Hi my name is Matt, I am 18 years old about 6-2 180 pounds. About five
months ago I hurt my lower back in a lifting injury, squatting with
improper form. Well I thought like any other injury I had, it would
quickly go away. It took about two months to figure out something was really
wrong when the pain kept on returning. I got an X-ray and went to an
othropedic surgeon. He said everything looked normal so I thought I will
just wait some more. Another 2 months went by and the pain returned. I
decided to get an MRI and a second opinion. Well the results were a
3-4mm disc bulge in my l-5. They said it's too small to be touching one of my nerves since I have no pain in the leg or buttocks at all.They said the pain is probably coming from the disc itself. I am not in agonizing pain nor do I lose any sleep. It's more of a come and go pain. It can be aggravated by sitting for a long time then standing, sometimes taking a deep breath, sneezing
only when my back is tight( like right after I wake up), and sometimes
bending over. However it doesn't hurt everytime I do these things, only
sometimes. (I am a full time student so I do alot of sitting in
Most of the time I can touch my toes without any pain at all. I have
stopped doing that though due to doctors orders.
These last few months have been very discouraging for me even though I
hear my problem isn't major. I used to be a very active person working
out and playing basketball with my friends religiously.
I am currently doing physical therapy to increase core strength, but I
was wondering if there was any more I could do? How long do these injuries usually take to heal?
I have a herniated L5 disk that actually does pinch the sciatic nerve. I have had pain in my ass, tingling, burning, and numbness in my toes. In fact, I had almost zero strength in my big toe (lift up both big toes at the same time and push down on both...my right one was significantly weaker than my left)
My problem sounds a tad less worse than yours. BUT! Did the doctor say you needed surgery? I didnt need it, but I dropped doing anything at the gym for weeks. When I returned to the gym, I couldnt do lower body for about 2 more months. I had physical therapy, which involved a lot of stretching (mostly hamstrings) and core work, which youre doing.
When I returned to lower body work (possibly 3-4 months), I could only do certain machines. Something called a super seated leg press, where there is no pressure placed onto the shoulders that exibits a downward force on the spine. I did that for maybe 2 months. I tried to recently increase some intensity on Back Squats again, but no good. I had the pain in my back that you described (no sciatica, but a stiff, annoying pain where the L5 disk is).
My advice would be to follow your doctor's orders to a T, take advil (i was taking 800mg 4 times a day), and rest.
I think theres a sticky made on my story in this specific forum. If you read it, you can tell how scared I was and how I was coached through everything that comes to lower back pain.