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How to recover from a herniated disc – Part 3

Getting back to work!

After bending forward to demonstrate a glut stretch on the barrel Natalia couldn’t get up.

This is something she does every day, in fact many times a day.  It’s one of those things about disc injuries…..one day it just happens and when you least expect it.

Last post we explained the awful diagnosis Nat had been given but amazingly she didn’t have this information as she went through those first harrowing days of pain, fear and the unknowing.

Here’s Nat’s diary of how she was out of pain and back to work in under three weeks.

Day 8 – Home rest but starting to feel better and walking straighter.  My QL is releasing it’s vice-like grip.

Day 9 – Physiotherapy treatment.  Had my Quadratus Lumborum released.  A very painful experience but a good one – ultimately. The truth is after the session my QL felt worse, which my physio warned me. As it began to spasm again, I struggled to walk home.  For a moment I was full of fear since the day before it had started to feel better. As soon as I arrived home, I had a hot bath. Then applied a hot water bottle again. It started to release again.  So glad I had gone to see the physio now.  I think because it was the first treatment on the muscle it reacted with a vengeance but then with a bit of heat it released beautifully.  Now I think is a good time to start rehab Pilates.

Day 10 – First day of rehab Pilates. I begin stretching my quads against my couch. This felt amazing as they were very tight. I did 3 stretches on each side for 40 seconds each.  In this stretch I was able to stretch my hip flexors and ITB band also very gently.  After this I released my QL again manually with a ball and also my piriformis.  I can finally see some light.
Feeling confident I then did 2 of my stabilisation exercises that I teach all of my disc injury clients. The hip roll and the knee float while maintaining neutral spine.  All these years I have been teaching this and now I get to really understand what it feels like on the other side.  No wonder people are scared.

Day 11 – Feeling more confident – I’m going to recover!!!  Did exactly the same releases and exercises as the day before.  Moving around more and feeling less pain.  Very cautious though.

Day 12 – Today I have now added to my routine a gentle glut stretch on my back and single leg slides.  Slowly but surely I’m straightening up.

Day 13 – First workout in the studio. Starting with a quad stretch against the box. Carefully stretched my psoas on the reformer then did gentle foot work on the reformer. I felt very very fragile and I was quiet emotional as I realized after doing the reformer work how fragile I had become. Decided to work on my upper body instead and get some confidence back!  Thank God for lat pull downs and the claw series!

Day 14 – My second acupuncture treatment.  Worked like a dream and opened all those channels that were still blocked – including my fear.

Day 15 – Last day of rest at home.

Day 16 – Tentatively but with some confidence in my knowing I went back to work.  Thinking about how most of the time my clients come to me after many weeks or even months of being in this state.  I was out of pain and I had a new respect for my body, this experience, my knowledge and my clients.

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