Axiom: the longer your life, the more friends and loved ones will suffer from ailments of various kinds, and yes, die. I’ve lost 3 good running friends from 2008-2015 or so (all I ran with, all who could beat me) and now another one has lung cancer. I don’t know the stage (discovered by biopsy) but even best case is 70 percent survival rate in 5 years; worst is 5 percent.
My bestie also had cancer, but hers is “the best cancer to have if you must have cancer.” I took her to her biopsy.
My wife is recovering from hand/wrist surgery (should restore functionality of her hand) but, well, only 11 days out and yes, there is still pain.
My back issues: not functional; I can manage my chronic conditions (knee, shoulder , back) by not being stupid.
But, well, here is a vow to make time for friends and to enjoy them while we still have each other.
What happened: in June-July 2020, I started to get glute pain upon walking…it became more and more severe until even 2 miles was enough to bring it on. Weight lifting: it did not appear during workouts, though I grew to understand that certain exercise (heavy deadlifts, arching while bench pressing, arching while shoulder pressing) brought on the referred pain AFTER the fact…not during.
I also had foot tingles/leg tingles at night; sometimes extensive.
As you can see, I am quite bent forward when I walk; I think it was my body’s attempt to take pressure off.
I sought out PT for it in summer of 2021…fall of 2021..even walking from my car to a game was painful. I tried resting from all walking, this stretch, that stretch.
Well, I’ve had this spondylolisthesis for many years; it was first noticed in ..yes, 1978 (summer). I have a pars defect (fracture of the pars; aka spondylolysis) which lead to the L5 vertebra slipping forward, ahead of S1 (top of your tailbone). I’ve had episodes for some time, most lately in 2006, 2011, 2013, 2016 and this time, conservative treatment could not quite clear it up.
Update: I just looked at my records online; in addition to my spondylolisthesis (due to pars defect) I have lumbar spinal stenosis (due to the nerve root impingement) which causes neurogenic claudication. (heaviness and pain in the leg due to the nerve root being impinged
My S1 is tilted forward and the L5 slides down, even when standing straight (shear force).
This leads to a lack of space for my L5 nerve root, hence foot tingles, sometimes shin tingles, and glute pain on my left side at about .8-1.5 miles of walking (warmed up); .4-.6 miles of walking (no warm up).
PT has helped and strengthening my glutes and core has helped. But not enough.
So, after meeting with the non-surgery back doctor, he referred me to a surgeon.
The surgeon explained that the definitive treatment would be spinal fusion, but that while the operation would probably relieve the symptoms, it would probably lead to different problems down the road and start me on the road to more surgery.
So…epidural steroidal injections have a decent success rate and possibly stop the cycle of irritation.
Swiss bar bench: 10 x 134, 4 x 156, 6 x 145, 6 x 145
curls: 3 sets of 10 x 50
trap bar deads (all low) 10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 184 (being “squatty”)
Felt good afterward.
Today: ok…walking has been rough this week; it seems as if symptoms come on about 1.3-1.4 miles; to be honest, whether I make it to 2 depends on if I can get the right degree of ab tightening and do some mini back stretches on the fly. Yes, this is better than the old 0.8 miles but …adding .5-.6 miles in a month’s time? Gads.
I wonder if it is past time to put the ego on hold and just stop when symptoms appear.
More grind; another 2 hour workout where most of the time was spent on physical therapy with a lot of shoulder squeezes.
Note: the shoulder feels…pretty darned good. And..I did NOT do the crawl yesterday. I am sensing a pattern…I need to wait for the shoulder PT to kick in, and then introduce crawl back oh-so-slowly, and stick with fins, side, back and breast ..for a very long time.
Getting older sucks. My issue here: OS acromiale. In my case, the bones in the top of my shoulder never fused together properly and there is a tendency for the acromiale to tilt forward and impinge my rotator cuff.
Yes, there was a lot of back PT too; most of it was that. Root nerve impingement (L5-S1); mostly it affects walking.
The actual exercises: 40 singles pull up, 10 singles chin ups, 2 sets of 5 wide.
Push ups: this time, 5 sets of 20 working on keeping the elbows further in. 1 incline, 1 decline, 1 deficit, 2 regular.
Bench presses (Swiss bar) 3 sets of 10 x 135 (focus on squeezing the shoulder blades and not hunching my shoulders)
One armed rows: 3 sets of 10 slow.. Curls: 3 sets of 10
deadlifts: 10 x 134 low, 10 x 184 low, 10 x 235 4 inch..all felt GREAT.
2009 (5) (50 total) McNaughton 100 miler (47:45; staged, walk) (brutal conditions; the drop out rate was astounding: 74 started the 100 and 27 finished; 47 started the 150 and 27 made it to 100 (including the 12 who finished all 150); in total 54 out of 121 starters made it to 100 miles and I was one of these) Rockford Marathon 5:14 (walk) FANS 24 hour 66 miles (walk) Mulshoe 44 (DNF, ran out of time at mile 29) walk Quad Cities Marathon 5:28 (walk) McNot-aGain 30 mile 8:55 (walk) (fought through injuries for these last two; almost no training was possible)
Getting ready for a baseball game. I got a back friendly workout in…well, maybe. I have to evaluate walking when I deadlift (high handle) and what I do on the incline press: if I strain, even a little, on the incline or shoulder press I get some “lumbar referral” sensation.
LOTS of PT; a lot of it with extras, and extra rotator cuff. pull ups: 10, 10, 15, 10, 10, then 7 chins, 5 wide with PT rests push ups: 40 sissy, 30 feet elevated, 20 deficit, 10 regular incline presses: (not high incline) 10 x 88, 10 x 110, 10 x 121 (felt the strain on set 3..very mild)
deadlifts: low: 10 x 134, 10 x 184 (ok), 4 inch: 10 x 224, 8 inch 10 x 260 these felt ok; I did work the upper glute but didn’t get thigh quivering.
1.4 mile walk to finish; I was ready to stop when I did..pain free to 1.1 then slight
I am trying not to be a drama queen, and trying not to live in the wreckage of the future, but it looks as if my sports era will come to an end very soon.
No, I am not going to sell my equipment; I plan on using it as long as it benefits my health and doesn’t harm it. And I will probably have to order a new set of bands as I broke my second one today. And I’ll be looking for new goggles and swim suits as swimming seems to be doing ok.
BUT: so much of my life, I wanted to either run faster, run longer, lift heavier, do more reps, etc. But now I need to focus on what is good for my health, and that means being risk adverse in my training and *always* leaving something in the tank.
I get my MRI tomorrow AND see my primary care doctor for my prostate and hopefully, finally some answers. What lies in store I do not know.
My guess: a benign enlarged prostate (which might contribute to the “swollen” feeling I sometimes get in my left pelvic/glute area) and some sort of bulging disk impinging on a nerve affecting my left side. (L-5?)
But it could be anything from piriformis/gluteus medius strain/tear, to broken pieces of disk, to prostate cancer, spinal tumor, etc.
The physical therapist says it isn’t spinal stenosis as my McKenzie press ups are way too high.
My symptoms: left leg, tingles down the side, full feeling when I do something like banded walks, some discomfort upon standing still for too long and walking: onset of glute pain after 15-20 minutes if I am stretched and warmed up, 5-10 minutes if I am not. Tingles in the left lower leg/foot at night if I don’t stretch first..knees bent is more comfortable.