Disc injury rehabilitation, back and spine (Andy’s unrelated articles)

Since injuring my back a lot of people i’ve spoken to have told me they’ve had similar issues, so i decided to write a guide on how i’m rehabilitating the ruptured disc in my lower back, in the hope it might help someone.

how (stupid)?

All my life i’ve had an inflexibility in my lower spine, which i looked after well so it never really caused me any issues in life or sport.

My 1st ever time doing Acroyoga and i got over excited, i wasnt able to put my back flat on the floor but i didnt worry and took the role of the base for lots of people. of course, all of their body weight was being lifted by me, but i couldnt feel any tiredness or strain as the majority of it was supported by my lower spine.  the unpleasant adventure: I want to go back and slap myself as it was soo obvious, but what’s done is done.. a few days later i was leaning forwards and something happened to my back.. something bad. i managed to get myself into bed to try sleeping it off, but woke at 3am completely unable to move my legs! it took me an hour to inch myself across the bed and call an ambulance, who arrived with the police and pushed my van into the middle of the street to lift me out (luckily i’d had the foresight to open the door as i was turning around). 

Anyway i spent the night in the Spanish hospital, where they pumped me full of strong annti-inflammatory’s until eventually i was able to stand up and shuffle around. seeing me shuffle at old person with a zimmerframe pace the docs decided i could (and should) go home ..while i was barely able to walk, was miles away from my van and wearing only my boxer shorts. After a brief discussion it was clear i wasnt going to get any more help, so i stole a bed sheet to make a toga and shuffled off into the city.

There was no possibility of walking the 10 or so miles home so i shuffled into the metro to get a train. the guy in the ticket office only put up small resistance before realising that i was in a hopeless situation and letting me on the tube. as a side note i found a stolen purse with 3 Polish passports in it in one of the elevators on the metro. had to go up and down 3 times before i was able to reach low enough pick it up but i was pleased to hand it in (and that the shiny silver purse made my ridiculous outfit look more complete).


My spine will never be as strong as before, but it is possible to make the surrounding muscles stronger than before to balance out the injury. i bought a pipe (plumbing style) and some rope and i hang it from a tree and spend 30mins a day upside down like a bat reading, if you have a disc injury that’s a great way to do your own traction to help the healing.

Below is a video of an excise to strengthen the specific muscles needed to protect the lower back, i waited a few weeks before starting the exercises. 

Rener Gracie is a elite level athlete doing a sport that is very intensive on your spine, and i understand he had much worse injury than my herniated disc. Besides that you need to be very careful with it for the next 9 months as re-injuring it in that time will make your long term health far worse; exercise is good for the healing, but nothing that puts pressure on it (I swim every morning). Oh and posture is important, sitting with a rediculously straight spine will help a lot, as though you just sat on something surprising.

I’ll let you know how it goes, but so far its pretty good …9 months of being careful is not going to be easy though!

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