The first week post-injury was also fairly difficult. The first couple of days were focused on helping the disc settle down as much as we could. To achieve this, I wasn’t able to flex my spine at all (i.e. no sitting down), and couldn’t do any real exercise. I was able to do some very slight rehabilitation exercises, with the focus being at regaining control of the muscles in and around my core I also managed to get hold of some prescription painkillers which helped it all settle down.
Three days post-injury I went for an MRI scan, and I got the results the next day. The injury was diagnosed as a disc protrusion between the L4 and L5 vertebrae. This was the sight of my existing protrusion – however, it had got significantly worse. I was given a time frame of around 8-10 weeks until I was back to full fitness. Immediately, I formulated a goal to beat that timescale, and to facilitate this goal I entered myself in a competition nine weeks down the line.
The rest of the week was just treatment to get rid of the spasm, and rehabilitation exercises four times per day. Finally, at the end of the week, I had an epidural injection to settle down some of the spasm that myself and the physiotherapists couldn’t get rid of. For those of you that don’t know, an epidural is an injection into the dura that runs alongside the spinal column. It’s certainly an interesting experience, but it did really help settle down the muscle spasm, and I awoke the next day feeling much better.