. When I started, I couldn't even walk a block. Now I'm back to jogging. The PT should be a huge help. Until then, how about some light weights? Bicycling should be good too. That was the only exercise I was allowed to do when I first started PT, and it didn't hurt at all.
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Old 04-14-2008, 11:16 AM   #7
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I went to PT for three months, and after the CT, my doc told me that it had gotten worse. So for now, surgery is the only option. Had I gone to the doctor when it first started hurting, I could have gone to a chiropractor and PT might have worked... I'm so stubborn sometimes
But the bike didn't hurt hey? Maybe I'll try that too! Thanks
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Old 04-14-2008, 02:29 PM   #8
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I'm sorry to hear that its so bad you have to get surgery! I did the recumbent bicycle. That is the one where your feet are out in front of you instead of under you. The one where they are under you, I kept having the urge to lean forward while bicycling and that would hurt my back. With the recumbent, you can sit up straight and have your back flat against the seat. That helps a lot. Good luck to you!
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Old 04-14-2008, 07:09 PM   #9
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Hi Desiree, I want you to know right off the bat, that I had very successful micro-diskectomy laminotomy L4-5 in 1996 and it was the best thing I ever did for myself... I did it after rupturing the disks and healing fully twice, 5 years apart... I was able to go back to a physical job full time w/out restrictions... I am not a surgeon, only speaking from my experience, my ruptured disks did heal in time and the pain went away, both times the nerve pushing on my disk needed to 'calm down' become less irritated, over time, my pain lessened, I went to PT, got my belly muscles strong, got my legs strong.. (about six months for me) it was a long haul but worth every leg lift ... I totally understand the pain is awful and your trying to take care of children...Our lives are so busy... I'm sure all you can think about is relief...so you can keep on going.. I couldn't 'not' post because I just hope you are not rushing into surgery.. Imho, docs in general, are suggesting surgery way too soon... You mentioned only one CT... I would want at least 2 CT's read by separate radiologists and a second and or 3rd opinion before I let a surgeon open my back.... I don't want to be scary, just concerned....
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Old 04-14-2008, 07:37 PM   #10
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Desiree
I have low blood sugar too. I good healthy required amounts of the four basic food groups eating plan is working for me to lose weight. I do know, Richard Simmons has an exercise program for those that can't do certain things. On the cover it has someone in a wheel chair. Maybe you could do something like that.
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Old 04-15-2008, 11:27 AM   #11
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Sweetcaroline, I did only have one CT and at my next appointment with my neurosurgeon I'll have another. The first one was done in my town and I have to travel 3 hours to see the neurosurgeon, so that's two seperate opinions. I have tried everything short of surgery, and I'm desperate... I can't sleep at night. I'm not one to take Tylenol... even for a headache, and I'm taking two T3s every three hours, and it still hurts so bad I can't walk half the time. Acupuncture works great, for the first 2 hours. I need the pain to go away. The thought of surgery makes me sick to my stomach, but if that will make me better...I'm going to do it.
I want to have another baby, and I can't get pregnant until my back heals. So the sooner the better
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Old 04-15-2008, 10:31 PM   #12
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Hi again Desiree, I'm so glad all of that is being done for you... I wish you a very quick recovery so you can get back to your active life.... feel better...
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Old 04-17-2008, 02:08 PM   #13
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Hey Desiree I am in the SAME situation! I had 3 slipped discs and already had the lumbar laminectomy surgery. It took nearly 6 months before I could really do any real exercise again - but that was in 2004.

Now its 2008 and I still have back pain and I'm pretty convinced I've slipped another disc. Everything from sitting, standing, walking, even SLEEPING seems like a chore, and with super high insulin resistance levels, I have NO idea how I'm supposed to lose the weight. My BMI is about 37.5 and my goal is to get it down to 30.

As for pain management I found that 2 Excedrin PM really help me sleep at night. During the day, I have vicodin for super-painful days, but regularly i take a natural supplement called bromelain - its a pineapple enzyme that helps relax the muscle spasms associated with sciatica and funny enough its practically a miracle cure for PMS cramps, too! You can get it at GNC, CVS or any drugstore in the vitamin aisle...

Anyway I also agree with getting a 2nd opinion on the surgery. If you find a really good chiropractor they can help you with the pain management also. My chiro has a great plaque in her office that says, "Chiropractic first, drugs second, surgery LAST"..and I firmly believe in that thinking.

Good luck!

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Old 04-17-2008, 02:11 PM   #14
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I'd also talk to your Doc about pain killers T3's don't really work best for back pain and they are hard on yer innards!
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Old 04-18-2008, 09:11 PM   #15
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I had a ruptured/slipped disc L4-L5. It was so painful! The back pain I could handle... it was the shocking nerve pain in my legs that made me want to jump from a bridge!! I did physical therapy for a month with no improvement and increased pain. I saw 2 different neurosurgeons and both suggested surgery. I hurt my back 5/31/06...worked til 7/12/06...I saw the second Dr. on the 7/28/06 and was under the knife on 8/8/06! I was so relieved to wake up with no pain down my legs!! I thought maybe I was paralyzed but then saw my toes wiggling! I was terrified about surgery b/c my aunt had the same surgery and she did not walk out of the hospital-- she was paralyzed from the waist down due to the sloppy/drunk/ignorant doctor who screwed it up!! I was back to work at the Jail where I am a corrections officer in 2 months. Doc said I should take 3 but I went back after 2 on light duty/restricted duty. Although unfortunately I now need a fusion b/c my surgeon thought i was "too young" for a fusion at the time... i wonder now that i'm 2 years older if he thinks i might be old enough now!?(i'm a little bitter- he should have done it the first time while he was in there, not going to him again) So I too have terrible pain and have no idea how to exercise. I did PT 4 different times and I have some at home exercises and stretches that help me relax and well some get me sweatin a little... like the crunches... You should ask your physical therapist about exercises you can do at home to aid in weight loss or at least burn some calories... Then clear them with your doc!!
I wish you the best of luck with your back and your surgery!!
PS. I have yet to find a pain medicine that gets rid of the shocking/burning nerve pain...I survived on the stuff that just knocked me right out...
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