In December 2011, actually the week right before Christmas, I was training for a powerlifting competition happening that coming January. While during training, I had leaned too far forward squatting and immediately felt a lot of pain in my lower back. I was in tremendous pain for weeks. Finally, I saw my doctor and he sent me for an MRI. The MRI showed I had 2 herniated discs and my doctor said I would no longer be able to squat again.
My good friend who works at HSS recommended that I see Dr. Seth Waldman. I made an appointment and was able to see him fairly quickly. He was very friendly and helpful. He looked at my MRI and gave me his suggestion, which was to have a an Epidural Spinal Injection. He knew I was not keen of having an injection in my spine, so he spent the better part of an hour, explaining to me all the pros and cons of having this done. He put my mind at ease and my last question was, "Doc, will I be able to squat heavy again?" His answer, "Well, I can't say that you won't". Good enough for me. Although, he told me to take it easy for the first few weeks and to start coming back slowly. I said no problem. He also told me that though he deals with many athletes, I was his first powerlifting patient.
I had the procedure in January of 2012 and it went smooth. Dr. Waldman kept my mind off of what was going on by asking me to explain how competing in powerlifting works. Before I knew it, it was over and the only thing I felt the whole time, was just the needle to numb my back!
A few weeks after the procedure, I started some light squatting. After a few months, I thought about competing again. Though I knew I wouldn't be putting up any personal records, I just wanted to do it just to prove to myself I still could. I set a goal of squatting 600lbs. In November of that year, I did just that, I squatted 600, 630 and on my last attempt 660 while also deadlifting 610!! My back help up just fine!!
In July 2013, I squatted over 700lbs for the first time with a 705 squat. January of 2014, I competed again and hit 715. And just this past November I hit a 720lb squat, which is currently ranked #1 in the country in the Masters Division (40 and over), 275lb weight class. And I don't think I am done just yet....
Thank you Dr. Waldman for fixing my back and allowing me to be able to continue my powerlifting career!! All the best!!!