Hello friends..!! Those who don’t know about me, I want to tell you that I love to do gym and heavy compound exercises are my favorites. I love Squats, Overhead Presses, Deadlifts, Cleans, Weighted Pullups and Dips.
In this article, I want to share my experience about how I injured my back, learned a lot about back, discs, sciatica etc… and finally recovered. I hope this article will help you too.
My only mistake
After doing heavy deadlifts on a regular basis, I was feeling stiffness in my lower back. This stiffness was completely normal but I took it too much seriously. I googled to find out some exercises to heal this stiffness and improve the mobility of lower back.
I found an exercise on a reputed youtube channel recommended by an expert Patrick Meinart. This exercise was somewhat like a deadlift with a round back. You can see his video here https://youtu.be/6c1l7de0oBE and check that exercise at about 58:00. After doing this exercise for a few days I injured my back with bad disc and sciatica.
After this, I tried different methods
If you are a fan of heavy deadlifts, you may know the name Bill Starr. In one of his articles, he recommends an exercise “round back goodmornings” to heal the lower back. You can read that article here Bill Starr Back Rehab Method. This method is really popular. I tried this method but it made the condition worse. I advise you to don’t do this exercise. Bill Starr back rehab methods does not work.
I tried different kinds of yoga exercises too but nothing helped me.
Read many things on internet
I think each person who lifts weights seriously has them. The first option is to stop lifting and stay healthy. If you want to compete, then you have to train your back and possibly have a surgery. A lot of guys in the national team have herniated disks. They either had a surgery or are planning to do it. I personally have not been examined for them. I am sure I have them too. When I stop training I get some problems with my back, so I am sure something is not right. – Dmitry Klokov at AllThingsGym.com
Followings are the persons and methods who actually helped me to recover my disc and sciatica pain completely.
Dr. Jolie Bookspan
Dr. Jolie Bookspan is the only person who helped me truly. After searching thousands of links on internet, I came to know about her. I found a very simple and not so impressive old style web page in which Dr. Bookspan explains about everything regarding back pain, herniated disc, pinched nerve, sciatica etc. She explains everything in a very detailed and easy to understand language, filled with lots of positive energy. You can read that article here and know more about her on this page. For a short introduction, she is an award-winning research scientist who developed medical and training methods that are used by physicians, trainers, military, injury rehab centers, athletes, and you, to make life and exercise healthy again. Follow her on twitter.
Discs can heal. Sciatica can stop without medicines or surgery. It usually takes about a week (in serious cases) to stop pain if you use these methods correctly. You should feel the difference right away, the same day as you stop causes and start healthful movement instead. If you do not feel some positive difference right away, you’re doing it wrong. – Dr. Jolie Bookspan
After reading her article, I tried her methods too. I felt a great relief in my back pain only after 2 days. Her methods are so much simple and logical. Every person can follow her methods very easily.
You should read her book Fix Your Own Pain Without Drugs or Surgery, one of the best book I have ever read on this topic. This book is for everyone who hurts and wants to stop hurting. Renowned research scientist and author Dr. Jolie Bookspan first explains how pain develops and continues. Then in an enjoyable and easy-to-read manner, Dr. Bookspan shows how to apply simple techniques to stop the causes of pain—-and keep it from coming back. Addresses neck and upper back pain, lower back pain, shoulder pain, hip pain, knee pain, ankle and Achilles pain, general foot pain, leg and foot cramps, hamstring stretching, wrist pain, mystery pain, and much more. Find more books written by Dr. Bookspan on health and fitness topics.
Deadlifts helped me a lot to recover my back strength again. Deadlifts are safe if you perform them with perfection. Always do proper warm up sets, perform deadlifts with perfect posture and always do small increments in weight according to your strength and recovery.
I had started with an empty bar (20kg) and performed high repetition sets on a regular basis. I started with 3 sets of 100 repetitions everyday with an empty bar. Increased the weight 10kg after every week and decreased the repetitions. After 2 months, I was doing 3 sets of 10 repetitions of 100kg weight, three times a week.
Deadlift is a very logical exercise for disc problem. It strengthens the back muscles and deloads the spine, so it can be healed fast. Muscles on the both sides of spine, help the spine to be in straight position. Deadlifts make these muscles strong. If you have strong muscles, your spine has to bear less weight while performing routine works. As a result, you discs will heal faster.
If you want positive results you must perform deadlift in perfect way. I recommend you to read the book Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe. Starting Strength has been called the best and most useful of fitness books. This book is written by Mark Rippetoe who is an expert and has authored several books, peer-reviewed articles, online and DVD instructional videos, and internet posts concerned with strength training.
This is an exercise in which you have to hang upside down on a pullup bar or in a squat rack. This exercise is really helpful to decompress your back. Heavy weight lifting can compress the spine and cause the problem of herniated disc. Inverted hangs decompress the spine and helps to recover the whole spine faster. Those who perform deadlifts, I recommend them to do this exercise after every heavy deadlift session. You will really feel better after this. Hanging upside down is not an easy task so you have to use gravity boots or inversion boots to do so.
Cobra pose also helped me a lot. You should do this everyday. Almost 10 to 15 times after every deadlift or any other heavy workout session. You can learn this pose from this video here Cobra Pose – Yoga With Adriene. These are many other yoga instructors on internet but Adriene is best. I recommend her videos to learn yoga.
Use a heating pad to warm up the lower back area. Localized application of heat causes the blood vessels in that area to dilate, enhancing perfusion to the targeted tissue. You can use an electric heating pad, water heating bottle or any other method you want. You should use this therapy two times a day for 20 minutes each. For a constant heat you should use electric heating pad.
I am not a doctor. The information given in this article in based on my own experience. I am not saying that you should use these methods; I just want to say these methods helped me to recover my back completely. Now I deadlift two days a week. After 4 months of disc problem and recovery, I am on a 180kg deadlift PR with a 77kg body weight. I think this is impressive for a non-professional lifter who never use any supplements etc.
Thank you for reading.