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  1. #151
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    It's great you're so motivated. Great to see. I cringe when I hear you want to get back to weightlifting so quick though. The only weight training I did or would do would be heavily biased to focusing on stabilizers muscles. Retraining the brain to intuitively fire those muscles. Lots of repetition. When I did weights it was warm curls or military press or bench press but with low weight and consciously firing the core before each rep. I did military or curls first with the exercise ball between the wall and my back then eventually was sitting on the ball, then lifting one leg or the other off the ground alternatively. The focus was fire the core, lots of reps and low weight. Core and reps being the most important. Not what you want to hear but I wouldn't think about building to heavy lifts for 2 years. At that point your tendons will have shrunk to normal and you'll have gained a ton of stability from that and your program. Daily safe stretching is crucial. Emphasis on safe. Pre workout stretch is great for preventing muscle pulls and reinjuring and resulting spasms. Apres stretch is great for muscle regrowth. People that train tend to focus on the apres stretch but because of injury I focus on the pre exercise stretch(8/10 I still do both)

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  2. #152
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    Thanks for the tips and suggestions. I don't do shoulder press anymore. Too much strain. I've been doing weights since week three post-op and was in pretty good strength shape before the surgery (my problem was nerve compression). I was careful to experiment around and see which exercises could handle stress and which couldn't. Can: pull downs, rows, bench, curls, leg extension and very light leg curl. All these were approved by doc yesterday with common sense caution. Can't: Squat, leg press, dead lift, cleans, twisting obliques, dumbell pullovers. Full Yoga is out for at least three more months. I suppose heavy weight is subjective but for the most part on upper body I work at about 75% to 100% of body weight depending on the exercise

    I will use swimming and cycling for full body strength and small muscle work as well as more stretching based on your excellent recommendations. I do have to be careful stretching because many stretches are just that and involve some twisting and stress on the core. Just simple stretches like knees to chest and back bridges require caution at this point.

    I agree with you that working the big muscles will create an imbalance but ironically it's easier to work those than fine tuning as you probably know. My routine is circuit training. Warm up>3-4 sets of reps to failure starting with 15-20 reps down to 8-12. It's fairly HIT and I'm sweating and taking very little rest. After that I fiddle around with some fine tuning and then stretch and done. About an hour total. Swimming and cycling is adjunct.

  3. #153
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    You know your body the best. I just hear nerve pinch and generally that’s an injury that starts around the spine. An injury to the stabilizers resulting from a compression or herniation . That causes the mis alignment that pinches a nerve. The stabilizers once injured to a point where you pinch a nerve will stop firing the stabilizer muscles intuitively. Every weight bearing exercise , whether weight lifting in a gym or daily life movements, require the stabilizers to flex intuitively first before you consciously use your major muscle groups to do the actual lifting. After an injury the current from the brain that is supposed to fire the stabilizers intuitively aren’t firing because of the impingement . As a result of the stabilizer muscles not firing for a prolonged period the stabilizers will suffer from atrophy leaving you susceptible to further injury. You’ll be susceptible to further injury until you build those stabilizers back up and have the fire intuitively , with exercises directly focused to first and foremost focus on those stabilizers. I’m not saying weight bearing exercises are bad but more that I would gauge how much weight bearing exercises are done by the level of core stabilizer strength I have. The injury is there and will remain to some degree. It’s important to reinforce the stabilizers around that area. Let that be the barometer for how much weight you lift or major muscle groups you use.
    The muscles surrounding that area are the hamstrings, quads, glutes, hip flexors, stomach and lower back muscles. I stretch them all. How much I stretch them depends on the day. I have a routine where I’m perfectly aligned and I’m not pulling with my upper body so I don’t aggravate the injury. Hams I keep the hips level and elevate one leg on my bike seat(use something lower to start or if I’m sore like a padded foot stool), quads again I use my bike/seat by bending my knee and putting the top of my foot on the seat and letting my body weight stretch the quad rather than pulling my foot with my arm/upper body, hip flexor is hard to keep the hips level so I support my body with both arms on a chair on either side and then one leg back and knee bend squat with the other. I don’t worry about getting super low or giving it a major stretch just loosen it up a touch. This one is more important to keep the hips level. Glutes are leg crossovers with my knees to my chest while I’m on my back. I have to pull with my arms across my body to stretch the glutes so I’m cautious to outdo to much and laying on your back will give you more control of it. Cats and dogs for stomach and back and I usually do 3 sets holding for 25 seconds of those and 2 sets of all the others. I find it’s more important that I do them then how deep I do the stretch, especially initially. After 20+ years I can gauge how much I should or shouldn’t push it.
    When I was weightlifting it was only to build the stabilizers and the weight would probably be minuscule to what you would categorize as weightlifting. 10/15/20lb dumbells. The priority was the stabilizers, so I only moved up as it became apparent that the stabilizers were long past the point of stabilizing. The goal was as many repetitions as possible to retrain the brain to fire the stabilizers intuitively. Huge major muscles groups and minimal stabilizers only increase the likelihood of reinjury and those injuries are cumulative in their acuteness
    Stabilizer exercises should focus on the trans abdominal muscles. The muscle that attaches the lower stomach to your lower back. If you lay on your back , put your finger on your hip bone on either side of your stomach, then move each finger 1” in and 2” down, that is your trans abs. Basically the same muscles you see in the weightlifting rappers Thant need to pull their pants up. 9/10 exercises usually focus on those. I’ve been to a shit ton of physios and only one should me “la piece de resistance “ of exercises. It keys on each individual muscle that connects one vertabraeto the next. There is a muscle on each side of the spine that is the size of one section of your finger. At every vertebrae it has one on either side and they stabilize the vertebrae. The only physio and exercise that Ive ever learned to key on these has made an immeasurable quality of life and stability. To do it, all you do is lay face down on a mat with legs shoulder width and arms stretched above your head shoulder width. Lift one leg and the opposite arm one inch off the mat and hold for 25 seconds, then the other leg and arm. That’s one set. Start with 3 sets of 5, or maybe 2 sets. I have found no other exercise to use they stabilizers. Again, it’s repetition but this one is a great add on to a bunch of trans ab exercises
    Sorry for any repetition in there. I probably bounced back and forth

  4. #154
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    /\Good stuff! I was doing some of those exercises pre-surgery but they weren't helping. It was frustrating. Good idea to go back to those now as they will probably work. It's hard to do those stretching exercises when they aren't working.

    My back feels great! Supple might be too strong a word but it's been numb for many years even before the pain started. Still some minor shooting pain in the right leg that was not there pre-surgery. Lower leg numbness is not getting worse and maybe, slowly, getting better.

    Mental disposition is so much better even though my movement and activity is still quite limited.

  5. #155
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    Well good luck. Stay safe and itll improve. Definitely a slow process developing the right routine to safely build. 2 years was the milestone. Ski touring after 3-4 months of physio was great. Walking is what we're designed for so that loosens everything up and balancing on the skin track finding traction is a continual stabilizer muscle workout. Also ez meadow skipping down through pow is ez on the body. No sudden dynamic moves or pounding on hardpack like the ski hill. Pounding from hiking downhill is bad bit skiing down through soft snow is more than good. It's always the sudden dynamic move that risks reinjuring the herniation. Posture is crucial

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  6. #156
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    Definitely. I haven't been able to navigate ski chatter for years and don't plan on starting. Just go slow.

  7. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by grinch View Post
    You know your body the best. I just hear nerve pinch and generally that’s an injury that starts around the spine. An injury to the stabilizers resulting from a compression or herniation . That causes the mis alignment that pinches a nerve. The stabilizers once injured to a point where you pinch a nerve will stop firing the stabilizer muscles intuitively. Every weight bearing exercise , whether weight lifting in a gym or daily life movements, require the stabilizers to flex intuitively first before you consciously use your major muscle groups to do the actual lifting. After an injury the current from the brain that is supposed to fire the stabilizers intuitively aren’t firing because of the impingement . As a result of the stabilizer muscles not firing for a prolonged period the stabilizers will suffer from atrophy leaving you susceptible to further injury. You’ll be susceptible to further injury until you build those stabilizers back up and have the fire intuitively , with exercises directly focused to first and foremost focus on those stabilizers. I’m not saying weight bearing exercises are bad but more that I would gauge how much weight bearing exercises are done by the level of core stabilizer strength I have. The injury is there and will remain to some degree. It’s important to reinforce the stabilizers around that area. Let that be the barometer for how much weight you lift or major muscle groups you use.
    The muscles surrounding that area are the hamstrings, quads, glutes, hip flexors, stomach and lower back muscles. I stretch them all. How much I stretch them depends on the day. I have a routine where I’m perfectly aligned and I’m not pulling with my upper body so I don’t aggravate the injury. Hams I keep the hips level and elevate one leg on my bike seat(use something lower to start or if I’m sore like a padded foot stool), quads again I use my bike/seat by bending my knee and putting the top of my foot on the seat and letting my body weight stretch the quad rather than pulling my foot with my arm/upper body, hip flexor is hard to keep the hips level so I support my body with both arms on a chair on either side and then one leg back and knee bend squat with the other. I don’t worry about getting super low or giving it a major stretch just loosen it up a touch. This one is more important to keep the hips level. Glutes are leg crossovers with my knees to my chest while I’m on my back. I have to pull with my arms across my body to stretch the glutes so I’m cautious to outdo to much and laying on your back will give you more control of it. Cats and dogs for stomach and back and I usually do 3 sets holding for 25 seconds of those and 2 sets of all the others. I find it’s more important that I do them then how deep I do the stretch, especially initially. After 20+ years I can gauge how much I should or shouldn’t push it.
    When I was weightlifting it was only to build the stabilizers and the weight would probably be minuscule to what you would categorize as weightlifting. 10/15/20lb dumbells. The priority was the stabilizers, so I only moved up as it became apparent that the stabilizers were long past the point of stabilizing. The goal was as many repetitions as possible to retrain the brain to fire the stabilizers intuitively. Huge major muscles groups and minimal stabilizers only increase the likelihood of reinjury and those injuries are cumulative in their acuteness
    Stabilizer exercises should focus on the trans abdominal muscles. The muscle that attaches the lower stomach to your lower back. If you lay on your back , put your finger on your hip bone on either side of your stomach, then move each finger 1” in and 2” down, that is your trans abs. Basically the same muscles you see in the weightlifting rappers Thant need to pull their pants up. 9/10 exercises usually focus on those. I’ve been to a shit ton of physios and only one should me “la piece de resistance “ of exercises. It keys on each individual muscle that connects one vertabraeto the next. There is a muscle on each side of the spine that is the size of one section of your finger. At every vertebrae it has one on either side and they stabilize the vertebrae. The only physio and exercise that Ive ever learned to key on these has made an immeasurable quality of life and stability. To do it, all you do is lay face down on a mat with legs shoulder width and arms stretched above your head shoulder width. Lift one leg and the opposite arm one inch off the mat and hold for 25 seconds, then the other leg and arm. That’s one set. Start with 3 sets of 5, or maybe 2 sets. I have found no other exercise to use they stabilizers. Again, it’s repetition but this one is a great add on to a bunch of trans ab exercises
    Sorry for any repetition in there. I probably bounced back and forth
    We better not see you posting in the carpal tunnel thread. ;-)

  8. #158
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    Haa dont get me started. Literally! I held off because no one ever listens but alas I got started

    #wordsalad

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  9. #159
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    I started back on the stretching/strength stuff today per grinch. Down dog, cobra, up dog, the hand leg extended thing, planks. Also did my weights. Finished up with mile swim. Swim felt great. I've been out of the water for months and surprised how strong I felt. It was tough before because I could not be in prone position with back extension required for normal swimming. Need to be careful with the flip turns for a while...

  10. #160
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    Nice! Please dont over do it. We'll both feel like shit lol

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  11. #161
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    Thanks. It sounds like a lot but it really isn't. Maybe an hour and a half. Will try a walk tomorrow.

  12. #162
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    No problem. My injury is/was 4 vertebrae SI, L3,4,5 couple compressed couple herniated. After shorter physio stints I eventually got pissed and just focused on it every day for 2 years. After that I just stretch all those muscles that surround/pull on that area daily and for the most part can avoid going into spasm. I can skip the exercises for the most part. Occasionally , if I get sick or dehydrated, I might pull a back muscle. Then I'll bust out the 4 ez stabilizer exercises and do them for 2-4 weeks(2-3 days after the strain). Its not that often and usually a couple weeks of adding those little exercises in the mix and I'm back to normal. I found by doing them every day for 2 years that it kept me from going into spasm and my spine misaligning so that allowed the tendons to shrink back to normal without being stretched. Now just maintenance

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  13. #163
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    Iím tired morning after swimming. Feel good though. Glad I have it back. Itís so efficient and low impact. Combine with some weights and flexibility and Iím in a good place.


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  14. #164
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    Yesterday I added sitting thigh curls with 15 pounds to my weights. It felt pretty good and maybe I did 40 reps. 2x20. During yesterdayís workout I felt the top of my gluteus along the lower spine was a little tight (no pain) but I did develop some restrictive pain in my right hip so I go to full rest mode with some concern. About 24 hours now and most of that pain is gone

    Anyway, just lying here resting I hear and feel a (good?) crack that felt like it originated dead center in my tail bone. The best way to describe it was a small earthquake in my body; a jolt felt all the way in my brain. After this my left lower leg that has been bothering me for months feels like it has a TENS device on it. Burning in the bottom of my foot, toes tingling. My left lower leg from top of the knee down is tingly as I type this. It doesnít hurt or bother me to walk any weaker than it does already.

    I feel good. My back feels good! Im hoping this ďcrackĒ is the start of the beginning to getting my left leg working right. Doc said it would come back.




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  15. #165
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    Those cracks, for me , can be good or bad. Good when they happen after a few good days of stretching(spine is realigning when its loose) or bad when I've my muscles are tight from too much exercise(muscle strain when overtight and spine misaligning)
    I like to hear no cracks, stay limber and aligned. Many betterz
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  16. #166
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    I did mention to the doc a lot of benign painless clicking near the surgery site and he immediately waved that off as normal.


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  17. #167
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    I guess there's no escaping it. Doesn't seem like something I have full control over. I did have some good days on the bike after it a few times. I knew I had been stretching a bunch and could attribute it to that. Big difference in power , balance and comfort between being lined up and not. I still wonder which crack it is. Next day it becomes apparent if it was good or bad one

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  18. #168
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    Bulged/Herniated Disc advice?

    After electric crack last night lower leg stayed tingly and calf muscles got tight. Calf stretch was painful.

    This morning I went for a walk to test whether the nerves are waking up. It appears they are. I was able to walk two miles. It is still weak but didnít get progressively weaker to point of failure as before. It feels warm and my foot is still tingly. Before surgery after try to walk my calf would have severe pain the next day. My next test is to see if my calf is sore tomorrow or just tired.

    Very encouraging. I suspect there has to some permanent atrophy. Just how much..
    Last edited by 4matic; 05-22-2019 at 02:23 PM.

  19. #169
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    Now that I am swimming again I have to say that for basic core strength and balance not many things beat swimming. Long slow swim with my waterproof ipod is relaxing. For years I had sharp low back pain doing back extension dolphin kick. Gone now. Although, hard sprint swimming is almost as dangerous as heavy weight lifting. Gots to be careful.

  20. #170
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    Along the lines of stretching--last fall hiking the tour du mont blanc with my kid, as I hiked I'd start to get butt pain, I'd sit on a rock and bend forqRS as far as I could at the waist, slowly, without forcing. I could feel the muscles relax, and when I stood up the pain would be gone. I could hike again for a while before having to do it again. The way I figure it, as I hiked with a pack--maybe 20#, maybe less--my lower back muscles would eventually tighten which would tip my pelvis forward which puts pressure on the nerve roots. By stretching those muscles my pelvis could tilt back and relieve the nerve root pressure. I never had a doc or PT advise me to do that--figured it out on my own.

    I've also found that skiing or hiking with a pack is actually more comfortable than without, because the weight behind lets me bend forward at the waist and relieve nerve pressure--while carrying even a light weight in front of me is murder.

  21. #171
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    Iíve had my best year to date with my chronic lower back pain issuesó sciatica down to about my left kneecap, etc. Lately my neck has been prone to acute episodes every 3-4 weeks or so. Anyone else out there have a similar experience? Only contributing factors I can point to are a demanding work schedule and lack of massage treatments recently. I even dropped the ball on my own release techniques, using a baseball/lax ball etc.


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  22. #172
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    Quote Originally Posted by Self Jupiter View Post
    I’ve had my best year to date with my chronic lower back pain issues— sciatica down to about my left kneecap, etc. Lately my neck has been prone to acute episodes every 3-4 weeks or so. Anyone else out there have a similar experience? Only contributing factors I can point to are a demanding work schedule and lack of massage treatments recently. I even dropped the ball on my own release techniques, using a baseball/lax ball etc.


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    if you use 2 pillows--try one.

  23. #173
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    Bulged/Herniated Disc advice?

    Thank you. Iím only using 1.

    I try to sleep on my side, knees at 90deg with a pillow in between, one pillow under the head and something to support my arms. Often wake up in a different position.

    Seeing my chiro (who is also a PT and athletic traineró ultra-marathoner type) this week. I usually leave his office with my neck feeling better. His services have not had as good results with my lower back, though I must admit I was fairly quick to give up on them. Deep tissue muscle/body work with a focus on structural observation and integration (Rolfing) has been the best treatment service for my lower back issues thus far,. It is worth noting I had already graduated, with a gold star sticker from the New England Baptist PT Ďboot campí prior to the Rolfing series.


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  24. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by Self Jupiter View Post
    Thank you. Iím only using 1.

    I try to sleep on my side, knees at 90deg with a pillow in between, one pillow under the head and something to support my arms. Often wake up in a different position.

    Seeing my chiro (who is also a PT and athletic traineró ultra-marathoner type) this week. I usually leave his office with my neck feeling better. His services have not had as good results with my lower back, though I must admit I was fairly quick to give up on them. Deep tissue muscle/body work with a focus on structural observation and integration (Rolfing) has been the best treatment service for my lower back issues thus far,. It is worth noting I had already graduated, with a gold star sticker from the New England Baptist PT Ďboot campí prior to the Rolfing series.


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    I spent two years doing voodoo. I knew something was wrong but the system requires it. I could point to the spot on my spine where the chronic pain was. No more pain there after surgery.

    My swimming is perfect whole body core exercise for re-establish strength and balance. I been doing weights and some spin all along so Iím pretty strong. The swimming ties it together. One hour swim with my iPod and Iím worked. I donít need weights or much stretch right now.

    Iíve been stretching and core exercise for two years. Didnít help my pain. Two doctors and a pt said Iím not that stiff.

  25. #175
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    Bulged/Herniated Disc advice?

    Glad to hear youíre on the mend.

    Using the aforementioned techniques, with much mud-slinging-but-not-sticking mixed in, overall, Iíve had my best year year to date since the pain started 7 years ago. Iím 33. No way Iím considering surgery at this point unless the trend changes dramatically.
    Last edited by Self Jupiter; 05-27-2019 at 08:38 PM.

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