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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    L3 and 4 are herniated; how long am I out of biking?


    I've learned my lesson for riding a bike that is too large for me. Wednesday night during a 42 mile ride I felt a sharp pain in my back; old Marine Corps injury two slipped discs in lower back.

    So, a trip to ER says lot of pain meds, muscle relaxants, and inflammation meds. Supposed to go see a chiropractor this week about moving those discs back in place.

    Has anyone experienced this and how long before you were able to ride again??
    Semper Fi :)
    Jar-Head Joe

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    May 2002

  3. #3
    Festina Lente'
    Reputation: BentChainring's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    FWIW, I am 25, have a slipped disc between L5-S1, one bad bulge L4-L5, and two bulges above that.

    One of the very few physical activities that do not irritate my spine is cycling (except when climibing HARD). If it were me I would be back on a bike riding lightly, building back up asap.

    I find it puzzling that it happened while cycling, were you hitting some bad bumps?

    "Late to bed, early to rise, work like hell and advertise." -Von Braun

  4. #4
    It's Good For You!
    Reputation: snosaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    I herniated L4,5 & S1 back in '97. Cycling is the one activity that, if anything, helps. I also recommend reading a book by Dr. John E. Sarnow. I think his first book is called "Healing Back Pain". He also has a few follow up books. Keep riding but get back at it slowly.
    good luck!

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Loraura's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    I have severe degeneration in S1-L5 and L5-L4 with sciatic nerve complications. I agree with the others that cycling is one of the few things I can do without aggrevating chronic pain. When I have a tear, it's 2 or 3 days of rest, ice, and sometimes oral steroids so that I can move at all, then it's back to as much activity as I can tolerate. Walking as soon as possible is important for me. The more I lay around, the longer it takes to get better. When my core muscles weaken, I'm in deep deep trouble. I have to stay strong to stay out of a chronic pain situation.

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Akirasho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    ...L5 S1 here... and when it hit, I was down for quite some time... however, there seems to be a wide variation in the severity of the injury and length of recovery per individual such that it's best to consult with your physician and therapists groups who can identify your expected (hopeful) outcome...

    As a cyclist, I attempt to identify persons in the medical field that will relate specifically to my goals owing to the fact that there are no guarantees, but I don't want someone who simply looks at age and determines that aside from fusing a few joints, they'll set me up with a free sample of Depends (no disrespect for the incontinent here... but U get my drift)!

    Also, while not popular on this board... I have two recumbents that I use for those times when physical issues (leg) might keep me off the upright. Indeed, if push came to shove, I'd rather have the recumbent as I grow older than any of my other rigs (I'm spoiled and have about 20). Don't discount a recumbent either on the road or as part of your PT.

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Chiropractors are cool for some things, but I would be VERY cautious if you actually have a definitive herniation of the disc. Did Chiro do an MRI before manipulating this herniation? I know there are few alternatives but be careful.

  8. #8
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    I am new rider but I've always had back pains. Amazingly enough, it goes away when I'm on the bike. One important thing for you to do is to really REST! Like, you should be on your back to let the discs go back in place. You see, the disc is very hydrophilic, so it will absorb the necessary water from your body to give it back its resilience. Usually takes one week of bed rest but depends on the severity. After that, you need to exercise to strengthen your back and abdominals. Try this: Bend forward, then backward. If bending forward hurts you, you need to do exercises that concentrate on straightening your back, otherwise it's bending. You can actually go on a stationary bike and see for yourself if it hurts you, if not, then you are free to go bike riding. But not on hills and off-road yet though until your back is strong enough

  9. #9
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Bertrand's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Sarno is....

    ---- a quack
    Quote Originally Posted by Frank121

  10. #10
    What the Hell is going on
    Reputation: JaeP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    My L3 - L4 herniated disc was so painful I opted for surgery after 6 mos. Like previous posters cycling was the least painful activity I could do. I only rode my trainer because I didn't want to risk crashing while on the road.
    You'd think we were here for something other than fun. - Ishmael

  11. #11
    Impulse Athletic Coaching
    Reputation: iliveonnitro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    L7 here, which is right on the verge of being in the same area.

    Took me 2 weeks, and the rest of my body hurt more than the spine. Then again, it wasn't horribly herniated.

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