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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Can I ever run again? Found out I have L5/S1 degeneration (moderate)

    I am 32 years of age, very fit and active and do something everyday. Daily activities Include: running (between 10-14 km per session, spin classes (up to 3-4 per week), weight training, walking. Most days of the week and generally just incorporate rest days as "how I feel on the day". Given I have been so active (for the past 14-15 years) I am used to feeling a little "stiff" or "sore" the next morning etc. but it usually subsides after that day or so. Within the past 6 months, I have experienced lower back pain which has progressed to the point of not sleeping. I have not experienced a specific "accident". I did an MRI, I have L5/S1 (moderate) degeneration, I am waiting to see my specialist to hear more. I understand I need to modify my "lifestyle" but will than mean running is out of the picture forever? Please let me know if you have any experience or general advise, feeling pretty down and unsure. After all this is my whole life, and I cannot imagine life without it..
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  • 3


    OsteopathyMyofascial ReleaseAcupuncture Voice Dialogue facilitator View Profile

    Hi there, you have a problem with the lower lumbar spine which is extremely common. The discs that provide cushioning to the spine can lose the ability to absorb shock with extensive loading such as running and excessive exercise. One of the best forms of therapy is yoga, under the guidance of a qualified practitioner. I would recommend Iyengar yoga as the training is very demanding with a high degree of structural knowledge. This may be an activity which you may include in your modifying routine. The yoga will help release a lot of restriction through the pelvis, sacrum lower extremities and lower back.

  • 6


    Brian Lee


    I graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2004 and have worked in various healthcare settings, including primary care, private practice and community health services, … View Profile

    I am sure you can run again, but the question is how long and how freqeunt. The first thing you need to identify is which structure was subject to this degeneration, as the degeneration in disc and joints can lead to different treatment and advice. It's important to view the actual film as different doctors/physios would use 'modeate' bit differently. There may be some treatments available, depending on the structures that cause you discomfort when run, if none of treatments work, then the next step is to look into modify your activities, that may include running style retrain, change of footwear, type of surface to run on...etc. I would suggest you see an experienced physio for proper assessment. I hope this helps 

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