Annular Tear

Hi Folks,

I'm a 31 year old man with no prior back injuries.  I big into physical fitness, especially weightlifting.  About 2 weeks ago, I was in a rush to get out of the gym and used terrible form on a deadlift.  Snap, crackle, and pop in lower back.  It did not get better after 3-4 days so I went to a spine doctor.  After going through all the protocol, I was diagnosed with an annular tear in l4/l5 (I'm pretty sure that's the location in lower back). 

The pain is bearable since I have a pretty good tolerance.  The problem I'm having is stiffness.  I'm a CPA so I sit all day.  Boy does sitting feel uncomfortable.  Walking is basically the only thing that helps but after sitting for more than say 20 minutes, I cant walk upright until I walk around for awhile.  Since its hard to contact the doc, I was hoping you guys could answer a few questions:

1) I went to the gym for the first time today since it happened 3 weeks ago.  I did not perform any unassisted back exercises such as squats, deadlifts, and barbell rows.  I'm actually really scared because I'm afraid to relive that dreaded day.  What's a good indication that I can began to lift unrestricted?

2) Is it normal to have a numb feeling in the groin area?  I see that uncontrollable bladder is an emergency but its controllable, just a loss a feeling it seems.

3) Should I wait to be 100% pain free before I run, jump, heavy lifting etc?



  • LizLiz Posts: 2,269
    edited 07/23/2019 - 1:08 PM

    hello dale1657

    there are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.

    seek advice from your doctor who knows your medical history

    please click on the link for useful information Welcome to Veritas Health Forum

  • @dale1657 I have two annular tears, both of them being a grade 4. I have seen studies done that say if a tear reaches the annulas fibrosis, then it could produce pain. Honestly, I have no idea if mine contribute to my pain because I have so many other issues. This makes it hard to find the true pain generators. 

    That being said, I would definitely contact your doctor before doing any lifting. You don't want to make the tear worse. Mine were graded after a discogram, which I believe is the only way to grade a annular tear. ESI might help with your pain. Has your doctor talked to you about a treatment plan? 

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  • I had extreme pain coming from the discs I have tears in too.  Mine were found the same way. I guess I just don't know how much it contributes to my daily pain. 

  • Hey Liz Im sorry I directed my questions in that manner, I was trying to get other peoples experiences rather than medical opinions.  Sorry if it came across that way!

    Hey Jill and ITS, the Dr was crawling with people so it was a rather quick visit.  He actually didn't seem all that concerned.  He said no jiu jitsu or gym for two weeks.  I waited an extra week on top of the two to be sure.  Its definitely still painful but I've broken too many bones to count so my tolerance is up there.  Its more of an aggregation and stiffness than anything.  I'm really paranoid at the moment is all, all the crunching noises and the way it felt immediately after has me spooked!

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