Herniated disc (non kart related injury)

Anyone ever have a herniated disc and able to get back in the kart? It’s been close to a year since symptoms have arouse and have yet been able to get in the kart since. I’m sure I could it’s just the fear of easily making it worst. I finally had an mri and it shows mild herniated disc L4-L5 and moderate disc herniation L5-S1 along with pinched nerve torn annual, and facet arthropathy for both. Starting another round of pyhsio therapy. Just really wondering if anyone has experienced this and should I expect to be able to drive in the kart again or should I just sell it and find something new :frowning:

Adam- That is awful!! But sounds like things are on the up and up. When I raced as a kid my dad had messed up his back. I think each situation is going to be different. He added support where it was needed with padding to help him. He also started using a weight lifting belt to help support his lower back. Worked for a few years…then I got bad grades and my dad proved his point and sold our stuff. But that is another story. Work with your therapist on what you want to be able to do again.

Have you sat in the kart?
How does it feel?

Good luck Adam

I have sat in it once. It wasnt hard to get in but once in it was very uncomfortable as I feel like theres a contestant pressure on my left butt cheek and especially in an upright position sitting straight. I could not imagine on track bumps, bruises, and g’s being any good for it. Getting out was a bit problematic and that was literally the extent of that.

I would wait until after this round of therapy before making any decision. But adjusting seat position might help, and padding.

Not sure what class your racing in but at the least should maybe consider a slower class like 206. If that’s what your not racing already.

I do currently run lo206. My season does not start until late april/early may

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Adam, I wouldn’t sell everything quite yet. People often take for granted the physical fitness required to race karts and keep the body healthy at the same time. Physiologically speaking, karting is violent. From the standpoint of our bodies, we’re in the equivalent of a minor car accident every lap, so it’s important to prepare for that.

You mentioned a constant pressure on your left butt cheek, which tells me there could be some hip dysfunction that lead to the herniation of the discs to begin with. This would be very difficult to tell though without a full movement and fitness assessment. I would talk to your physio about what you’re trying to do and do whatever you need to to make him/her understand how violent karting really is. Show them videos. Take them to a track and have them get into a kart themselves if you need to, so they can fully understand what needs to be strengthened to get you back to racing ready.

I train drivers from karting all the way up to NASCAR Cup, IMSA DPi and LMP2 prototypes, and almost every single one has had to come back from some sort of traumatic injury at some point in their career. I myself have had a herniated disc too, and have been able to return to karting and complete 24 hour races solo, so it can be done. You just have to work on strengthening the proper areas of the body.

If you’d like to discuss further please feel free to reach out via email or direct message. I’m happy to help where possible.