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Exercising with herniated disc

I have a herniated disc (L3-L4) and am looking for something I can do while I rest my back. My normal routine is cardio and weight training. Any ideas??

Tue. Nov 7, 8:11pm

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I am still recovering from back surgery for this (L4&5 for me) which I had after a year of very debilitating pain. Fortunately surgery was helpful for me and recovery has been going great in large part due to the fact that I stayed active and strong and kept my weight down (even lost some) even during the worst of it. Smooth flowing motion is one of the best things you can do for your back and a strong set of abs is the best 'helping hand' you can give it.

With your doctor's knowledge - walking, recumbant biking, swimming and possibly elliptical (keep it smooth though) are all great, low-impact ways to keep active. Pay particular attention to your posture - keep those abs tight and your shoulders back and down at all times. Do not sit for long periods without getting up and stretching (you ought to be seeing a physical therapist who probably already told you this and can show you some great ones), and seriously consider pilates at least 2x a week from a seasoned pro teacher. Most the of the physical therapy for a herniated disk comes straight out of pilates and a good teacher can work around your weaknesses and show you how to strengthen the rest of your body to compensate. Tai chi is supposed to be excellent as well but I never tried it.

It's a crying shame that I needed pain to force me into the best health I've ever been in, but exercise and good posture are now a way of life for me and I honestly could not go back to the way I used to be. I keep my weight down for my back too. Any excess just drags straight down on your already stressed spine.

Best wishes and I hope you feel better in no time!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006, 2:04 AM

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