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Rehabilitation

Back Pain

12/16/2010

Question:

Good morning,

I am a 40 year old male, 5`10" 190lbs with delayed back pain after aerobic activity.

I do have some issues. Mild herniation below L5, mild bulge below L4, Spondylolisthesis slip at 25% S1.

I am not in pain unless I am active. Even if I spend 20min on an elliptical machine, 3-5hrs later I will have a annoying low back ache.

I spent more money than I have in physical therapy with no help. I do planks and exercise work on a ball for my core. I also stretch before exercising. None of this has helped.

Doctors say there should be no reason why I can`t get some kind of exercise, yet I still have aching if I do.

The only thing I have not tried is a chiropractor, but I`m not optimistic. I know people who have had herniations that required surgery, yet they can run and I can`t.

I`m looking for some opinions please.

Answer:

Many people have a mild bulge without pain, but spondylolisthesis typically has some pain associated with it even in mild cases.

There are very few treatments for this.

My only suggestions for you (that you may or may not have already tried) is to use a back brace during exercise and to find someone to help you learn good transverse abdominus control.

The transverse abdominus is your own natural back brace. There are some physical therapists who can help you with this but you will have to seek them out as not every physical therapist is trained well in this area. 

For more information:

Go to the Rehabilitation health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Tammy S Wadsworth, PT MS OCS Tammy S Wadsworth, PT MS OCS
Sports Medicine Team Member
Clinical Instructor at The School of Allied Medical Professions
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University