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Disc Herniation..Anyone else cycling with one?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I just got some MRI results. Although not officially confirmed by the doc looking at the films there is a very obvious L5-S1 herniation. My symptoms are back pain (off the bike) ranging from mild to moderate and pins and needles in my toes/foot.



I am new to road cycling. Started in March this year recovering from a running injury (Was a sub 3 hr marathoner) The bizarre thing is while I think I may have caused/aggravated this condition on the bike ( too much, too hard, too soon, too fast) currently after I finish a ride I feel the almost no symptoms. As nutty as this sounds I have actually done rides to relieve pain with excellent results.



Anyone else run across this. Since I have little or no pain on the bike and have 100% of my strength I am going to continue to cycle. After cycling I have the best mobility and the least amount of pain.

I do have a concern that the cycling may cause latent damage to the back.

Any thoughts or ideas???
post #2 of 9

Re: Disc Herniation..Anyone else cycling with one?

...you need to get to a reputable bike shop with your trusty steed and have them FIT you properly.
Seat height, handlebar reach, could be wrong and they will change your position if needed. That's for starters.
Bed? how firm is it?
Housework/Gardening? back pain means paying close attention to your movements and posture.
Job? are you sitting at a computer all day?
someone here on this forum, who lives in your city, could recommend a cycling-friendly physiotherapist, that would be the best advice you could get...
post #3 of 9

Re: Disc Herniation..Anyone else cycling with one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 82zman
Anyone else run across this. Since I have little or no pain on the bike and have 100% of my strength I am going to continue to cycle. After cycling I have the best mobility and the least amount of pain.
I injured my lower back several weeks ago and though I did not get an MRI my doctor believe's that mine is not herniated, but is bulging some. I took it easy for a few weeks doing some rehab and light spinning.

I have been using ice after training and I have been riding flatter terrain for several weeks because climbing seems to irritate it more with have to use more of a rocking motion while out of the saddle pedaling.

I noticed last week as I started a 40 mile flat ride that the pain in was radiating in my left hip and I was struggling for the first 20 miles, but as it warmed up the last 20 miles was pain free and I stayed pain free several days after and it seems to be getting better each day now.

The one thing that I have found in my research is not to lay around the house because the muscle groups begin to atrophy and this will make the core groups even weaker. I found a way to train around the injury and not make any sudden shifts or jarring motions that would irritate the injury.

I am not giving advice, but sharing with you what I encountered in my recovery, but keep in mind my injury is not a full fledged herniation.
post #4 of 9

Re: Disc Herniation..Anyone else cycling with one?

I am off tomorrow for a microdiscectomy due to herniated disc L5S1. Pain for 6 months from sciatica. No pain while ridding but it does aggravate the disc.
post #5 of 9

Re: Disc Herniation..Anyone else cycling with one?

The first thing you should do is make sure the bike is fit to YOU. Like someone said previously, go to your shop and have them measure you and adjust everything possible to customize the fit.
Second, you should be concentrating on your abs/core muscles. This topic as indirectly been researched...core fatigue and back pain in cycling. once your core fatigues, it is not able to stabilize your pelvis and although you may not notice it, your pelvis moves significantly more the more fatigued you become.
I beleive that the last issue or two of Bicycling magazine outlined a few very good exercises that you can do. I can give you some exercises to start with, however a picture is worth a thousand words so you may want to try to find that article at http://www.bicycling.com/article/1,6...4977-1,00.html.
I just looked and that article has no pictures, however, if I remember correctly, the descriptions are decent. If you have any questions regarding them, let me know and I can try to give you better descriptions or different exercises to try.
What was also said about trying to keep moving is correct as well....try to keep moving and keep those muscles loose. As soon as you sit for a length of time, they begin to spasm and increase your pain not only from tight muscles, but also possibly from pulling the respective vertabrae (in your case L5) "out of whack".
If you haven't tried any anti-inflamatories you can try them as well...ibuprofen (advil), naproxen (aleve).
Hope this helps
post #6 of 9

Re: Disc Herniation..Anyone else cycling with one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdr0912
The first thing you should do is make sure the bike is fit to YOU. Like someone said previously, go to your shop and have them measure you and adjust everything possible to customize the fit.
Second, you should be concentrating on your abs/core muscles. This topic as indirectly been researched...core fatigue and back pain in cycling. once your core fatigues, it is not able to stabilize your pelvis and although you may not notice it, your pelvis moves significantly more the more fatigued you become.
I beleive that the last issue or two of Bicycling magazine outlined a few very good exercises that you can do. I can give you some exercises to start with, however a picture is worth a thousand words so you may want to try to find that article at http://www.bicycling.com/article/1,6...4977-1,00.html.
I just looked and that article has no pictures, however, if I remember correctly, the descriptions are decent. If you have any questions regarding them, let me know and I can try to give you better descriptions or different exercises to try.
What was also said about trying to keep moving is correct as well....try to keep moving and keep those muscles loose. As soon as you sit for a length of time, they begin to spasm and increase your pain not only from tight muscles, but also possibly from pulling the respective vertabrae (in your case L5) "out of whack".
If you haven't tried any anti-inflamatories you can try them as well...ibuprofen (advil), naproxen (aleve).
Hope this helps
Well I am home now following my microdiscectomy. Resting alot and no pain down my leg anymore, no pins and needles either. I only have pain where the surgery was. Not allowed to do much but walk for 6 weeks, no bending or picking up anything heavy.

I had a bike fit 4 years ago and then I had a custom built bike so the bike fit was good. I think it was one of those genetic things that happen. I have completed 4 half Ironman 3 half marathons and lots of cycle events. I not a young spring chicken but a 46 year old women and I think I rode to hard to fast sometimes on the big gear. All I can say is that the op so far has been great and I would never like to experience that pain again. I will start riding again in 6-8 weeks as well as running. The internal wound must heal and the disc has to form scare tissue so it doesn’t herniated again.
post #7 of 9

Re: Disc Herniation..Anyone else cycling with one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 82zman View Post
I just got some MRI results. Although not officially confirmed by the doc looking at the films there is a very obvious L5-S1 herniation. My symptoms are back pain (off the bike) ranging from mild to moderate and pins and needles in my toes/foot.



I am new to road cycling. Started in March this year recovering from a running injury (Was a sub 3 hr marathoner) The bizarre thing is while I think I may have caused/aggravated this condition on the bike ( too much, too hard, too soon, too fast) currently after I finish a ride I feel the almost no symptoms. As nutty as this sounds I have actually done rides to relieve pain with excellent results.



Anyone else run across this. Since I have little or no pain on the bike and have 100% of my strength I am going to continue to cycle. After cycling I have the best mobility and the least amount of pain.

I do have a concern that the cycling may cause latent damage to the back.

Any thoughts or ideas???

I have been riding with tingling in right leg since last winter. Symptoms were not aggravated by my 40 mile commute. Minor pain in lower right shin developed over spring and summer. After I got physical therapy I found out it was in a classic L5 pattern. Since the physical therapy greatly reduced tingling and some of the pain I have noticed that biking does aggravate symptoms. I got a cortisone shot 2 weeks ago (MRI showed pretty obvious herniated disc). Since then I've had reduced tingling and no pain. Biking doesn't seem to do to much to it lately.
My tack these days is to tow the line - do back exercises and try and maintain a position which maintains the 3 curvatures in my spine. So far so good. Not sure about long term. Not biking is not an option.
How has it been for you the last couple of years.?
post #8 of 9

Re: Disc Herniation..Anyone else cycling with one?

I've had this problem for a long time. I always thought it was the shoes, and I got new ones. I still get tingling pins and needles in my toes almost every ride. I also (not on the bike) have a shooting pain down the back of my leg once in a while. I did physical therapy before I saw the doc and didn't work for me. Doc called it Trochanteric Bursitis. He recommended a musculoskeletal specialist but I haven't gone yet. I don't want a cortisone shot as it only masks the problem.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Re: Disc Herniation..Anyone else cycling with one?

I have had only a few minor flare ups since the original problem. Like anything else my body had to adjust to cycling as it was new to me when I originally posted
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