Jump to content

My Tri Days are Over, so I'm told, but I might not listen...


Recommended Posts

Apologies to Florence and the Machine for some lyric manipulation there...

 

After visting a Physio and an Osteo to fix my hamstring problem, on Monday I visited a doctor. I was sent for an MRI and then back to the doctor - I knew things weren't looking too good when she said "you must have a very high pain threshold to run with your back in that state." She referred me to a specialist Sports Doctor, who went through each slide of the MRI with me, and identified the cause of my hamstring pain as a disc issue. I have three discs which have a 'tear' and have lost fluid (the discs look all dark and flat in the MRI), bulge out and compress the nerves. This has led to a loss of bone density (white patches on the MRI), and the doc mentioned that this will result in the vertebrae fusing together.

He detailed that my back has lost the ability to absorb shock, and he wrapped-up the consult by saying: "my job is to get active people back to doing the things they love. Unfortunately in your case, you should never run again". I sat there in complete shock! I went there with a hamstring problem, and am being told never to run again! I get back pain, but not to the extent it stops me running, not even to the extent where I feel that I even need to visit the doctor. It's not there all the time, and it doesn't stop me doing anything.

I'm not ready to stop running, and I'm not ready to stop racing triathlon! I achieved a PB racing an Ironman last week, and this week I'm being told never to run again. It's proving rather hard to take-in at the moment. My mindset at the moment is "f-it, keep going"!

Does anyone know of someone in the Sydney area who can give a second opinion on such things?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, last year, I received similar news; "you won't be able to run anymore". With some careful management and a very diligent approach to core strength, I continued on and this year also completed an Ironman PB. Doctors are conservative and I guess they can't say "sure go ahead, you'll be fine", in case you break down. I wouldn't be throwing in the towel just yet.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

OS told me 25+yrs ago to give up running & triathlon because of a disc problem....I didn't listen, had 3yrs out of the sport due to my back, kept swimming & gyming and then got a good 20+ years of racing done. Today my back is pretty good (front-half only supermans were the self-discovered answer, all the expert advice about strengthing my abs was incorrect, it was my back muscles that needed work).

 

Been out another 4yrs with knees, and getting similar advice about giving it up and taking up drawing, but making gains through my own research and instinct and now back with a little cycling & running. Again, kept swimming/gyming/boxing throughout to keep some fitness and maintain good weight.

 

Lost a massive amount of faith in mainstream medicos when it comes to joint problems (and my Old Man was one). Have learned more from mug punters who found ways to progress.

 

Having said that, losing the triathlon obsession has been healthy and timely for me. I wasn't ready to stop racing either, but you get over it. Doesn't mean you have to become a blob. In fact being forced back into the gym has been great, I'd become so weak just doing swim/bike/run.

Edited by ComfortablyNumb
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Apologies to Florence and the Machine for some lyric manipulation there...

 

After visting a Physio and an Osteo to fix my hamstring problem, on Monday I visited a doctor. I was sent for an MRI and then back to the doctor - I knew things weren't looking too good when she said "you must have a very high pain threshold to run with your back in that state." She referred me to a specialist Sports Doctor, who went through each slide of the MRI with me, and identified the cause of my hamstring pain as a disc issue. I have three discs which have a 'tear' and have lost fluid (the discs look all dark and flat in the MRI), bulge out and compress the nerves. This has led to a loss of bone density (white patches on the MRI), and the doc mentioned that this will result in the vertebrae fusing together.

 

He detailed that my back has lost the ability to absorb shock, and he wrapped-up the consult by saying: "my job is to get active people back to doing the things they love. Unfortunately in your case, you should never run again". I sat there in complete shock! I went there with a hamstring problem, and am being told never to run again! I get back pain, but not to the extent it stops me running, not even to the extent where I feel that I even need to visit the doctor. It's not there all the time, and it doesn't stop me doing anything.

 

I'm not ready to stop running, and I'm not ready to stop racing triathlon! I achieved a PB racing an Ironman last week, and this week I'm being told never to run again. It's proving rather hard to take-in at the moment. My mindset at the moment is "f-it, keep going"!

 

Does anyone know of someone in the Sydney area who can give a second opinion on such things?

 

Per what I highlighted, that's clearly an indisputable finding, but it also comes only a week after an IM event.

 

Given all that (I don't know a Doc in Sydney), upon seeking second opinion, I would wait out a period of time eg 2-3 months, so when you see the next Doc, there will be a chance of some improvement, some healing.

 

Not sure what to say, but it must have been a shock to hear that.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

http://momentumptmt.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/11109512_453171801499224_713695069922881662_n.png

 

It's not really appropriate with back pain to diagnose and predict the future based off scanning alone.

You need: thorough injury history, thorough clinical examination, and then combining these with injury findings as appropriate.

 

The MRI of your back would have likely looked similar 3 or 6 months ago before you had hamstring pain.

 

I have no idea whether you will do well or not when returning to running but it's not appropriate to prognosticate on that based only on your MRI scan

 

No help with a second opinion in Sydney sorry...

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like your a perfect candidate for a Instagram ambassador.

 

Doctors says you cant run ever again, but Tenpints ignores doctors and smashes Pb in ironman.

 

Dude you got a P5, Garmin, New rims coming your way for sure.....

Link to post
Share on other sites

Body Mechanic for physio. I have seen Dr. Mel Cusi who helped me through achilles tendon issues, Dr. Tom Cross was also mentioned as a referral. Best of luck, sounds like a tough break. I used to be a competitive chess player so that is my fall back should my body breakdown before my mind...

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

When I do another ironman I'm tagging TenPints to be my designated drinker. Not being much of a drinker of alcohol, I'd need someone to do the drinking while I do the running. Between TenPints' drinking skills and my shit running, we'd be a chance................................ Actually we'd be rubbish but fark it'd be fun.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry to hear this TP. In my experience, which is unfortunately rather extensive, these ' you can't do xxx' statements come in degrees.

 

I've completed an IM and quite a few running events after being told I 'shouldnt' run again. After I broke my back, I was told I probably wouldn't ride and run again but if I could, I wouldn't be doing any marathons.

 

I rode again, not at the level I was at before but not too bad. I ran again but didn't go long. Surgeon then said, ' you are ok to run but you won't be doing any marathons '.

 

Time went on and of course, now here I am all buggered up again due to ignoring ( or conveniently forgetting over time) the advice and tried to ' go long.'

 

So what I'm saying is, these absolute statements are not always the case but they are borne out of some truth. I'm pretty sure I could have done 'tri' for a while longer. However, a valuable lesson is to remember 'tri' does not equal Ironman, a lesson I should have heeded myself.

 

I would get another opinion for peace of mind and be prepared to adjust as necessary but that may not mean you need to throw the baby out with the bath water.

 

It's really hard to know how ' stubborn' to be in these situations.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone know of someone in the Sydney area who can give a second opinion on such things?

 

Have you considered asking an internet forum for their expert opinion... :lol:

(Sorry Stu, I had to throw that in!)

 

Mate, what a bummer. Firstly, keep your chin up and don't panic too much just yet. What Aidan says above makes a lot of sense, I'd be asking around and trying to get as much info as you can so that if you do get a second opinion you know what questions to ask etc. I know nothing about this stuff, and obviously you need to be guided by what the experts say, but I'm sure there have been a few of us on here who have been told by so called experts that we have to give up running or other activities and this information has later been proved to be incorrect.

 

In the mean time enjoy your break from running and enjoy a bit more swimming and maybe something different like MTB'ing... and of course make sure you keep up the drinking. You don't want to have to play catch up in two disciplines if you do happen to get the go ahead to resume your beer mile training!

 

Looking forward to having another beer with you soon.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Per what I highlighted, that's clearly an indisputable finding, but it also comes only a week after an IM event.

 

Given all that (I don't know a Doc in Sydney), upon seeking second opinion, I would wait out a period of time eg 2-3 months, so when you see the next Doc, there will be a chance of some improvement, some healing.

 

Not sure what to say, but it must have been a shock to hear that.

I'm not a ****ing doctor but that's what I thought straight away. Seriously inflamed. Yes there's damage there but it looks worse due to a build and a race.

 

But at the same time I say use caution. Unfortunately we only get one body, use it well but don't abuse the privilege.

Hope it works out

Link to post
Share on other sites

Apologies to Florence and the Machine for some lyric manipulation there...

 

After visting a Physio and an Osteo to fix my hamstring problem, on Monday I visited a doctor. I was sent for an MRI and then back to the doctor - I knew things weren't looking too good when she said "you must have a very high pain threshold to run with your back in that state." She referred me to a specialist Sports Doctor, who went through each slide of the MRI with me, and identified the cause of my hamstring pain as a disc issue. I have three discs which have a 'tear' and have lost fluid (the discs look all dark and flat in the MRI), bulge out and compress the nerves. This has led to a loss of bone density (white patches on the MRI), and the doc mentioned that this will result in the vertebrae fusing together.

 

He detailed that my back has lost the ability to absorb shock, and he wrapped-up the consult by saying: "my job is to get active people back to doing the things they love. Unfortunately in your case, you should never run again". I sat there in complete shock! I went there with a hamstring problem, and am being told never to run again! I get back pain, but not to the extent it stops me running, not even to the extent where I feel that I even need to visit the doctor. It's not there all the time, and it doesn't stop me doing anything.

 

I'm not ready to stop running, and I'm not ready to stop racing triathlon! I achieved a PB racing an Ironman last week, and this week I'm being told never to run again. It's proving rather hard to take-in at the moment. My mindset at the moment is "f-it, keep going"!

 

Does anyone know of someone in the Sydney area who can give a second opinion on such things?

Is the suggestion that the issue with your back is associated with running?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to hear your situation mate. Getting a couple of opinions, across different thought lines is always good. As others have said, there has to be some fact in there to warrant such a statement. Do you gamble ? Is it right ? Do you really feel OK now but could be more stuffed later ?? A lot to consider. 2nd, 3rd & 4th opinions cost, but as a tech geek you are, you know that more data points gets you to a closer result (unfortunately a smaller bank balance as well).

 

I have a bit of a problem with my back (I have bone missing from a lower disc). The specialist Doc told me that biking and swimming are god for it but I should give away the running - so I temper the length now and survive the runs in races. I did ask why this hadn't come up before as I've always had missing bone. He said that my core is so strong it has been supporting it for so long. Age is gradually catching up. So as a internet punter, the 2 bits of advice are to get more opinions and get that core as strong as you can.

 

FM

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

TP mate really feel for you, You can go around doctor shopping until you find one that tells you what you want to hear. There're opinions based on MRI scans. You will know if it feels ok to run. I agree with FP and Go easy triathlon doesn't have to equal ironman and you should give the off-road tri's some thought, trail running in hokas might be the way to reduce the strain on the discs. The xterra race at callala beach is awesome. Don't get too down and pile on the wieght over Christmas you'll really regret it next year when you start running again.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

TP mate really feel for you, You can go around doctor shopping until you find one that tells you what you want to hear. There're opinions based on MRI scans. You will know if it feels ok to run. I agree with FP and Go easy triathlon doesn't have to equal ironman and you should give the off-road tri's some thought, trail running in hokas might be the way to reduce the strain on the discs. The xterra race at callala beach is awesome. Don't get too down and pile on the wieght over Christmas you'll really regret it next year when you start running again.

 

Any other injury I would agree, So many off us are still running or hobbling on bad knees.

 

Since this is a spinal injury the consequences could be much more serious. And since TP just did an Ironman he should be shutting it down until more evidence is in. Per what the Doc has said, no running.

 

As an athlete, TP doesn't want to hear that, but right now, that's the reality. He can concentrate on resting, maybe swimming until he gets his second opinion.

 

And that's why I say wait 2-3 months. It's not yet time for a 2nd MRI, which along with a proper physical examination is going to be a key.

 

Physio or referral to a physio should be also be a Dr,, given the serious nature of the condition.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all very, very much for all the feedback. Great advice, shared experiences, suggestions and observations; definitely feel cheered-up after reading the replies. This community is fantastic!

 

The doctor simply mentioned that things would get worse if I kept running, but I kinda shut-down in my own world after I was told and lost focus, and so didn't ask any questions. I have another appointment in a month, and will be able to drill into things more, as I'll have a clearer mind. He doesn't think the situation was due to running, but due to lost of not-good-for-the-back activities when I was younger (Rugby, Judo, Parachute accident, a few climbing mishaps, and lots and lots of hills with heavy loads).

 

It seems that I have an agent lined-up for an Instagram future, and I'll definitely be putting some beer mile training in over the festive period, so I can be called-on as a "runner"...sorry..."drinker" when needed.

 

I really appreciated all the replies, they have helped massively with my mood as I've been a bit grumpy, which is out of character for me, but my boys and wifey picked up on it, so again, thank you very much!

 

Look forward to hooking-up with any of you soon - beers on the IOU!

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey TP if you want to go for an easy ride on the M7 or somewhere get in touch maybe we could have a post Christmas trannies ride to burn off excess calories

 

Sounds good mate - I'm away until just before New Year, but will look forward to that.

 

Just had a chat with iFoz as well, and he cheered me up some more - thanks fella!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Tom Cross @ Stadium. Moore Park Sydney. Nursed me through bone density issues and initial doubts I'd run again. First 4 months I was on crutches. 8 months later I did a 70.3. Mine was a leg issue plus bone. But he would know who to see if needed another / specialist.

Edited by Mjainoz
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to hear that news. That sucks. Fingers crossed that you get through it ok. I would definitely get a second opinion as many others have said. I recon your wife has paid this doctor to tell you to never race again! [emoji12]

 

Sent from my SM-G900I using Tapatalk

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey mate.

 

Good luck with it all. Sometimes the original prognosis can be a bit conservative. I've seen a few blokes up here have some major back surgery, do the right thing in rehab and come back stronger than ever. Not saying surgery is the answer, but each of those guys were told their sporting days were over.

 

Hang in there, get the best advice you can and do what you're told.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have any advice to give, other than to say keep your chin up. Must make the post-race doldrums much more extreme to get that news.

 

I'm no medical expert, but common sense would say that another opinion when your body isn't inflamed and exhausted would make sense. There is a girl at work with stress fractures in her back, who is back to running (albeit much less and much differently than she used to) so if she can do it...

 

If you really can't run again, we should start a stand up paddle board ball team. Saw it at manly wharf. I think we would dominate.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

John Wragg has set a record by completing 200 Ironmans.

 

In a newspaper article on him, he said the following:

The orthopedic surgeons, after the second surgery, said that I was never going to do another race,” he said. “They told me to go find a new sport, so I went out and found a new doctor.”
Seven years later, the 65-year-old is still competing and training daily.

 

http://toronto.ctvnews.ca/mobile/mississauga-man-overcomes-injury-to-set-triathlon-world-record-1.2700501

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

No idea about second opinions but my Tri days were over ten years ago. My body is a bit of mess ten years later but I've had a ball. You have to live, my mum was dead at 52, would hate to stop living and not have explored things to the full. I see life changing events everyday through my work so conscious that you shouldn't wrap yourself up in cotton wool.

 

Flip side is, if I get to my 90's I'm farked but figure if I get to my 90's I'll be farked anyway.

 

I figure it's like drinking, everything in moderation, thankfully I'm not small.....lol

Edited by Oompa Loompa
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't read the whole thread, only the first couple of posts. I was told the same thing as the OP about 10 years ago, for the same reason. I retired from running but did keep up the swimming and cycling, and I did pilates for a year or so before making a comeback. I'm still running.

 

Good luck OP, I hope you can get back to it too.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Scans can show what's there but not always tell the story. I had a laminectomy 11 years ago and an emergency fusion 10 years ago. At the time the Doctor suggested I become a swimmer and minimise running. He wasn't dead against it, just that I needed to be aware that the load of running was going to accelerate a degenerative problem - it was really up to me to decide how much risk I was willing to take. I'm a long term Judo player as well and it's definitely hard on the body.

 

In the intervening 10 years, I have had periods where it has been terrible and periods where it has been fantastic. I don't 'run' run any more but I still play 1st div touch footy. I'll have a light jog on the grass when my son has soccer practise.

 

About 2 years ago I was having massive problems and booked in for another surgery. My mother died a couple of days before so I cancelled the surgery. The Dr said the scans looked bad and there was significant nerve pressure. To my great surprise, about a month later my back wasn't bothering me and I've had probably the best 2 years since the surgeries - despite the MRI looking poor. I'm having a few issues now but I'm sure I've upset it by digging great holes in the yard for concrete pads.

 

Anyway, my 2c. Scans can look poor but the 'usability' might be OK. Running on a degenerating spine will accelerate the damage but only you can determine what risk is acceptable (I did an IM after surgery but would never plan on another). 80% of people over 40 have degeneration in their spine but may show no symptoms and are only diagnosed when they get a scan for something else. It can be a bitch of a thing and it does get worse with age and load. As long as you understand that I think you can make a decision on what's most important to you. I (literally) just got home after a 10 hour flight and I think it's going to take a few days to be moving normally again.

 

FWIW. I see Dr Andrew Cree at either Homebush, Crows Nest or Moore Park. As I understand it he's quite well regarded and highly involved in the various spinal associations and teaching. He's a little dry to talk to but gives a feeling of quiet confidence.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I recon your wife has paid this doctor to tell you to never race again! [emoji12]

 

I'm going to look into this Cranky - you could be onto something!

 

If you really can't run again, we should start a stand up paddle board ball team. Saw it at manly wharf. I think we would dominate.

 

I'm up for that mate - I just did the BBC survey on what sport suits my personality, it said "Combat Sports" - so paddle boarding seems just the thing :wink3:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks again for all the feedback and references - I'm feeling a bit more positive, and think I've made my mind-up over the short term based on all your kind responses. I can't just leave this sport, it's contributed to my health significantly, I love it, and it wasn't the cause of the back problems. It probably made it worse as I've upped my run training for each IM, but in saying that and after many wakeful nights going over things, my back is actually the best it's been for a long while. E.g. I can get lower on the bike, and it doesn't hurt when I get off it, even after 180Km - it always used to, even on short course.

 

The second opinion from a doc. is a given, and I'm going to:

 

1) race Husky in Feb. I've wanted to do it for some time, and the race is the day before my 45th (and hence an AG promotion). I'll stay there for the Sunday night to celebrate with my mate, so if anyone wants to join us, feel free;

 

2) try and lose more weight (after xmas). I got to about 79.8Kg for Busso, but I'm thinking if I can get lower, it's less strain on the old bones;

 

3) take-up pilates and yoga. My core strength is shocking, and I'm stiffer than an old board;

 

4) get some swim coaching, and work really hard on the bike, and cut out run training (perhaps the occasional run, with maybe short-sharp speed work). That way I'm reducing the running, and trying to compensate by reducing my swim/bike times. Running has always been my worse leg, I need to accept it will get slower, but compensate for the times on the swim/bike;

 

5) no rego for IMOZ (sobs a little), but not rule out completely rego for IMOZ 70.3 as it's at the same time (gives a hopeful smile), otherwise will volunteer for IMOZ and support all you lot out there (defo smiling);

 

6) race some Sprints down in Kurnell;

 

7) TO more, and volunteer more.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Great to hear Ten Pints.

 

Your points 2 & 3 are spot on for you plus 6 & 7 are fantastic to hear . Unfortunately #5 - the 70.3 is closed for 2016 so you may look for a later year (or if a lot of pull outs and they open again).

 

As for #1. I will be down there from Friday arvo to Monday morning so will definitely catch up. We are only about 200 metres from transition (Nealo hung out there too). This will only be my 2nd there so am very much looking forward to it.

 

I will need to also work on a lot of things beforehand, especially #2.

 

 

FM

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is more like it, worst thing you could do for your back is get fat and lazy and I'm speaking from experience.

I'm in for husky will definitely be up for a post race beverage. Maybe camping would be cool I haven't camped since I was in the boy's brigade, last year I just stayed in Nowra

Link to post
Share on other sites

well, just make sure you are comfortable with what you are doing TP and definitely get another opinion. I've just come back from my follow up appt and it looks very likely that I will need another operation to remove the devices in the back. Surgeon has sought a 2nd opinion and is seeking a third 'to be sure' but looks like the devices have done their job but now are doing more harm than good. Something about pressing on a 'facet going' ? Not exactly sure will know in a couple of weeks.

 

On the plus side, I'm allowed to ride tentatively.

 

We need to make the most of what we have, as you never know when it will disappear. I'm resigned to doing 'what I can do' but whatever that becomes, I will do it with a smile and you do as well TP :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

John Wragg has set a record by completing 200 Ironmans.

 

In a newspaper article on him, he said the following:

 

The orthopedic surgeons, after the second surgery, said that I was never going to do another race,” he said. “They told me to go find a new sport, so I went out and found a new doctor.”

Seven years later, the 65-year-old is still competing and training daily.

http://toronto.ctvnews.ca/mobile/mississauga-man-overcomes-injury-to-set-triathlon-world-record-1.2700501

Besides the guy's age, it sounds a bit like Sunnygirl [emoji4]
Link to post
Share on other sites
×
×
  • Create New...