Question

Asked 4 years, 8 months ago

How do I treat spinal disc fluid Loss and leg weakness?

I am 55 years old and have been a marathoner since the age of 18. I am 5’ 7”, 125 pounds, and my marathon times range from 2:26 (age 32) to 3:28 (Boston ‘04). I have had plenty of injuries—most notably, to my hamstrings—but none have been terribly serious. About two years ago I suddenly felt a decrease in power in my left leg. Sometimes mid-stride my left shoe hits my right ankle bone. My stride is heavier and slightly out of kilter. There is no pain. An MRI revealed a loss of fluid in the lowest disc in my back. A neurologist told me he believes the bulging disc has narrowed the passageway through which nerve signals travel to my left leg. What is your opinion of that analysis? Why can’t I find any other runners with this problem? If he is correct, what can I do? I would hate to resign myself to running permanently with this off-balance stride, which will limit my mileage and cause further injury.

Barry Bradley
Washington, DC

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