Diagnosis, Treatment, and Rehabilitation of a Lumbar Herniated Disk in a Cross-Country Skier: A Case Report - Abstract
A 47-year old cross-country skier experienced continuous low back pain. It started after several years of skate skiing, an advanced technique used by cross-country skiers. It was determined that his form was less than ideal, which led to the lumbar pain. An MRI revealed a herniated disk between L3 and L4, and a bulging disk between L5 and S1. For 1 year his back was treated conservatively with core stability exercises, McKenzie extension exercises, thermal ultrasound, shortwave diathermy, TENS, massage, ice, heat, traction, epidural injections and opioid pain prescriptions. The most pain relief came from opioid medication and inversion table traction. After 1 year of using these treatments, his pain was still present. He and his physician decided to try surgery. A partial discectomy was performed to remove the herniated nucleus pulposa and take pressure off the sciatic nerve. The treatment was a success and the patient has been pain free for 12 years. He still has the bulging disk between L5 and S1, but it is asymptomatic.