Protective Reactivation Phase II Week 3-4

Realization this happened and working through frustration for answers.


Pain is decreasing daily and more mobile. I still am advised to limit bending, lifting, and twisting the first 6-8 weeks. Those are very general terms. My discharge even said do not lift anything heavier than a milk carton. My belief is strength is relative and how can you generalize someone trained and untrained to recover with the same 8lbs. Part of my frustration arises from the time and lengths I have had to go searching for answers. The protocol for back surgery rehabilitation is skewed towards the population that usually undergoes surgery. That would be the elderly, overweight, and sedentary. Another misconception in addition to back surgery ending your weight training career, is that back surgery does not work. The decision to have surgery should arise after all other conservative forms of treatment have been explored. However, when these choices have reached a limit in impacting quality of life in a positive way one must fix what is broken. Reading an MRI also can be misleadingThis is not a quick fix either the opinions circulating are from individuals in the typical back surgery candidate population. This population is more likely to slack off on the rehabilitation and strengthening process afterward. Surgery is trauma and requires work after the procedure. In addition to work it requires lifestyle. The individual must be willing to learn self-awareness to correct positions and self-care in daily life

What you see:

Main issue was the disc fragments and scar tissue from previous disc surgery impinging on sciatic nerve and impairing left leg. The past few years I couldn’t lay on my left side and when my left butt cheek was touched for any reason my foot and calf would hurt. I would avoid all sl coaching demos on that leg and Shift weight to the right on the floor. Just a few examples In daily life. I’ll never forget how scared I was making the decision and I’ll also never forget how free and the relief I felt when I woke up and I could contract or straighten my leg without my calf shooting.

Discs are responsible for 80% of axial loading on the spine and trunk rotation mine are a mess and I’ve lost an inch of height but look at that one booger.

What you see is a herniated disc extrusion meaning the displaced material is greater than the parent disc—lots of leaked jelly. The white area is the thecal sac where cerebral spinal fluid surrounds your cuada equina, the bundle of nerves that split down your leg from your spinal cord. My disc was a little too friendly and needed to be kicked out of that space.

Many people walk around with protruded herniations or bulges (fat looking discs) and have zero symptoms. This can make MRIs and treatment plans misleading to really addressing back pain. Once again another reason why it’s not a quick fix-I am all for being conservative trying modifications in training and life. Doing what you need to to reduce pain, but when you feel like you have nothing to lose b/c you already can’t do what you love, what’s the risk?!So many unwarranted opinions I get on back surgery, like it doesn’t work ” my sedentary desk job, McDonald’s loving, great aunt had one and she still hurts,” doesn’t apply to me or an athlete. The problem is so much of the “back pain” population is elderly, sedentary, or overweight. Making the perception and information out there of how to fix this skewed. I was cut open and realize surgery is not a quick fix my lifestyle positions and movements must change and I have to be committed to rehabilitation, but if this didn’t happen I’d be one cranky hobbling coach. The past few years I couldn’t lay on my left side and when my left butt cheek was touched for any reason my foot and calf would hurt. I would avoid all sl coaching demos on that leg and Shift weight to the right on the floor. Just a few examples In daily life. I’ll never forget how scared I was making the decision and I’ll also never forget how free and the relief I felt when I woke up and I could contract or straighten my leg without my calf shooting.

Gpp is greatly improving still not going to attempt to run. Numbness in foot is still very much there so no pounding just yet. Stair master, walking incline w/ vest, step ups on bleachers and lots of hikes.

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Training updates 1. Overhead suitcase carry. Notice I brace my core before walking and take deep breaths, eyes forward maintaining good posture. I also retract down my shoulder blade in the carrying arm to activate the lower lat. my opposing trap is pushed down and shoulders/hips stay even. Total body coordination/posture, deep core strength and shoulder stability.


2. SL hip Airplane- load the glute of the standing leg by extending hips slightly back, keep the knee unlocked on this leg just like an athletic position. Slowly rotate, leading with hip (not shoulder) and keep chest open without caving in the standing knee. Works stability and strength in hip.


3. Quadruped internal hip opener- on all fours with mini band around ankle and plate under working foot. Deep breath tighten core and rotate foot out, hip in. Internal rotation of the hip I feel is overlooked b/c how much external rotation is stressed. Yes that is very important but if all the focus is worked on strengthening and mobilizing (guilty I love pigeon stretch) external what do you think is going on internally? Athletic and squatting movements require the femur to rotate within the hip joint. Without this the adductors cannot contribute and IR may actually be the culprit of the anterior tightness/pinching one feels trying to hit depth. This also can be seen with a foot spinning out on the tighter internal hip or pain in that side of the back (pelvis anteriorly rotated).


Other updates pallof presses on single leg, box squats with a stick, incision handles more supine work.


Long way to go. Capabilities are known when we are forced to prove them to ourselves. Not what the world, your neighbor, or social media thinks, but what you feel when your head and heavy eyes hits the pillow each night. Consistent progress is recognizing you are the result of every past decision you’ve made up until this very moment. Tomorrow is going to be the direct result of the decisions you are making today. So if you are doing and committing things today that will make us better tomorrow, and you just keep that pattern day after day, its always going to be a process of becoming your best.

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