By Todd Anthes
2018 was to be the year of the bike for me. Late last year I stopped regular running for the first time in my life. It had been a couple years since I really focused on triathlon; and I was just kind of going through the motions.
I had never biked more than three of four times a week before and was enjoying more and more the time on my mountain bike. So, after a short break at the end of 2017, it was all bike.
I changed coaches, was properly fitted on my mountain bikes and started a base training program. By the middle of February, I was having some serious sciatica pain. I figured it was just adaptation as I was biking every day.
I saw my physical therapist, massage therapist, and eventually my doctor. The pain I was experiencing when I would get out of bed in the morning and touch the floor was extricating and getting worse day by day.
I backed off the bike for awhile, and the symptoms got worse. Back to the doctor I went. After much persuasion, I agreed to an MRI. I’m glad I did, it showed a L5/S1 disc herniation/bulge. I was crushed. The year of the bike might be over before it even began.
I don’t really know what will happen at this point. A significant portion of the population has a disc protrusion, but it really isn’t an issue until it hits a nerve. And while there are a many proven non-surgical methods in which you can heal from a disc injury like mine, everybody is different.
I plan to try to rehabilitate this injury for some fall mountain bike racing, so stay tuned.