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?