Same boat my man, herniation in L5 with the bulge pressing against my sciatica and an anular tear across the front. I have found that the best thing I can do is bicycle riding and yoga. Looking at having surgery soon, artificial disk replacement, scared as hell...but I cant take vicodin forever.
I think by this point you should be getting the idea people are convaying, take your time! Waves will be there when you are are healthy again. Do what you must now, so you can do what you want later.
Sorry to hear about your pain, I was there for too long. Seven years to get back to the point where I felt comfortable being back in the water. I had a pinched nerve that fired down my leg to my foot. I now surf as much as I can and haven't missed a beat, some same I surf better.
Thanks guys for the shared stories and words of encouragement. About what I expected, I've read a ton about back injuries by now, there's no easy answer. I'm trying to take it step by step and exhaust various options, hoping something really starts to change/work. Yoga is one of those things I've read a lot about, but kept putting it further down the "to try" list. For you guys who are doing yoga, do you do classes at a local gym, dvd set, etc? I know I've read that with a disc problem (mine is L5-S1) that you have to be careful of certain poses but nothing ever really defines what that is or means. You guys find any yoga stuff you stay away from? Bordwgn, dang man 7 years, what finally got you out of the pit?
Like I mentioned in my earlier post, a friend of mine does the DDP yoga. I just do surf specific yoga dvds at home. But he was telling/showing me everything that came with the dvds. There's a whole book on nutrition and his story with his back injury. I didn't read all of it but I'll see if I can get a hold of it to see if it says anything specific. If not, I'm sure if you can get in touch with DDP through the website, he calls everyone who buys the dvds personally, do I'm sure if you explained your situation they would be able to give you good advice.
GrantLee- I have been practicing yoga for 7-8 years, certified as a Teacher 2 years ago.
You are right that with an injury you need to be careful and get some good instruction of HOW to practice. It would be best to take a few classes @ a studio to get some 1on 1 direction. I live in chesapeake, not sure where in VB you are. If you want PM me and I can give you some ideas of good places to go
Stretching, specfically my hamstrings also seems to make a big difference.
+1, my lower back always feels better when I stretch frequently and keep those hamstrings nice and loose, also doing some strength building in your legs can help. But stretch, stretch, and stretch some more. Some say Yoga, I say stretch at home in front of the TV.
I find Pilates helps me ...tried yoga but with a herniated and bulging discs too much bending in a forward or downward U shape was not good for my back at all so yoga did not work for me. (also put strain on the burser area below my knees). I swear by Pilates, its all about the core, helps my back immensely.
All personal preference, trial and error....
Yoga may be a great option for you, though I tend to think swimming would do you the most good. Most importantly, take your time getting back in the water. You don't want to mess up the progess you've made by pushing yourself too far too fast.
Swimming, yoga. Know it will take time. I broke 7 ribs in my back years ago from hitting a tree skiing. One in two places. I got in the water a month after the injury and everything lined up. That was 20 years ago and I'm still surfing and skiing at 54