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hi all,

Having a Laminectomy in a few months, smack bang in the middle of golf season :(! Had the steroid injection a couple of  months ago and unfortunately it had zero affect on my sciatic pain. Been told i will be off work for 4-6 weeks depending on how active i am. Probably wont be swinging a club until a good couple of months after i imagine.

Just wondering what are people experiences with having back surgery and returning to golf? Has anybody had a laminectomy before? What surgery did you have? how long it took to heal? when was you back playing golf?  etc etc.......

thanks in advance

Luke

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I unfortunately didn't have the surgery so can't help there but did suffer from severe sciatic pain for about a year and a half. It was brutal. I was treated with meds until I got it under control. I gradually pulled off the meds and can function well without anything now. But still not 100%.

If your pain is anywhere close to as bad as mine was... surgery is a smart decision. A couple of months away from golf is better than the agony.

Best of luck!

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You're right, the pain is brutal! I've had the pain for about 19 months now and i am beyond sick off it. Was taking pain killers everyday for a long time before i decided that its probably for the best if i just live with the pain. My consultant has said that because it has been so long without any improvement its best to have the surgery sooner rather than later as the nerves in my back may become permanently damaged!

Is there any specific excersise you did to help ease the pain?

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Where are u located?  If in USA, why not have the surgery immediately, why wait months?

I had bad sciatica too, went for therapy, etc and various inspections, including MRI (i think).  One doc told me to return for surgery when pain too great. Next doc, looking at same MRI shots, said 'it's  your call, but if in an accident, car or falling off ladder, etc, then nerve may be severed with bad consequences'.  Or let's fix it under controlled conditions, like the operating theater.  I did not like the life in wheelchair picture at all, so next week went to hosp.

Had double laminectomy, lumbar 3 and 5. Walking around next day, no real problems except doc said no sitting for more than 20 mins first week.  Lots of walking and yoga stretching. Soon, within a month, in good shape.  Golf surely in 6  weeks.

Total knee replacement much more time to recover and lasting aches.  Only result from lamins is betterment and two small scars along spine.

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I've had surgery twice on my back,the 2nd time was to take the irritating disc out and replace it with a part of my hip bone.I was back playing golf six weeks after the procedure.

I had no option but to go for surgery as the pain got to the stage where I couldn't go to the toilet.

I hope I haven't got to go through that again,touching wood.

I know a guy who's gone through it 5 times and still plays golf.

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Unfortunately here in the UK its not as easy to get surgery immediately unless you have private healthcare or its an emergency!

Ive had osteopathy, chiropractic, physiotherapy sessions with no joy. Maybe took around 8/9 months to get my MRI, then another 2 months for an app with my consultant, then another 2 months to wait for my steroid injection, then 2 months for an app to see my consultant, who wasnt there!! Waited another 3 weeks for an app with my proper consultant to discuss my options, now its a 3 month waiting list for the laminectomy! Yes i am only 23 and they didnt want to rush the treatment to quickly hoping that i would heal naturally, but the waiting lists here are an absolute joke.

Quote:
Had double laminectomy, lumbar 3 and 5. Walking around next day, no real problems except doc said no sitting for more than 20 mins first week.  Lots of walking and yoga stretching. Soon, within a month, in good shape.  Golf surely in 6  weeks.
Total knee replacement much more time to recover and lasting aches.  Only result from lamins is betterment and two small scars along spine.

Has your back been fine ever since your operation then? no pain or anything? whats your flexibilty like compared  to before your operation?

I havent been able to straighten my left leg without pain since i had the pain, i assume this will still be the case as my disc will still be in the same place and its only my bone they are removing?

thanks for the replies guys

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Well, no problems for me regarding flex and no other thoughts about it.  Since i'm a  long time yoga guy it's pretty easy to twist about and that has not changed.  The laminectomy surgery, from what i know, exposes the spine and nerves, then the doc scrapes away some of the 'hole' (the lamina) so that the big sciatic nerve has more room and does not get pinched.  I believe it's the pinched nerve that is the problem so making the confining hole larger helps a lot.

I was 65 yrs at the time and a bit surprised at your young age needing the same surgery. Presumably your bones are finished growing, so despite the pain perhaps the delay is good.  Hope it goes well for you.  Sorry to read about the NHS in UK.

Did you injure your back, even as a boy?  Any idea why this is happening to you?

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thats good to hear that your flexibility wasnt affected. I really need to start practicing yoga, I've only heard good things about it. Is there any specific moves that you suggest would be beneficial, before or after the surgery? Yes thats exactly how my consultant described it, hopefully with time and less pain the disc will heal and somewhat go back to its original position.

I assume my bones have finished growing, i have been the same height since i was 19 ish i think. Yeah possibly. off course it would of been a disaster to have surgery straight away at such a young age without knowing how its going to heal but over 18 months is a long time to be in such pain.

Well, a bad back runs on my dads side of the family, my dad, brother, grandma etc all suffer with bad backs but i am the first to have the bulging disc issue. The injury resulted from incorrect form during a warm-up set of dead-lifts. At the time i was maybe pushing 150 kg for 6-8 reps, me and my friend were warming up with 60kg on the bar, picked it up thinking it was nothing and snap! felt it go straight away and that was me done for the gym session. As i had previously had back muscle strains and aches i thought it was just something similar and didn't realise the true extent of the injury until my buttock started aching maybe a month later.

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Good luck ... as I read this my lower back is killing me ... had to cancel my tee time on Saturday ... oh well back to the laying down and ice ... Anyone have advice on how to strengthen the core to help the lower back?
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Good luck ... as I read this my lower back is killing me ... had to cancel my tee time on Saturday ... oh well back to the laying down and ice ...

Anyone have advice on how to strengthen the core to help the lower back?

Swiss ball: Crunches, side crunches, back extensions. The thing about the Swiss ball is that your spine is supported the entire time.

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Full depth back squats + deadlifts.  Sit ups, cruches, and all other manner of "core" exercises are no comparison to these exercises when it comes to developing core strength and stability.  No contest.

After chronic back pain originating from bulging discs at L4 and L5 suffered from rowing in college in 1986, I did not have a pain free day until 2010.  As a result, in 2006 I sold my club membership and stopped playing golf.

In 2009 I started back squatting and deadlifting, with a linear progression, gradually increasing weight each session.  It was a rough first year, but within 18 month, I was a completely different person.   I started squatting with 95# (the bar plus 25# weights) and added 10# per session with squats.

I can play all I want now, no pain whatsoever, to the extent that I just joined another club.

I try to scream this from the roof tops, but either folks don't want to believe me, or are afraid of hard work.

If you low bar back squat to full depth, by the way, you get an excellent dynamic hamstring stretch with every rep.  No need for further stretching. If you go past parallel, you also shift the load from the quads to the hamstrings, taking strain off the knee, while developing musculature to protect the knee.  If you stop at or above parallel, you create shearing forces on the knee.  Anyone who tells you to squat at or above parallel is foolish.

Good luck. Just make sure to find someone to coach you on these lifts who knows what the heck he/she is talking about.  The average globo gym trainer is clueless and will try to get you squatting with a ***** pad on a smith machine. Run.

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Here's my story. Had that double laminectomy (L3-4) and was back playing in roughly 2 to 3 months. I did not want to rush anything. But now here's the kicker. All my golfing life I always played a controlled fade. I tried to attempt to learn a draw, but to no avail. Since the surgery, all I can play is a draw, which sometimes turns into the every favorite snipe hook. I think I know why this transition happened and that's because my subconscious wants to make sure I don't hurt the back again. I've attempted to make the same swing I did with the fade, but the back just won't take it. Now this may not happen to you and you may already play a draw, but if not, don't be surprised if you develop one.

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Originally Posted by tdiii View Post

Full depth back squats + deadlifts.  Sit ups, cruches, and all other manner of "core" exercises are no comparison to these exercises when it comes to developing core strength and stability.  No contest.

After chronic back pain originating from bulging discs at L4 and L5 suffered from rowing in college in 1986, I did not have a pain free day until 2010.  As a result, in 2006 I sold my club membership and stopped playing golf.

In 2009 I started back squatting and deadlifting, with a linear progression, gradually increasing weight each session.  It was a rough first year, but within 18 month, I was a completely different person.   I started squatting with 95# (the bar plus 25# weights) and added 10# per session with squats.

I strongly agree that squats and deadlifts are the best core exercises by far, when performed correctly (not in my case). However, my consultant told me to stay clear of them during my recovery and that i should stick to machines if possible. I have tried deadlifts this last year with a really low weight, but it actually hurts my back just picking it off the floor, once im in the set its fine. Been slacking with the gym lately, and i feel like my back is in more pain compared to a few months ago. Sat at my desk at work is where i get the most discomfort, can never find a position where it doesnt hurt. Anyone got any tips for sitting in a chair for prolonged periods of time? colleagues must think im weird the amount of times i go to the bathroom to stretch my legs haha!

@ tdiii did you have any surgery then to help with your buldging discs?

Quote:
Here's my story. Had that double laminectomy (L3-4) and was back playing in roughly 2 to 3 months. I did not want to rush anything. But now here's the kicker. All my golfing life I always played a controlled fade. I tried to attempt to learn a draw, but to no avail. Since the surgery, all I can play is a draw, which sometimes turns into the every favorite snipe hook. I think I know why this transition happened and that's because my subconscious wants to make sure I don't hurt the back again. I've attempted to make the same swing I did with the fade, but the back just won't take it. Now this may not happen to you and you may already play a draw, but if not, don't be surprised if you develop one.

I play a controlled fade (sometimes uncontrolled) at the minute, i would love it if after surgery i develop a nice controlled push draw. Have tried to change my shot shape this past off season but i gave up when i started to play again and i couldnt predict where my miss was going to be with my inconsistent swing. Just feels more natural to me to hit the fade so have stuck with it.

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Well, here's my 2 cents after having had two surgeries, three months apart, four years ago.

Life is long. Golf is not going to go away. Spend as much time as you can healing, because you only get one chance to do that right.

Confine your golf to chipping and putting for a while. I went out on the course with my buddies and took just a sand wedge and a putter for a few months. I didn't play a shot from farther off the green than ten yards.

Don't swing a club until after AT LEAST six months following your surgery. Twisting your back too soon after surgery can be hazardous. See a teaching pro to learn how to modify your swing so it puts less stress on your lumbar spine.

Return to full flexibility first, then start strengthening your back and core. There are safer ways to strengthen yourself under these new conditions than by lifting weights.

This is much more conservative advice than you see above. Use your best judgement.

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@tdiii did you have any surgery then to help with your buldging discs?

No surgery.  A few cortisone shots over the years, but they never provided much relief.  I was "lucky" to not suffer from terrible sciatica (not to say I haven't had a few bouts), although I had crippling back pain -- so bad that at one point my now ex-wife had to call the paramedics to get me out of the house.  After being unable to return to the bedroom after going to the bathroom in the middle of the night, I slept on the bathroom floor.  In the morning, the MD told me to get to the hospital -- the paramedics couldn't even roll me into the backboard until they hit me with a couple of morphine injections.  Fun times.

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Well, here's my 2 cents after having had two surgeries, three months apart, four years ago.

Life is long. Golf is not going to go away. Spend as much time as you can healing, because you only get one chance to do that right.

Confine your golf to chipping and putting for a while. I went out on the course with my buddies and took just a sand wedge and a putter for a few months. I didn't play a shot from farther off the green than ten yards.

Don't swing a club until after AT LEAST six months following your surgery. Twisting your back too soon after surgery can be hazardous. See a teaching pro to learn how to modify your swing so it puts less stress on your lumbar spine.

Return to full flexibility first, then start strengthening your back and core. There are safer ways to strengthen yourself under these new conditions than by lifting weights.

This is much more conservative advice than you see above. Use your best judgement.


All great advice.  I'd only say that strengthening yourself with weights is very safe provided you use good form, start very (scratch that:  start very, very) light, and progress gradually and incrementally.

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I like yoga for nearly every body strength and flexy need.  Sure, machines and dead weights may be OK, swimming and hiking the mountains, jogging in the park or city streets, all may be OK when you have the ocean or pool, or mountain or park, or gym nearby.  Join the health club, sure no problem but surveys show damn few make full use after one year.  Every one of those techniques which may develop your body depends on externals: jogging needs good shoes, rainware: machines and lifting needs a gym in your basement (like TWoods and others).  Well, the point here is,IMO, that the fewer gadgets, devices, costs etc between you and your health, the better.

I travel light, me and my yoga mat.  My core: stand on my head for 10 mins, do the boat pose for 1 minute, do the locust pose for 30 seconds and finally do a 10 second wheel pose.  And yes, try this at home. Don't get hurt, get smart and strong.

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Thanks for all the advice and experiences guys, its good knowing that people have been through similar injuries and recovered well.

Quote:

Well, here's my 2 cents after having had two surgeries, three months apart, four years ago.

Life is long. Golf is not going to go away. Spend as much time as you can healing, because you only get one chance to do that right.

Don't get me wrong when I said that my operation was in the middle of golf season, i would quite happily give golf up for any reasonable length of time if it meant my back would heal correctly. In fact, one of the reasons i took it up was because my doctor advised me not to play more physical sports which applied more compression to the spine.

Quote:

I like yoga for nearly every body strength and flexy need.  Sure, machines and dead weights may be OK, swimming and hiking the mountains, jogging in the park or city streets, all may be OK when you have the ocean or pool, or mountain or park, or gym nearby.  Join the health club, sure no problem but surveys show damn few make full use after one year.  Every one of those techniques which may develop your body depends on externals: jogging needs good shoes, rainware: machines and lifting needs a gym in your basement (like TWoods and others).  Well, the point here is,IMO, that the fewer gadgets, devices, costs etc between you and your health, the better.

I travel light, me and my yoga mat.  My core: stand on my head for 10 mins, do the boat pose for 1 minute, do the locust pose for 30 seconds and finally do a 10 second wheel pose.  And yes, try this at home. Don't get hurt, get smart and strong.

Thanks for the yoga tips, i will give these a try. Well i will attempt to stand on my head, i assume this move allows decompression to occur within the spine.

It was a quiet day in the office yesterday and i spent a lot of the day surfing the web for new info and tips for dealing with my disc issue. I stumbled accross a spinal forum and it mentioned Inversion therapy for dealing with back pain, I did a lot of research on the what it is, how it helps, who it helps etc and took the plunge and ordered an inversion table. Only cost me £85 with next day delivery, so will give it a test when i get home. Heres a link to a vid for a quick explanation of what they are : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLs_cYdwAWo

On most of the forums, articles and youtube comments i have read they seem to get excellent reviews and have certainly helped alot of people. Will stick at it, only talking minutes per session a couple of times a day, until my operation. Anybody used these before?

I also realised that i have been quite lazy these last few months when it comes to my stretching routines. When i got home , i dug out the foam roller and used it for approx 10 minutes. this morning when i woke up was a definate improvement from yesterday in regards to my leg pain.

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