L4-L5 slipped disc can i still practise my sport? :(

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guitargod01lovesBJJ
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 1/28/2009 12:58 AM (GMT -7)   
i have this L4-L5 lumbar disc bulge. i got it from lifting heavy things the wrong way, probably two years ago. i have undergone therapy and traction for a month or two and after, i took a nerve test. my doctor said i was already okay even though i still felt some back pain that radiates to my right leg. after, say, 8-10 months, i felt great. i could lift, run, and do other things that i could not do before because of my terrible, terrible back pain that radiates to my right leg. but of course, i dont push myself to the limit. currently, i am practising judo and would want to further practice brazilian jiu-jitsu (bjj). btw, i was an athlete before i had slipped disc. i feel that i have the physical strength to do judo and bjj but my concern is, will my back be able to stand it? bacause i noticed during my judo matches, although i know i am strong enough, there's something that limits me to use all my strength. and that would be my slipped disc. i might put too much pressure on it if i use a lot of strength during matches and training. i was wondering if there's something i could do about it. my doctor said that slipped disc wont go back to normal. my body just gets used to the pain and adjust. i was thinking, maybe there's some sort of medical exercise, theraphy, or whatever that could allow me to...strengthen my back muscles so that i would not put too much pressure on it as i use my strength. i know this might be a "light" problem compared to what others are goin through, but for an athlete who suddenly became "uselss" in his/her field of sport... this means a lot... please help or give advices... thank you very much..! i take my judo and brazilian jiu jitsu VERY SERIOUSLY but i take my health and my life even more. thank you, thank you very much!

(cleaned this up so it was easier to read)

Post Edited By Moderator (Chutz) : 3/9/2009 11:44:58 PM (GMT-6)


Lindaloo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 1713
   Posted 1/28/2009 7:47 AM (GMT -7)   
Welcome to the forum. What is going on with your post? The first half is totally on the left part of the screen and the rest is columned on the right hand side. Try posting again and see it fhtis straightens out on your next post.

To answer your question on what to do, try to go back to physical therapy to help with your back problem. Doing certain stregthening excercises specific to your back pain can help. HOw long has it been since you were there??

Certainly, if you can't make your back better by excercise and rest in between, you may have to look to surgery. Have you consulted a neurosurgeon?? You have to cover all the bases and see what your options are.

By the way, what kinds of tests have you had??

Hope this helps,

Lindaloo
Moderator Chronic Pain
 
Believe in yourself.  Be kind to fellow humans and animals.  Take time to smell the flowers and the coffee.
And by all means, when you are down, ask me for help.  I will be there.
 
Linda


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 1/28/2009 11:44 AM (GMT -7)   
I also welcome you to the forum. I think you need to ask your doctors and other treatment providers (like physical therapists) the question you're posing here, as we're not doctors. That being said, I took jui jitsu in college many years ago. Even though it's a controlled sport, the throws and the falls are high risk to your spine. I would say you continue in a sport like that at a very high risk to doing more damage over time, and possibly ending up in serious pain that nothing will cure.

PaLady

Omega3
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 1/28/2009 2:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello, I have a disc problem and I have heard to strengthen your CORE is the best way of preventing another disc problem from occurring.  You sound quite committed to ensuring optimum health so I am sure you would be able to achieve this. 
 
Good luck,

guitargod01lovesBJJ
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 1/29/2009 9:05 PM (GMT -7)   

thank you for the warm welcome. :-)

actually, i dont have back pain anymore. it took more or less 8-10 months before my back pain that radiates to my right leg was gone. i do the exercises my physical therapist told me to do (back strengthening exercises) everyday.

but my concern is, will it be possible for me to continue pursuing brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) with lesser risk for spine injuries despite my condition? maybe there's something that could somehow "immune" my back from the shock of the throws and the force of lifting opponent that we do in judo and brazilian jiu-jitsu. perhaps it could improve my back as if i did not have L4-L5 herniated disc bulge.

i am very much serious and passionate about this sport (brazilian jiu-jitsu and judo). however, though my heart wants to continue in this path, i should take my physical condition into consideration.

i will soon ask my doctor about my situation. i really appreciate your advices and encouragement. thank you very much! :-)


guitargod01lovesBJJ
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 1/29/2009 9:08 PM (GMT -7)   
uhm, Omega3, what do you mean by strengthening the core? like what exercises?

yes, i really am commited to ensuring optimum health and practice judo and BJJ.
thank you very much for the advice! :)

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 1/29/2009 10:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Guitargod,
My opnion - and it's just that - is that you will put yourself at higher risk now that you already know you have a weak spot in your spine. That said, it's your passion so it's up to you about taking the risk. I'd suggest consulting a couple of doctors (like a first and second opinion) who specialize in sports medicine and orthopoedics, and maybe even a neurologist. Show them any tests you've had, etc., and tell them specifically what your sport involves, and see what they say. I'm not sure how old you are, but of course with age comes some degenerative changes including in the spine. Seek a lot of credible opinions and make an informed decision for your life.

Good luck!

PaLady

Scarred_for_life
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1559
   Posted 1/30/2009 3:54 AM (GMT -7)   
I agree with PA. Taking such a risk to your already weakened spine could lead to a situation where you possibly could injure yourself in a way that might be devastating and last you the rest of your life. We are only given one back and we have to take care of it when you injure your back you create a huge weak spot there. You have already said that the discs are herniated correct? Those just do not go away. They will heal a bit in time but they can re-herniate with another injury and the sport that you are so passionate about if I am thinking of the right one does put a lot of pressure on the back muscles, bones, discs and everything else back there. I would have a Neurosurgeon and another surgeon evaluate your films and whatever else you have with you to determine whether it is a good idea to continue this activity long term.

Football players have ended careers due to these herniation not desiring to further their injury any more or end up crippled ten years down the line. I just would hate to see you end up in more pain then you really want to deal with for a sport. You have to really deep down ask yourself GuitarGod......is it worth ending up in gobs of pain...on pain killers my whole life....living on disability.......in a wheelchair......and no being able to do the simple things in life like walking, driving or dancing. Is it worth this to give up for my passion?

Think about it.

Scarred
HEALTH ISSUES: Herniated discs at S-1-L5, L5-L4, L4-L3. Two level fusion (2000); one level fusion (2002); Revision at L4-L3 (2003). Slight herniation at L2-3 but Neurosurgeons will not operate because of previous failed surgeries. Diagnosed with Failed Back Syndrome, Permanent Nerve damage and Chronic Pain

Medications:

Kadian, Lexipro, Percocet, Lunista, Topamax and Robaxin.


Omega3
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 1/30/2009 6:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Core exercises are to strengthen the middle of the body so that your muscles around the spine are stronger.

Sit ups or partial sit ups are some to start but only if you do not have pain. You can learn more by searching for core exercises on the net.

Omega :o)
Omega3


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 1/30/2009 2:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Omega,
I wouldn't suggest he do any exercises without being guided by a physical therapist. There are lots of ways to strengthen your core, and sit ups aren't what I'd recommend since they're not good for the neck. Most good PT's will eventually get you to a program of muscle strengtening that will avoid reinjuring the areas that are already problematic, so I think guitargod needs to follow the instructions for by his treatment team.

PaLady

guitargod01lovesBJJ
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 2/1/2009 11:06 PM (GMT -7)   
PAlady,

thank you for the reply. i really appreciate it. i am just 18 yrs old (young ?). i was 16 when i got this disc bulge. actually, my parents told me never again to engage in spots such as judo and brazilian jiu jitsu. but i could not help it... :(

i felt that i am still strong enough to continue with these sports so i did. and i won matches.
however, as i level up, my opponents also increase in strength and skill. i really, really agree with you and Scarred_for_life that i think about my condition very well... seek a couple of good doctors' advices...

i guess i really have to tell my parents about this...

Scarred_for_life,
you're right... even my friends tell me that...
a sport worth a life does not exist....

thank you very, very much...

but please understand my passion about it... it's hard for a young (and strong, i guess) individual to just give it up like that....

thank you very much for the replies... thank you, thank you...

i'll keep you guys updated.

guitargod01lovesBJJ
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 2/1/2009 11:08 PM (GMT -7)   
omega, thank you also for the reply. yes, i agree that strengthening the core is a way but id also like to consult PT and doctors first before doing new exercises.

thank you.

guitargod01lovesBJJ
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 3/9/2009 10:16 PM (GMT -7)   
hey guys,
 
i just want to update you about my condition.
i already talked to my orthopaedic surgeon. he said that i was really doing great. he did some physical tests on me and said that i was really a lot better than before. he said that the protrusion in my L4-L5 disc may have shrinken. tongue
 
about my judo, his only disclaimer was the throws. i can only throw during trainings but i cannot be thrown. well, that's a lot better than totally "no, you cant do that sport anymore."
i guess i just have to shift from judo to brazilian/gracie jiu jitsu, since that martial art/sport focuses on groundfighting, not so much with the throws.
and i also do swimming which had greatly helped my disc improve. and also those back and core strengthening exercises i do.
 
so, i just have to undergo another MRI for peace of mind. :-) i just want to encourage all of you who are going through tough times. especially when you're aon the climax of the "pain-time" because of this disc problems that we have.
just hold on. think positively that you can and WILL make it through.
even though your current situation painfully dictates otherwise, HOLD STILL. i understand coz somehow, i'v been there.
believe in your heart that you will get better.
 
i never thought that i could do judo and other sports. i had a TERRIBLE TERRIBLE DEBILITATING BACK PAIN three years ago. but i kept my faith.
and yes, IT TAKES SOMETIME. but the thing is, we have to keep our positive spirit alive. because sometimes, that's all we have. and many times, it's worth it.
dont allow depression to eat you alive. there's always hope as long as we're breathing. :-)
just have faith. WE WILL SEE IT THROUGH.
 
 
thank you for everyone who encouraged me. :-)
 
"faith is the confidence in things hoped for,
the evidence of things unseen."
_hebrews 11:1

sugreevbali
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/20/2012 12:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Dear guitargod01lovesBJJ....

you have put my thoughts into words if i read the old post of yours (the first one 1/28/2009)

i have the same problem....and m now wondering about my horse riding and biking....and lots u can imagine what my feelings would be

i am @23 , lifted something much heavy and got this crap in L4 and L5., its like:

1. straighteeneed lumbar curve
2. diffuse disc buldge indenting thecal sac, encroaching bilateral neural formina and probable impingement on bilateral bufdding nerve roots at L4-L5
3. Mild diffuse disc buldge at L5 -S1

its been 2 months with still numbness in my right thumb and a sense of current in right leg....its difficult to lay down also

can you suggest some quick exercises to get his closed...

thanks for your advise

Snowbunny21
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3557
   Posted 9/20/2012 12:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi there sugreevbali...welcome to the boards...

You are posting in a thread that is years old and the person to whom you are writing to hasn't been here since 2009.

To get more people to see your post...it's best to copy/paste it and start your own new thread. You can click on the button on the upper left hand corner that reads Post New Topic.

There aren't any medical professionals on this site...just other pain patients like yourself but we are happy to offer empathy, support, and suggestions on what to ask your Dr. about when you see them next..
SB (Snowbunny) and the pup that snores (my yellow lab:))

3, two-level, cervical fusions over the past 11 years. The last one was anterior and posterior with lots of fun titanium!
Still have active herniations along with knee problems and another Morton's neuroma in left foot.
I try to find joy in each day even with chronic pain:)
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