Anyone here got a Herniated Disc?

I was diagnosed with slipped disc… :frowning:
I am not giving up cycling. Cycling is life ! So, anyone here got similar problem? Please share your experience and time to recover.

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I injured my back in late 2011 (age 39) and it took 9 months to figure out I had a herniated disc. L4/L5. It’s really changed the way I do things in my everyday life. It has never healed. I’m not sure they ever really do. I get flair ups that cause a tight back and nerve pain down the right leg from time to time. Mostly I have just learned to deal with it. I’ve tried physical therapy, acupuncture, a chiropractor, etc… and nothing has really helped. I even tried a nerve block. With my most recent flair up I’ve been looking into PRP injections. After all these years I’m about done with it and would love to be pain free!

Good news is my cycling has not been greatly affected. I can usually train and ride to my hearts content. I’m TR heavy in the winters and then incorporate TR with outdoor rides in the summers. Race weekly crits, 2-3 road races, and 2-3 gravel races per year. My fitness and power has increased over the years even with the disc issue.

I hope yours heals up and there are no long term issues!

Anyone had experience with PRP injections?


Is PRP injection expensive? Are you covered by medical insurance?

Sorry to hear about your current situation @Announcement. I really do feel your pain.

I’m currently awaiting an MRI scan to determine my current situation. NHS waiting list is 6-8 weeks. I decided to go private because the pain I’m in is ridiculous.

My issue(s) started a couple of months ago and things have gotten progressively worse. I currently have no feeling in the fingers on my right hand. Constant pins and needles in my right arm and prolonged periods of numbness in my right shoulder and right arm.

My doctor diagnosed a trapped C5 nerve but neither of us are confident that’s the case anymore.

For me, social group rides and racing has stopped completely. I’m simply not safe. I can ride for around an hour before the pain becomes too much.

Weirdly, the trainer is one of the only places that I can get comfortable. Must be the setup putting me in a position that reduces the stress or tension.

Fingers crossed, the MRI will point me in a direction which enables me to move forward.

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Evidenced-based medicine: don’t waste your time and money

Anecdote-based medicine: inject that stuff everywhere in me, though I suspect might be due to the forced time off that comes with the injection

For real, if you’re at wits end and have the cash (US perspective), it’s worth a shot. I’d start with a steroid injection done under fluoroscopy (your insurance is more likely to cover it, too). When it comes to PRP, it pays to shop around–prices for the same thing can vary widely.

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About 15 years ago, I landed on my head during a rugby game. Heard a crackling sound - travel up my neck to my ears.

Turns out I had a herniated C5-C6 disc. Pins and needles in my right arm, and lost about 1/3 of the strength in my arm.

PT worked for me to address the issue, and I still continue that PT to this day. Keeps things in check.

Your MRI should show pretty clearly if you have a herniated disc. For me, it was so clear that even I could see what was wrong without the radiologist having to point it out.

From there, based on what’s wrong, your doctor will be able to recommend treatment.

For me, the doctor presented surgery as an option, but recommended PT as the logical starting point. The surgery did not sound fun, so I resolved to be super diligent with my PT to solve the problem.

Posture has a big impact for me. If I slouch, and then look up at a screen, it really exacerbates the old injury. Same with sleeping on my stomach, or trying to get into an aero position on the bike. So I avoid doing those things.


$500-$2000 US dollars per treatment from what I’m seeing. I do have medical insurance, but it does not cover PRP :frowning:

Sorry to hear that @Announcement and @PusherMan.

I have 2 herniated discs (L2L3 and L4L5) or something like that

It took me 2 years to fully recover and it changed my life forever.

Things that helped me:

I paid for an MRI and stopped play guessing games with doctors and physios

I found that cycling was relaxing for my back (and here I’m now).

Sitting in a soft couch is really bad.

When sitting in a chair it helps to play balancing with your glutes :flushed:

Keep drinking water to force you to go for a wee. If in the office use the furthest toilets. Brownie points if you use the stairs and do lunges (2 steps at the time)

Every movement is about engaging glutes and core. Brushing the teeth? Semi squat, contract the glutes and core. Walking? Engage core and leave your back leg a bit further back and… contact that fucking glute!

Harley Street? It worth every penny. It sorted me in 3 days.

If any health care professional advise you to do yoga, ask to be seen by someone else. Yoga is the worst thing you can do at this stage. Your nerves are already on fire, and guess what? Nerves don’t like to be stretched!

Obviously cervex injury is different from lombar injury, but some can be transposed.

Good luck and I hope it’s a short journey for you two.

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Original L5/S1 herniated disc was way back in 1998 down hauling a windsurf sail of all things. 2001 while standing in front of a mirror getting ready for work they decided to let me know they weren’t happy again. Finally 2011 I managed to herniate them again while riding adding L3/L4

If I could talk to myself in 1998 II would have said something like get on and stay on a core stabilization/strength program and make it a part of your daily life. There are some shortcuts but, muscle stabilization is central to a happy spine.


For me I have to pay attention to my posture while sitting or standing. Frequently do some of the PT exercises when I notice my leg getting a numb sensation.
I find the regular workouts at ghe gym help reduce the problems.

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@kdcallister well, I had PRP in my elbow earlier this year. It was for a micro tear in my tendon and unhealed tennis elbow. I had 2 years of Cortisone shots and PT and it was only masking the problem, not fixing it.

So I decided to get PRP. It wasn’t as painful as I was expecting, Cortisone was a lot more painful, and the procedure didn’t take too long.

It worked, but it took 3 months before the injection worked. They told that there’s no instant relief from PRP and that it can take months for it to do it’s magic. That was my experience. It took about 3 months for it to feel a lot better, and almost 4 months for it to be 99% better. But the first 2 months were depressing because it didn’t seem to be doing anything.

Anyway, if you read up on PRP, results are generally good, but doesn’t work for everyone. Some people need two or three for it to work. Some people experience a painful procedure, and others don’t.

For what it’s worth I would always recommend PRP for people with tennis elbow if they’ve exhausted all other avenues.

But I don’t have any experience with it fixing back injuries, so good luck and let us know how it goes. Let me know if you have any other questions.

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Not any more but did about 15 years ago in my early 30s. L4/L5. I was lucky enough to be able to get an MRI within a week of it happening. And then also to start working with a really good physio straight away who was focused very much on what I could do and getting me back to full fitness, rather than telling me what I couldn’t do. When I first did it I had to pretty much lie down most of the day. Even 10 minutes of walking would have me in so much pain I’d have to lie down wherever I was. Was also prescribed some opiate based pain killers. Didn’t really know how hard core they were at the time until a doctor friend told me to wean myself off them ASAP as I started recovering - did make me realise for the first time how people got hooked on painkillers.

I was back riding a bike lightly again within a month, able to do something resembling training within 2 months, and did an Ironman 15 months after the injury. I’ve had some back related issues since, but nothing even close to as bad as that first bout. I have been pretty good at maintaining a decent amount of strength, mobility and core work and largely attribute that to avoiding any more problems. I’m also much better than I used to be at dealing with niggles, muscle imbalance and tightness early and not ignoring them like I used to when I was younger.

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I ruptured L3 with bad form squatting about 12 years ago. Lots of initial pain and some muscle loss in my left leg. Wasn’t riding much at the time, but with a combination of the right exercises and time, I have no symptoms today. A great book is “The Multifidus Back Pain Solution” written by a physical therapist. It’s 12.97 on Amazon

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I herniated my L4/L5 about 10 years ago. Thankfully it wasn’t serious enough where I needed surgery. I did PT for it, but that only seemed to aggravate it. I wasn’t able to ride for awhile, but it eventually got better. My approach was to make sure I was not causing unnecessary stress on my spine by doing things like rounding my back when lifting something, or sitting with a rounded back, or any number of other things I was doing throughout the day. The idea was to avoid the movements that had caused the injury in the first place so that my back could heal. Core exercises are great, but just because you have a strong core doesn’t mean that you will move in a way that is healthy for your spine.

A book I highly recommend is “Bach Mechanic” by Stuart McGill. He is a world-renowned researcher and expert on the spine. I learned a lot from that book, as well as his textbook “Low Back Disorders.”


herniated a disc around 10 years ago. Very very painful and could have any forward flexion for several months.

over time the inflammation went down and gradually reintroduced strength training. its tough mentally but you can overcome it with time. have been able to deadlift and back squat with no issues

cycling never had any issues with it.

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I had two herniated discs and was basically unable to do much, including basic things like sitting in a chair, for the better part of a year. I did this program - Limitless Program- Overcome Your Pain with our Online Fitness Program | Whealth - and it basically changed my life. Corrected movement deficiencies I didn’t even know I had and allowed me to go from being unable to pedal for more than 5 minutes at a time to doing Unbound.

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Having my own disk issues, including multiple surgeries, PT, and recovery time, most will probably agree that disk injuries are all different, including signs/symptoms, mechanism of injury, treatment, and duration of recovery. It is best to work with a treatment team you trust, and be patient. Forums are not going to be able to provide reliable medical advice. Good luck!


I have two. Happened about 23 years ago vacuum cleaning my car! I was twisting and trying to reach down the back of my coupe. It took about a year to recover 90% and another year to recover most of the rest. It has never got back to 100%. I did pilates once or twice a week in the first 10 months and occasionally for the next year. It helped a lot. Had physiotherapy for the first few of months too.
These days it occasional gives me trouble, especially if I have not been riding my bike regularly. When that happens i do some basic abdominal exercises every day for a couple of weeks and comes good. And i remind myself to ride regularly.

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Thanks for the info @lokerola! That’s good to know. Sound like the winter time would be the time to get it done.

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I got a question for those who got a physiotherapist. What exercises do they ask you to do? I am confused, I too have 1 physiotherapist recently.

For example :

Flexion in Lying. She advised me to do this. But some expert do not recommend this.

another one is Sustained Extension…she does not recommend it but most PT on the internet recommended this.

for those who recovered from slipped disc can share your experiences?