Slipped Disc Help! 'Through Hell and Back' - How I've Recovered from Slipped Disc Injuries

What Can Cause a Slipped Disc?

They say that 'practice makes perfect' - to which I would say: I wish that term didn't apply to slipped disc injuries! As over the past ten years (or so) my life has been defined through three bouts of slipped disc injuries ... As I've travelled 'the road to recovery' three times, I can safely say that the 'underlying cause' of my slipped disc injuries has always been 'me being an idiot' (i.e. I was 'doing something' that I shouldn't have been doing, and 'paid the price' shortly afterwards!). If it's the first time you've had a slipped disc, then your back will soon be teaching you 'the true meaning' of the word 'pain'. If it's the second (or third!) time you've had a slipped disc, then you're likely to already have had 'a weakness there'. Whilst I don't know exactly what caused your slipped disc injury, here I detail exactly 'what caused mine', which will likely have parallels with 'what caused yours' (especially if your usually 'fit and active'):

Delayed Reaction - Slipped Disc Injuries

It was August 2017 when I slipped three discs in my spine (two slipped discs lower back, one slipped disc upper neck) although I didn't realise for several days! It was a Thursday, and I'd been out at the coast all day (visiting Burnham on Crouch) for a 'family day' with my niece and nephew (whilst on their summer holidays). On the way back, I'd stopped off (at a local playing field) 'to have a go' on a zip wire - which is 'exactly what caused' my third bout of slipped discs:

The zip wire 'nemesis' of my bad back and its three slipped discs!
The zip wire 'nemesis' of my bad back and its three slipped discs!

Whilst the zip wire 'was great fun' - I didn't know that the 'snap backs' (at the end of each turn) had already damaged my back! I still had 'no idea' when I decided to go for a run that evening (making up for a missed training session) - as I ran around my local industrial estate 'on the pavements', then ran along 'the river walk' (looking at the ducks) 'feeling fine'. BUT ... Over the next few days, I began to realise that my back 'had gone again'. Here's how it happened:

  1. Friday night I went for a swim. I noticed my back 'twinging' whilst swimming freestyle. I also stupidly decided to 'have a race' against a swimming friend. He was in a swimming club (whilst I no longer am), but I felt 'pretty pleased with myself' for keeping up. My back was 'just aching' that evening, although I went to bed 'worrying about the earlier pool twinges' - as I hadn't felt 'anything like that' for some time (since my 'last' back injury).
  2. Saturday morning, I woke up 'and felt fine'. Decided to go running at my local running track (for some training). It was a 'hard efforts session', with some four hundred meter 'sprinting laps'. I felt fine that night.
  3. Sunday morning, I woke up 'and felt fine'. Decided to go for my usual Sunday morning run. I ran at least twelve miles, really 'making a morning of it' (glad to be out in the sun), managing to get lost 'when looking for a new route'. Encountered some running friends 'on the way back'. Chatted 'for a bit' and then headed home.
  4. Monday morning, I was working, sitting down. Got up to go for a snack, dropped some food on the floor, and bent down to pick it up. It was here that I first felt my back 'catching'. I thought to myself: that was odd!
  5. Tuesday afternoon I thought to myself: I'd better just do some 'light weights' tonight - as I certainly won't be running tonight, and to 'play it safe' no running for the next week! I spent the evening 'trying to distract myself', it was coming up to my car's service time, and I was studying my car's service manual (on how to service it). At the back of my mind though, I knew 'something was wrong'. I was unable to move! The realisation was 'slowly dawning': my back's gone again! I didn't want to believe it - as I'd miss my running, my training 'and my friends'.
  6. Wednesday. Welcome to my first day in hell! I kept saying to myself: I can't go through this again! I can't go through this again! I can't go through this again! But alas, my back and its slipped discs - had other ideas!

That was 21 months ago now, and it's only recently that I've felt - that I'm starting to 'put my life, back together again'. For it's a 'long hard road' to recovery, which although I've travelled it twice before (during my previous two bouts of 'multiple slipped disc injuries') - I'd still managed to forget 'one simple rule' about slipped discs/herniated discs:

It can take several days for the slipped discs to show up! It can also take several days for 'the price to pay' to appear for something you've done (whilst recovering from slipped discs). I now refer to this 'slipped disc fact' - as 'delayed reaction'.

So whatever has caused your slipped disc injury, I have something 'that may make you laugh': I am so glad that I ONLY went on that zip wire four to five times! As if I'd 'been on it' ten or more times - I find myself thinking of that scene at the end of the Haunted Mansion theme park ride (where the ghostly spectre 'wants you to go beyond') ...

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Three Slipped Disc Causes - A Zip Wire for Two!

I believe that there are three kinds of people in this World: those that have had slipped discs (like me), those that are 'going to have slipped discs' (such as heavy weight lifters) and those 'lucky few' that haven't had slipped discs (but perhaps instead 'have something else'). I fall 'very definitely' into the first category: those that have had slipped discs!

The 'coffin style' frozen food freezer 'nemesis' of my bad back and its (initial) slipped disc!
The 'coffin style' frozen food freezer 'nemesis' of my bad back and its (initial) slipped disc!

Over the past ten years, I've had three bouts of slipped discs (eight slipped discs in total) - which have been caused through the following cases 'of me being an idiot':

  1. December 2006. I had been going to the gym, and had noticed 'a few aches' in my back, after I'd been using the 'sit-down push-up' machine. I thought 'better of it' and didn't go near that again. Unfortunately, I did not 'factor in' my Nan's frozen food freezer! She had given it to my Dad - who had set it up in his garage (a few years back). But being an 'older model' it tended to 'ice up' quite a bit - especially 'all the way along the seal' between its lid and sides. At the time, I had no idea 'how to lift up properly' - and one day when the lid was 'really stuck' I just kept 'pulling on it' - whilst standing up straight 'jerking my wrists upwards'. Unfortunately, when that lid 'came free' I also felt something 'slip inside my back'. I remember thinking: that's odd (how little did I know!), feeling 'even more odd' when I went indoors - gradually 'descending into hell' (i.e. pain!) throughout that evening. It turned out, that I'd slipped a disc in my lower back (which would eventually 'turn into' three slipped discs!).
  2. Summer 2011. I'd been out at the coast with my niece and nephew, in a place called Burnham on Crouch. We'd been 'having fun' walking along the various piers 'at the sea front', having 'fish and chips' together with a walk around the local Marina. Unfortunately, a chance 'stop off' on the way back, would lead to me 'riding the zip wire' (in a local playground). The zip wire's 'snap back' caused two slipped discs in my middle back, although I didn't realise for several days (i.e. I continued 'as normal' until my back 'told me for sure' - I said 'oh dear!').
  3. Summer 2017. Exactly the same cause as my second bout of slipped discs (the zip wire again!). However 'this time' there was a different build up ... I'd been at running club 'two days before', and being one of the 'fastest in running club' (at the time) I ended up boasting 'how much fun it shall be - to go on the zip wire again' (I was trying to impress 'various people'). I'd also 'snubbed a friend' (who I still owe an apology to). I'd also managed to forget 'all about' exactly what that zip wire 'had done to me before'. I'd had it 'so good for so long' I'd even said to myself: my bad back days 'are all behind me now'. BUT I was wrong! As that zip wire 'busted me back to the rank of baby' within several days of me 'having been on it'. And who was to blame? No one but myself!

So whilst the cause of your slipped discs, will always be 'something physical' (such as 'stuck' frozen food freezer lids, 'this will be fun' zip wires, or even 'horror of horror' accidents) - the 'ultimate cause' of your slipped discs, will usually be 'a mental lapse' that sees you doing something, that you shouldn't have been doing in the first place!

For my mum said to me: You have no one to blame 'but yourself' - and she is right ...

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