Recovery time from bulging discs?
In early March I woke up unable to get out of bed due to back pain, it took about six weeks but eventually the doctor diagnosed my problem as bulging discs between L3-L5. The treatment is core exercises and stretching. I told by both the PT and doctor to start riding my bike and walking.
The problem I'm still having is any strenuous riding sets me back in the pain department. Over the long weekend I did two rides, I was a little sore after Saturday, after Sunday's ride I was in serious pain. Almost a week later I'm still in some pain, I did commute to work yesterday.
I was told it would be six month to a year before I could fully resume activity, skiing being the big one but I also like to run during the work week.
Anyone with similar issues? How long did it take you to get back to at least riding pain free?
I've had a bulging disc, and it is absolutely awful. Glad you're not in the stage of constant pain anymore. I'm at about 9 months now, and most of the pain is gone. It still gets sore after a lot of exercise or extended periods of travel/driving/sitting, etc.
A couple of tips:
-check out a book by Robin McKenzie called "7 Steps to a Pain-Free Life". (or see if you can find his back exercises/stretches on the web.
-If you've got an acupuncturist near you, check it out. Acupuncture and "cupping" (done by same practitioners) were huge helps for me.
Bulging discs is a very nasty injury and for many people it can become a chronic ongoing condition - with the final option being a surgical intervention. If your lucky it may be a once off, but once discs have been damaged, no blood supply means no healing... if your a little bit older a small amount of stenosis can also contribute.
It can be a very individual condition with people having varying outcomes, you kind of need to go through a learning process to learn what aggravates it and to change your life style a little bit - less riding, less intensity, knowing when not to ride or making the most of your back feeling good. There is no easy solution for this.
I am against the so called core stability exercises as they are often implemented poorly. Learning to contract your trunk muscles actually puts more pressure onto discs increasing their 'bulging', certainly nothing wrong with stretching your back and increasing muscle strength, but think globally - all leg, pelvic and upper body muscles, anything that attached to the pelvis or spine can affect your lower back.
Most people I have seen as a clinician can get back to riding or other physical activity pain free in 3-6+ months, but often have reoccurring bouts - it all depends on their individual severity and treatment.
Take it slow. Let u're body heal. Try to figure out what irritates it and don't do that- for a while at least. listen to your body.