Kolumne 28 | Vorsicht mit dem Rücken - Demo-Frey-Nutrition

Column 28 | Be careful with your back


Column 28 - Be careful with your back
I have been an enthusiastic SPORTREVUE reader for over 20 years, and I have been doing bodybuilding for just as long. A few weeks ago I injured my lower back. The diagnosis is: "Medial prolapse at L5/S1, but without contact with the dural sac. Overall protrusion at L4/L5 with moderate narrowing of the bilateral neuroforamina." Treatment to be carried out: Physiotherapy, sling table, electrical stimulation, tablets and injections. An operation is not planned.

Can I continue bodybuilding when I am pain-free and can do sports again, or would you advise me against it and recommend another sport? Although I find that hard to imagine at the moment, because bodybuilding is the sport that gives me the most joy! If you think I could continue bodybuilding: Which exercises should I avoid in the future, or what other exercises could I replace them with?


Andreas Frey answers
Based on the diagnosis made by the specialist, you have a herniated disc at lumbar vertebra 5 and sacral vertebra 1 as well as a protrusion at L4/L5, which is the precursor to a herniated disc.

Back muscles can prevent injuries
I suspect that you have been doing heavy basic exercises like squats, neck presses and cross raises incorrectly or incorrectly for a long time. Otherwise it is hardly possible to suffer two such "catastrophes" at once.

I can tell you one thing in advance: heavy squats should be off limits for you from now on and forever, otherwise you risk paraplegia. This disaster can happen if you do squats with 100 kilos or more, your intervertebral discs "burst" backwards and injure or even sever your spinal cord.

You should also avoid the following exercises in the acute phase after the prolapse and in the next few months (see picture on the right):

Deadlifts are effective, but also risky
Front and neck presses and deadlifts. Train your shoulders with cable lateral raises and your legs with leg presses, leg extensions and leg curls. I also advise you to perform each repetition of each exercise with 100 percent concentration. With such a significant pre-exercise, cheating would be dangerous and negligent. Reduce the weights at first so that you can concentrate optimally on the sequence of the movement and thereby achieve maximum training intensity.

After completing the prescribed treatment, I recommend that you visit a sports orthopedist and/or take training sessions with a qualified sports instructor. A sports rehabilitation trainer who has experience with bodybuilders would also be an option. Your specific case also belongs in professional hands when it comes to aftercare.

"If you don't perform heavy basic exercises such as deadlifts correctly, you risk serious back injuries." (Quote: A. Frey)
I cannot give you precise exercise instructions, as I do not know the studio you train in or your current condition. A remote diagnosis that includes various exercise examples is also hardly possible in your case, which is why you should first and foremost consult the treating specialist.

You certainly won't have to give up bodybuilding. If you follow my advice, always train safely and cleanly and follow the doctors' instructions, nothing should stand in the way of your recovery and resuming weight training. I hope I was able to help you a little and of course I wish you a speedy recovery!

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