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Cyclist of Borg
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey to all my all my fellow injured MTBR's. As a follow up to this thread http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=422713 i had another injury that did not present itself untill 6/19 and was fiinally diagnosed as a herniated disc in my neck alon with a degenaritive bone disease. Now i am down for another 60 days minimum and might never be able to ride like i used to. Anyone else have this problem? What did you do and how did you handle the info? All replies welcome
 

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mlepito said:
Chiropractic care has the highest success rate and patient satisfaction rate when it comes to disc herniations. A chiro that does flexion distraction is best.
I respectfully disagree that chiropratic care is the best treatment for herniated discs. It might work for some but it does not work for all and did not work for me!

Get a couple opinions before deciding on what treatment is best for you. You might have to take off time from riding short term but don't write off riding in the future. My herniated discs are not the same as yours but after going through many cortisone treatments (which work for a short period of time) the doctors started treating me with radial frequency. It works very well for me and offers long term relief, enough time for me to strengthen my core muscles and I have been cleared to ride and ski. You just have to know when to say when as well as learn how to treat yourself with stretching and ice (for me) and heat for others.

Good luck in your recovery and think positive
 

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No treatment works on everybody. I'm sorry to hear it did not work for you. Some patient's don't respond, and some patient's do better with surgery. However, with surgery having a 30% success rate, and combination chiro/PT having a 85% success rate. It is a good way to start.
 

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mlepito said:
No treatment works on everybody. I'm sorry to hear it did not work for you. Some patient's don't respond, and some patient's do better with surgery. However, with surgery having a 30% success rate, and combination chiro/PT having a 85% success rate. It is a good way to start.
Have you heard of AxiaLif? Obviously not for everyone but I think I am going to talk to my ortho about it. See if it is for me.

Here is a link to a new article I saw on it last night, http://www.thebostonchannel.com/health/16215829/detail.html
 

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I have not heard of this particular surgery. However, it is still a fusion. Research shows that the fusion itself leads to herniations or advanced DDD in the segments above and below. Partial discectomies are the most successful at this time, with all the new less invasive ways to get in there. However they are not as good for broad based bulging, which is the most common.

They keep trying this super cool titanium and carbon fiber fake disc. But the surgery is so invasive, that scar tissue is an issue. And they are showing low success in 5 year studies.
 

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I can only speak from my experience with herniated discs, but I found that continuing to move, good posture, and PT were the best things that I did to help the problem. Find a PT that you like and trust and follow their advice to the letter. My experience was lots of stretching initially and then ramping up the stabilization exercises as things started to heal. If there's one thing that I could go back and change about how I handled everything it would be my trying to do too much too soon. I did make it back on the bike and now I'm riding stronger than before, but it took a good 6 months to really return to being in a position to do athletic things. Good luck and keep us posted.
 

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ebarker9 said:
I can only speak from my experience with herniated discs, but I found that continuing to move, good posture, and PT were the best things that I did to help the problem. Find a PT that you like and trust and follow their advice to the letter. My experience was lots of stretching initially and then ramping up the stabilization exercises as things started to heal. If there's one thing that I could go back and change about how I handled everything it would be my trying to do too much too soon. I did make it back on the bike and now I'm riding stronger than before, but it took a good 6 months to really return to being in a position to do athletic things. Good luck and keep us posted.
^^ my advice as well ^^

I have herniations in my lumber, sacral, and cervical neck. All act up at certain times or with certain activities. Most people actually have some herniations in their lower backs - many just aren't bad enough to kick up symptoms.

My only addition to above is to really focus on core strengthening as well. And get control of the surrounding muscle spasming that can come with disc damage - it creates a vicious cycle of pain that is very difficult to overcome. I needed an epidural injection into my cervical neck to calm mine down after years of pain - that got me on the road to recovery.

I found it very key to keep active, work on positioning,and riding is actually good for a bad back - one of the activities that bothers it least (at least for me).
 

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Yup

ebarker9 said:
I can only speak from my experience with herniated discs, but I found that continuing to move, good posture, and PT were the best things that I did to help the problem. Find a PT that you like and trust and follow their advice to the letter. My experience was lots of stretching initially and then ramping up the stabilization exercises as things started to heal. If there's one thing that I could go back and change about how I handled everything it would be my trying to do too much too soon. I did make it back on the bike and now I'm riding stronger than before, but it took a good 6 months to really return to being in a position to do athletic things. Good luck and keep us posted.
I too have to agree. It's been 8 weeks now since I was diagnosed and boy it has been frustrating.

But, in the last week I've finally started riding again. The big breakthrough for me was a week off of work (I do a lot of sitting at a desk or in a car, then standing in one position at work...surgical sales)

During that week I concentrated on stretching like crazy, and following my PT's orders to a T. Keep moving, and sit as little as possible. I also go for a minimum 30 minute walk each morning. It helps a lot.

I'm still having some other leg problems, but I've been able to ride 95% pain free the last three rides (35, 45, and 50 minutes).

I'm also going to check out Chriopractic. I want to avoid surgery at all costs. I've found a great massuse and doing that every other week to keep the muscle spasms down is a key.

Ultimately, stretching, time, and controlling those spasms have been helpful for me. I've got lumber disc problems.
 

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I started by going to a chiropractor for a couple of weeks for herniated disc (C-5) and bone spurs. Did not work for me-- ended up going to a physiatrist. He prescribed a predisone pack and PT-- worked excellent so far. I am hoping that it clears all together- I would totally agree with ebarker9-- Follow what the PT tells you to do!! I was back to riding after a couple of months- I do continue to stretch even if my neck is not bothering me. Good Luck!
 

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Cervical issues

I woke up two months ago with severe pain that progressed within a week into total loss of strength in my left tricep, as well as numbness in my left hand.

I had one severely ruptured disk c5-c6 and one severely herniated c6-c7. Since there was basically no option for the c5-c6 other than removal, my doctors recommended removal of both. I had the surgery seven weeks ago. The pain/numbness caused by the disks was gone immediately, but now I have residual soreness from being immobile, as well as muscle atrophy. I can't lift anything over 10 pounds or ride anything other than easy bike paths for another month. Then I have a long rode back to fitness, and permanent worry about blowing out other disks.

I wish the artificial disks had been perfected, but they are still in beta.

I have plastic spacers in place of two disks, and a titanium plate in the front of my spine in my neck. I always wanted a titanium frame, but I wanted it on my bike, not my spine...

Do whatever you can to avoid the surgery. It is not minor. I had no choice, but it should be a last resort. When you need it, you know it. If you can't do a pushup, and/or your fingers/arm are numb, see the doc immediately.
 

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As of yesterday I officially welcomed myself to the club, after on and off pain for 6 months I finally went to the doc, did the MRI thing, and voila - 2 shot lower lumbar disks. This really blows as I was determined to get in good shape but now won't be able to ride, at least for some time. I continued to ride, sometimes on a SS, when my pain allowed up until several weeks ago, this was not smart as I now understand. There was actually less pain on the bike than when driving or when sitting in front of the computer at work, but I think it did aggravate the problem because of the extra disk compression caused by shocks. Anyhow, here I am, undergoing physical therapy, stretching, trying to build core strength at the gym and looking for a good yoga instructor in my area. The pain is manageable for the most of the time so I don't consider surgery at the moment. My doc says physical therapy first, if that doesn't help he recommends computerized traction treatment (modern version of the rack torture). I heard swimming is good too. The stories of recovery give me hope I will be able to ride again.
 

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Cyclist of Borg
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
all of you have great advice that I have heard and some I have not heard. I woke up on the 19th June with massive pain in my right triceps. I went away and then started 2 days later just to the left of my right shoulder blade,radiating down to my right triceps. I thought it was either stress [having to work again after a month off recovering from my Memorial Day accident] a pinched nerve or a combo of both. I worked fro about 10 days with massive pain in those areas. On the 28th I hit the ER and was told it was muscular and was prescribed Prednisone, Valium and Percocet. Went to work 6/30 and it was brutal Percs did nothing and I left early and went to my PCP and got X-rays that came back with bone spurs on C-5. Was prescribed more Percs and Flexeril. Ws told to stay out of work and get MRI that came back with C-5 C-6 Herniated Disc. 2 days before MRI pain went away completely, like it was never there. I had a Dr appointment to get results and rode there, not knowing the results and aggravated it up again. now I have major discomfort and slight ache that is handled with prescribed Ibuprofen. I will say the from the first Percocet Rx [6/21] till the pain subsided 6/29] before MRI I ate 42 percs. On 6/29- 6/30 I went thru what I believe to be withdrawals. I was semi Addicted. Glad that is over. I have a very personnel relationship with addiction as I am a Cocaine addict. Been clean since 9/1/99. I was not going there again, and am glad I recognized the symptoms enough to help myself this time. At this time I am out of work till 7/30. Thanks to my Short-term Disability Ins I will not have any cash flow probs. And I am not riding,hence nothing breaking I can plan my next upgrades :)
Thanks for posting and I will keep up with updates and doing what I am told to recover
Scott
 

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Valdemar - a little advice

Valdemar said:
As of yesterday I officially welcomed myself to the club, after on and off pain for 6 months I finally went to the doc, did the MRI thing, and voila - 2 shot lower lumbar disks. This really blows as I was determined to get in good shape but now won't be able to ride, at least for some time. I continued to ride, sometimes on a SS, when my pain allowed up until several weeks ago, this was not smart as I now understand. There was actually less pain on the bike than when driving or when sitting in front of the computer at work, but I think it did aggravate the problem because of the extra disk compression caused by shocks. Anyhow, here I am, undergoing physical therapy, stretching, trying to build core strength at the gym and looking for a good yoga instructor in my area. The pain is manageable for the most of the time so I don't consider surgery at the moment. My doc says physical therapy first, if that doesn't help he recommends computerized traction treatment (modern version of the rack torture). I heard swimming is good too. The stories of recovery give me hope I will be able to ride again.
You sound EXACTLY like me. I went too long, I have 2 lower disc problems etc.

My biggest pieces of advice thus far (keeping in mind this is my first week of riding in 8 weeks, but so far, so good).

1. Just stop riding or doing much of anything on your back now. Bending, lifting, riding etc. You have to break that muscle spasm cycle. Find a good massuse.

2. Reverse back extentions help me quite a bit (PT will show you)

3. Accept that you now have a new goal. Riding again without pain, not being a fitness machine for now.

4. When you feel better - WAIT ANOTHER WEEK OR TWO. I pushed it WAY too hard at 3 weeks in and it put me behind. Keep stretching, light riding maybe, and walk.

5. Walk, Walk, Walk.

6. Figure out how to alternate sitting and standing at your computer.

7. Go easy when starting to ride again. Stop 10 minutes in after you are warm a bit and do some serious stretching.

Good luck. I'm not perfect yet, and may never be. But, things are coming along.
 

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All the advice on following the PT's plan for recovery has to be followed. I do all my stretches at least once a day (lately been twice a day and when I ride 3 times) It works great for me. It is what has allowed me to come back time and time again.

The comments about sitting at work hit home with me. I sit all day at work, very rarely leave the office now (used to sell on the road and that kept me moving) but once I changed careers it was desk time. Now I get up as much as I can as well as work on my posture.

My question earlier about Axialif was just to see if anyone has heard more about it other than what I read and heard on the news. My doctors have told me no surgery in my future. I will never let anyone cut my back open unless I can't walk!

August 6th I go back in for another radial frequency treatment (lasts 8 to 10 months for me). That treatment works very well and might help out others if cortisone has shown some help this might be your next step. Check with your doctors.
 

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I don't know if you have ever seen how the italians season the Parma Prosciutto.
No man, I am no f...ing with you, Buy yourself an inversion table, plan to spend sessions of 15 minutes twice a day hanging upside down and see some results.C5-6-7 in my neck prevented me from doing any type of two wheels riding. Until now...
 

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dueruote said:
I don't know if you have ever seen how the italians season the Parma Prosciutto.
No man, I am no f...ing with you, Buy yourself an inversion table, plan to spend sessions of 15 minutes twice a day hanging upside down and see some results.C5-6-7 in my neck prevented me from doing any type of two wheels riding. Until now...
As with everything else your mileage may vary. It may help, may make no effect, or actually make things worse. It is great it works for you. A buddy of mine reported no significant improvement after using one for some time. He's giving it to me, we'll see how it goes.
 

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Sorry to hear about this. Cyclist notoriously have weak lower lumbars. (I'm former spinal cord injury therapist).
I went thru a L4 rupture. (Even though I knew and worked with several orthos- it was a chiro and my recomendation for an MRI that found it finally- I had much deferred pain in SI joint no less! that made diagnoisis difficult.) Had to rebuild my core after not being able to walk without a limp for @ a year. Also had been diagnosed with deg. disc disease.
I have a pretty extensive list of things that should be done and not done. Also, pretty extensive life style changes. 10 years pain free at over 50 years old- with much stretching, full weight training, massive full core routine, diet changes, absolutely no nsaids, vitamin therapy (not all the time but during those oxidative <-word ? times) , (the weight training and bone building done every week 2-3 times a week year round.) Also lumbar curve correction exercises and spinal lengthing and breathing - similar to vax-d.
A very large % of people esp. cardio athletes can benefit from being a COMPLETE athlete....many cardio athlete's have bone density issues amazingly enough. Usually much less in mountain bikers - but regular weight training, stretching and core balancing and spine and lumbar therapy on a regular basis is essential for that.
Note this is just imho your mileage may be quite different.
 

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I had severe herniated discs...L4, L5, S1...my core was all locked up and imbalanced while I for years kayaked, tele skied the bumps and rode hard until I broke......for some reason though they wanted to operate I didn't want to go under the knife....

it was a lot of trial and error with PT, chiro and cortisone(which I don't reccomend as it does not solve the problem...just covers it up briefly) etc.

You really need to get on top of why and then really solve the problem...not just the symptoms!

get the swelling down, get muscles and joints relaxed and having full range of motion then be super sensible about building balanced strength and felxiblity and you can be good again.

Become a student of your body and of being super healthy and fit and you can avoid surgery.

Good Luck!
 

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Stanley Johnson said:
I
it was a lot of trial and error with PT, chiro and cortisone(which I don't reccomend as it does not solve the problem...just covers it up briefly) etc.

You really need to get on top of why and then really solve the problem...not just the symptoms!

get the swelling down, get muscles and joints relaxed and having full range of motion then be super sensible about building balanced strength and felxiblity and you can be good again.

Become a student of your body and of being super healthy and fit and you can avoid surgery.

Good Luck!
This has been my experience as well. An MRI last December revealed a bulging disc at L5/S1. Bulging disc's in the lumbar area are usually caused from disc degeneration and spinal misalignment from core muscle imbalance. I got to feeling pretty good after an epidural injection and 3 months of PT. I got back on the bike and resumed riding hard like nothing had ever happened and slacked off on my core excersises...not good.

Starting to feel good again after slowing down, resuming a rigid routine of stretching and core strengthening and easing back in to riding. With time and listening to my body I'll get back to the intensity of riding and level of fitness I really enjoy.

I'm 47 y/o and have come to grips that this is something I will most likely deal with for the rest of my active life if I want to avoid surgery. At least I'll still be able to ride!
 
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