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How to treat back injury? bulging disk?

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I'm trying to treat my injury with moderate exercise, both for the back injury and to lose weight (to alleviate part of the underlying cause). The exericse is 30 minutes daily on an elliptical machine in the high cardio range, approx pulse 150 bpm. Both local MD and literature recommend exercise s therapy, but I'm experiencing a burning sensation in lower back at bulging disc, and a small increase in bilateral leg "tingles" and numbness, both symptoms hours after exercising. Pain is manageable without medication, but I very much wish to avoid aggravating the back injury. Are the burning sensations and the sciatica a warning to reduce intensity / duration of workout, or is this normal (or are the symptoms described too ambiguous or general to be relevant)? Any medical advice would be sincerely appreciated.

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replied March 21st, 2007
General Q&A Answer A2468
Burning sensations, tingling, numbness and pain can be due to the pressure that a bulging disk creates on the roots of the spinal nerves. In cases of compression like this, exercises are recommended for strengthening the vertebral muscles which can lead to symptoms relief and can slow down the process of spondylosis (vertebral degeneration) that can follow a spine injury. It seems likely that your symptoms are not due to physical therapy but, rather, to the spondylosis itself. You can consult both a neurosurgeon and an orthopedist. An MRI of the spine can help determine a precise diagnosis and directions for proper treatment.
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