Low HR Training

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Major Set Back - Back Injury (Read 325 times)

    Hi All, I just had a major set back where I injured my lower back. I have a herniated disc at the L5 vertabrae level. I have had back problems before, but nothing like this. I had to fly across the country on a six hour flight last week. I ran that day and the following day and I ran more miles than usual. I think the combination of some really bad sitting posture on a very long flight, combined with over doing it on the running caused the injury. I am not sure which contributed more. The chiropractor says sitting on a plane for six hours is many times harder on a back than running, so he attributed mostly to the plane ride. But, the extra running on top of it probably was not a good thing. It definitely is a herniated disc problem. I read that as we age, they do get a little more brittle and have less elasticity. So, I think my age is also a factor (I am 49 years old). I have had minor back issues in the past, so that is a factor. I do not have any sciatica and all the pain is just local to the area of the disc. Specifically, it was diagnosed as a bulging disc. I can hardly walk. It is not painful while I am sitting or sleeping, but is very uncomfortable when I first wake up in the morning or when I have to bend or get up from a sitting positin. I never saw it coming, and had been feeling really good before it happened. I did not even have a hint of a problem. But, I did notice that on my last run, I did not feel very energetic, and maybe a little weak. The lesson here may be to listen to our bodies more. My HR was also a little low. I have read that a lower than normal HR can mean you have not recovered fully. So, now my goals are simply to recover from this injury. Based on the way I now feel, it is hard to believe that I will ever run again. I would be interested in other peoples experiences with this type of injury. While I am at it, I just want to congatulate everybody on a really good spring running season. I have enjoyed keeping up with everybodys progress. Some of the reports were just amazing. Thanks


    running yogi

      My pilates teacher herniated her back and had to get surgery. She has been out of commission for 3 months. She still teaches but without demoing and wears these braces around herself. I think you should see yourself a doctor.
        Good Advice. I have looked online about herniated discs and have read that most do not require surgery and that most will heal on their own. It obviously depends on the severity, and many other factors. The advice seems to be to try non-invasive methods first (rest, physical therapy, chiropractor, etc.). But, some eventually do require surgery. I am hoping mine will not. The impression I get is that a Doctor is most likely going to steer me in the direction I am already pursuing. But, I am definitely going to see a Doctor. I have also seen a lot of information about how to pursue a course to help prevent this form recurring in the future. I am definitely in good chiropractic care. So, I had not felt an urgency to go see a Doctor. But, it certainly is in my best interest to see a Doctor as well.
          I know all too well how you feel. Undecided I've had lower back problems since my senior year in high school, so going on 20 years now. Pouring house foundations during colleage and lugging around 100+ forms used to build them didn't help. Then gaining weight, having a weak core, a desk job, blah blah, blah. My back problems will never go completely away, but with the weight loss, and of course running, it has been considerably better the past few years. Ice, ice ice. Bulging usually means inflamed as well. When this happens with me, when I get up to walk I get severe pain through the front of my hips. It's horrible, but after walking a bit almost all of the pain goes away. (I get warmed up, so to speak) Sitting again for even 20 minutes is enough t My chiropractor talks a lot about movement. (elasticity) When the movement isn't there, the inflammation starts, and it goes downhill from there. (putting pressure on a specific nerve I believe) When your back gets better, work on strengthening exercises. Admittedly, I don't do them near often enough since the worst of my problems are mostly gone, although I still get a lot of stiffness off and on. Your back will get better. Keep us posted with your progress and keep a positive attitude, hard as that can be.
            Lower back problems are almost always caused by weak muscles in the hips, abdomen, and back. If I don't stay vigilant about doing my yoga and egoscues, all the running I do causes an imbalance, and I get lower back pain. Check these out. These may help. Derived from Egoscue Method (Pain Free): part 2 Exercises http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78Pt_e5gHyc part 3 Exercises: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Te7gFcy_AiQ&feature=related Part 1 Basic Info: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWUHTEJOyKs&feature=related I hope something helps. --Jimmy
              Hi Docster, Thanks for the encouragement. It was hugely disappointing to get this injury, so your encouragement has been very helpful. Just to hear that someone else who has been through this was able to recover and get back into running is very encouraging. Especially to the level you are at these days. And Jimmy, Thanks for the references. I definitely believe that better muscle balance will help me in the future. And doing the little things like sitting with better posture on a long flight are important things to pay attention to. Too much of just one thing is not good. I think I have done a lot of running over the past six months, but not much else to balance it. I certainly will be very vigilent in the future to do whatever is necessary. This has been a real wake up call.
                It is now 12 days since I hurt my back, and I am very encouraged. Starting Tuesday it took a dramatic turn for the better. I think I dodged a bullet. Since last Monday I have been seeing a chiropractor every day. I am very impressed with him. He has a sports injury background and is a former gymnast. His focus was initially on reducing the pain with certain bending exercises that was meant even out the bulging disc and move the disc material away from the nerves and to cause me to be aligned. I was initially all twisted and tilted. Once I was straightened out, it just seemed everything got better from there. I liken it to when you break a bone, it needs to be set properly in order to heal. I just feel that my chiropractor set me properly and now I am healing right. Once I had much less pain, he has spent a lot of time teaching me exercises that will help prevent this in the future. Many are similar to the ones Jimmy referred to, but much gentler as my disc is still healing. A lot of people think that Chiropractors just crack you and send you on your way. Some may be like that, but mine is definitely not that type. The majority of the time has been spent doing what I would call physical therapy. So, I am very encouraged. I am now walking pain free and I have been able to do a little bit of the elliptical machine. I am taking a very conservative approach and I am in no hurry to be running again. Running would definitely be too stressful for it right now. Another thing that has been extremely helpful to me in my recovery is that I had setup my work desk (at my chiropractors strong recommendation) so that I could stand while using my computer. The number one stress to backs is sitting and I just needed to avoid sitting to allow the disc to heal. I feel fortunate because about 1 in 10 disc herniations end up requiring surgery and take a long time to heal. The rest tend to eventually heal. Some show positive signs of healing early. Others just take a little longer. The videos Jimmy referred to I think are great. The introduction emphasized the importance of structural balance for runners and the rest of the videos show a number of exercises geared toward runners that will help keep everything in balance.