Strengthening the Core - Does it really help?
I am 1 month out from my 2nd L4/L5 discectomy & laminotomy (herniated disc). I was told that strengthening my core would help with reducing future injuries.
I had my first discectomy in November 2011. I took it really slow, building back up. Eventually (after 4 months) i was back in the gym (crossfit) doing light weight and ignoring high impact/oly lifts.
I started going heavier and was doing fine. But I had a small pain in my back so I stopped. After a couple weeks I decided to forgo Crossfit and restart my BJJ classes. After the first one, I had ruptured the same disc.
I have a couple questions to anyone who knows about this type of injury:
1) Does strengthening your core really help?
2) How much does weight play into this type of injury? I'm currently 280 but was 310 during the injuries. If I get to 240/250 will this help?
I really want to learn BJJ but I don't want to have my discs fused at 37.
Thanks for any help
Eagerly subscribing to this one, as I have the same (more or less) issues. I hope it gets better for you, man. Plus, doesn't strengthening the core just make good sense anyway?
Yeah herniated disk here as well
Yes it helps alot.
Doing planks, side planks leg lifts and various sit ups sitting on a stability ball all make my back feel better.
I sook a lot of time off from BJJ to figure this out and then went to the gym for months before starting again.
As far as weight lifting goes I do lower weights but more reps and stay away from anything that has any sort of compression involved.
My back feels much better and hasn't been much of an issue.
I also went Gluten free and found my muscle recovery time went way up. Plus I drink a protine vitamain BCAA enriched shake (Branch Chained Amino Acids) and that helps to.
Try Pilates. Seriously. It's harder than it looks and it will get your core strong as ****. It's really helped me with recovery from a series of injuries.
In answer to your original question: yes.
A good, strong core helps stabilize and protect the back. The more muscular support your spine has, during anything from just standing to just about any activity, the less stress is placed directly on spine-related structures. You need only choose those core-related exercises which won't hyper, twist or otherwise cause/exacerbate disc compressions or other such issues, and there are indeed such exercises.
Choose from them intelligently--perhaps with the help of a sports- or occupational-physio people you trust have recommended--and train wisely. Your back will thank you for it, now and in years to come.
Excess weight can cause all sorts of repetitive stress injuries all over the body (neck, back, joints, knees, ankles), especially where the bones are small and there is a lot of repeated force/impact involved.
Originally Posted by badacid
How tall are you? 280/310 is very heavy for a martial artist of any type. Linebacker, maybe.
Dropping weight would definitely put less stress on your spine during most activities (even sitting), not to mention it'd be good for your heart and overall health.
Last edited by W. Rabbit; 8/14/2012 10:02pm at .
Is there a website you could recommend that would show a good corebuilding routine, perchance? I did a search, and I know that there are a ton out there, I was curious if you had one that you may favor.
Originally Posted by Res Judicata
Don't do situps and crunches. EVER. Don't do anykind of exercise that puts a forward bend on your lower back.
Here's a good article on core stregnthening.
As all ready said yes, but you do have to take care to not injure yourself while strengthening it.
Yes taking weight off will help a lot. Its less work your muscles have to compensate for.
Point 1: Yes, it really, really, really does help. The difference between somebody who never recovers from back pain or disc herniations and somebody who experiences a full return to activity is often how well they do their home exercises and adhere to an exercise plan. Friend of mine had a horse land on her in her early twenties, multiple disc herniations and 1 fracture, was told by doctors she'd probably not walk again. Is currently pain free due to chiropractic management and loads and loads of rehab.
Point 2: I advise you to have a physiotherapist or specialist in back rehabilitation assess your problem. As you've already seen, doing too much too soon can bump you back to start easily, so it would be a good idea to have somebody professional assess you in person and then start you off at the correct level of activity rather than relying on anonymous Super Qualified Internet Experts such as myself.
Best of luck.