Back Surgery: extruded disc


So, after 15 years of long hours in front of a computer… I had neck surgery at the age of 37!
They performed a fusion in my neck, fusing 2 of my vertebra together. I thought I had a stiff neck from working so many hours in a month… nope.

Be warned! Watch your posture, work on core strength.


I have to agree on this.

I am 35 y/o, and I just received my second set of steriod shots in my spine on 4/18, due to a multitude of disc issues that despite trying 6-weeks of physical therapy, did not get better. My inability to heal properly is mostly related to being seated 9-10 hours a day, at minimum (long days go 12-16 hours, but only like once a week). I am not overweight at all (some call me “skinny”), eat healthy, do light exercise, etc.

My workspace is even “mostly” ergonomic, but apparently not enough. I have a new chair coming in a few weeks from the employer, you would not believe what it took to get that out of them. :hmm:

Anyway, yes, I agree, be sure your workspace is fully ergonomic, and don’t ignore back/neck pain until it’s too late!



A few years ago, I developed quite severe sciatica, which is somewhat unusual at such a young age. The reason I developed it was from sitting in a twisted position in my seat, working between two computers. The lesson learned was to always face the computer you’re working on directly with your whole body. You really don’t want to have to go through the months of physiotherapy and the constant pain of a condition like sciatica.


People should be aware that good ergonomics doesn’t have to mean crazy expensive chairs and desks. Just follow a reputable ergonomics plan and set your desk and chair to the proper heights. I’d guess this alone would reduce most of the ergonomic problems out there.

Sadly, ergonomics is practically considered voodoo by some employers. It sucks to have to beg this stuff out of your company, but I’ve gone so far as to bring in my own chair and ergo kb tray. I’ve also raised up very heavy desks onto 2x4s to make them more appropriate for my sitting height. Just do what you have to do to be healthy. Just because your company might not care doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.

Hope you are better soon!


This thread kind of head home. I’ve been having a lot of weird lower back probelms lately. Man, I’m too young to be having back pains lol, definitely need to watch my posture…


I actually became aware of something wrong a few years ago, I started getting serious stiff necks and shoulder pain. I went to a chiropractor for a little while but really didn’t like it. So, I took it upon myself to try to keep a good posture/ergonomic seating position at work, I did some basic yoga at home, I bought a few different ergo pillows, try to sleep on my back, did neck stretches (from the chiropractor)… resisted the urge to crack my neck.
It came and went over the years, sometimes lasted a few days and sometimes a couple of weeks. Useually it got better after a pillow switch and a few nights of sleeping flat.

Then I started noticing a tingleing sensation in my finger tips while my neck flaired up…After that, I went to a specialist, had an mri and sure enough… extruded disk. It took seveal weeks to get insurance approval and schedual the surgery. By the end, I was in seriouslly bad shape. Back in 95 I wrecked a motorcycle and had road rash all over my arms and knees, they had to scrub stones from my forearms, I had almost no skin on my left elbow… the nerve pain in my neck was so much worse! I lost all strength in my right arm, if I raised my arm up, my hand would go numb. It sucked.


Stuff like kettlebell training is very, very good for lower back strength - spine rehabilitation specialists in my country recommend it wholeheartedly. Of course it can also help to avoid these issues from the start, and I’m sure there’s a lot of other approaches.

In short, when all you do is sit at a desk, don’t be surprised if your body adapts to that and starts to weaken and give up…


Tingling fingertips are really good indicators of other problems. I had severe pain in my wrist and of course thought carpal-tunnel so I went to the doctor. He asked if my fingers hurt, I said no but my ring and pinky finger tingled. The nerves that control those fingers are the funny bone nerve that wraps around the elbow. Turns out I had a corner L-desk so I sat at an angle with my elbow resting right on the edge. The pressure there was causing the terrible pains in my wrist. Gamer injury, go figure. :smiley:


The human body simply sucks. Got to get used to it I suppose.


I am trying to find a height adjustable table so I can work both standing up and sitting down when I feel like it. Does anyone know a good place that sells those in Canada?


Hey John. I have you beat! I had the exact same neck surgery back in 2006 when I was 31! Thing is…I could never find the cause. I use to work in a wood shop with lots of heavy lifting so I attributed it to that. In fact, this made me quit my wood working career of 8 years to pursue CG full-time. Seeing this…I wonder if it was a combination of the heavy lifting and working on the computer after work. Doesn’t make sense since I only worked on the computer maybe 2-3 hrs in the evenings back then. Now, I regularly put in 8-12 sometimes more on a daily basis! :S I guess it’s still a possibility. :shrug:

Anyway, good luck on a speedy recovery! If you don’t have one already, a recliner helps during this time. I actually bought one just for that purpose. :smiley:


I can’t recommend climbing highly enough for dealing with back problems. It stretches, strengthens and has sorted any issues I once had. Kept me interested too, as I found going to the gym pretty dull.


This article has me thinking about doing the same Sheep:

I’ll be moving in July to a new house. Getting a standing-only desk is going to be one of the first things I do for the new home office.


The body is built to walk, so walk. You can get a cheap standing desk, and a cheap treadmill for under $800 together, and yes, you can model, paint, whatever while walking at 1.mph. Best investment imho, compared to how much people spend on desk trinkets…haha, and I spent a lot on trinkets in the past:wip:


Hey Jesus, how have you been man?
I remember you telling me that when we met… I was wondering about it back then and thinking had better keep an eye on it. Did you come in during December?


Really neat gizmo for avoiding the Carpal tunnel syndrome.

I had annoying wrist sensations before, after long hours of work. Then I discovered powerball and started playing with it every now and then. Haven’t had that wrist sensation in a while.


I worked with a guy 15 years ago that stood everyday… I wonder how he’s doing now?

I walk a lot. I have to walk a few miles a day between my commute to work and 2 big dogs. While I was researching my problem, I found a lot of people say just walking can really help back pain. The spine compresses and stretches as you walk.


Do you just use this while at work?


Not sure if you were posting as a joke, but walking slowly on a treadmill all day sounds completely awesome to me. I have seen these before and was always interested, but most treadmills are very bulky and noisy. If they made one that went slow and was very low profile, it would be tempting.

@Sheep - I have also always dreamed of owning one of the old electrically lifted drafting tables. They are pretty much a relic of the old drafting days, but can sometimes be found in engineering or office surplus places. I’ve seen new ones, but they tend to cost more than a car, which is ridiculous.


What brand is that desk you are using? I would really appreciate if you can post a URL for their store. The cheapest ones I could find were like $1500+ so far.