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Modifying ASG exercises for L3-L4 herniated disc

Question:

I just purchased your program and looked through the workouts. I have an L3-L4 herniated disc, with bone narrowing and deterioration. Which of your exercises should I avoid? The jump back and apart is too much, and the ones where you cross your feet over each other side to side look impossible. I'm really nervous about strong rotations, also.

What kind of medicine ball ( how heavy) do I need, if at all?

Answer:

Exercising with a herniated disc is a really great question and it's always one that's better addressed in person with your local physical therapist or doctor. In particular, I think the former can help you out with this a lot in terms of which movements are fair game and which ones aren't. I did write an eBook on this, it's called Back Injury Guide at http://backinjuryguide.com/ I think you'd find it really useful- what to expect, which movements are safe, how to progress your body, how to know what's okay to do, etc. Once you remove fear from back injury, things tend to get a lot easier and it's a lot easier to get back in shape. That's the motivation in making that ebook and it may prove to be a useful resource for you as well.

The next thing I want to address your suggestion about herniated discs with bone marrow issues and that's an important factor. Oftentimes, that means you might be extension-sensitive meaning backwards-bending might actually increase the pain. However, that's quite not typical for most herniated discs because most herniated discs respond really well to backward bending and the pain would increase more in forward bending, twisting and lifting. The worst combination is doing all three. Believe it or not, that small amount of weight can put 220 lbs of pressure on your lower spine. That's why small things like that can be otherwise innocent can cause a massive amount of pain and inflammation and can take you a day to realize what happened. Oftentimes, it's hard to trace back to the original cause of the injury.

My advice to you is to find out if you're flexion or extension-sensitive. Go see your physical therapist or doctor, go through some of these movements and see if you've been performing the correctly and if your body's bending or moving in a different way. Another thing, pain-free exercise is generally-speaking fair-game. So, anything that's not creating pain or inflammation (I don't mean just in the workout but in the next day as well) is good. When it comes to herniated discs, 80% of the time increasing aerobic fitness and activity will cause it to spontaneously go away. Sure hope this helps and have a great day!

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