Commentary: I’ve had injuries in the past: rotator cuff impingements, knee surgery, (5 of them, 4 on the right knee), achilles tendonitis, etc. I’ve “recovered to full strength” (sort of) from these.
This back issue is different: it is chronic. (vertebrae slipped forward: neurogenic claudication caused by foraminal stenosis caused by isthmic spondylolisthesis. ) That is, chronic stress fractures in my pars (back of the spine) has caused my L5 vertebrae to slip forward, narrowing the canal (stenosis) impinging my L5 nerve root (foraminal: below the spinal cord) causing pain while walking.
In February of this year, things had gotten so bad that a .2 mile walk home caused a great deal of stabbing back pain; when I tried to walk in the fall, I managed 1, .5, .4 mile segments.
What turned it around was going to the doctor, finding out it was my back, and then doing back therapy and modifying my behavior (more later); I deleted some exercises, modified many others, etc.
And so, I am doing daily walks (sometimes 2 times a day) of 1-5 miles, sometimes fast, (10:40 mpm), most of the time medium (13-14:30 mpm), some slow (hiking, 16 minute miles for commuter walks).
I am about 22-25 miles a week; I would have found this unimaginable this February.
BUT…yeah, I have a long distance walking history (marathons and beyond).
I was referred to a surgeon and surgery was discussed; what I was eventually told was “no need for it right now; you’ll know when you need me” and:
This isn’t my doctor, but this was the message I got.
I have a chronic condition that may get better, but pain-free just is not my destiny. Not 100 percent pain free, 100 percent of the time. I need to aim for “low enough pain to be pleasant.” I have a condition to be managed, not something to be healed from.
And yes, I can tell when I need to bail from a walk; I did so last week. Basically, it is pain at the start that is uncomfortable and does not go away.
Today’s workout PT, pull ups (sets of 5 singles, couple of sets of 5, enough to get to 50 plus one negative), push ups (4 sets of 25 flat! That is good for me; focused on no radiating pain)
Deadlifts: low: 10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 228, 8 inch: 10 x 260 (felt good..all of them)
high incline: 3 sets of 10 x 94 Swiss bar, getting lower each time
bench: 2 sets of 10 x 134 legs up
Then a morning walk (2 miles), commuter walk (1 mile) Both walks were outstanding, though I was sore by 6 pm
Note: I attempted to cut from 2 naproxen two times a day, to 1, two times a day.