My advise is simply keep fit! Go to gym and do strength training it really helped me a lot (I still do it twice a week).
THIS! My story is a bit different. I was very overweight in my early years which took a toll on my body, finally got in shape (thanks to triathlon.) But... 6 years ago I ended up with a Staph infection that got in my bloodstream and attacked by body. My spine took the brunt of it and my lower discs were massively infected and being destroyed. Ambulance ride to the ER and Intensive care for 24 hours followed by 8 days in the hospital left me unable to walk or support my own weight. Excruciating pain in my spine if I attempted to move. I had completed three 70.3s in the 6 weeks prior to ending up like this so I was in good physical condition when it happened and now I can't move. Doctors basically said it was my fitness that saved my life and stopped things from being much worse. The road back was not easy, a month later I was using one of those walkers with 4 legs to get around while having an IV machine with antibiotics trickling into my arm as my 24 hour companion for 3 months. I had to use strong pain meds for a bit but thankfully got off of them as quick as possible. I have an amazing sports medicine doc who is an Kona finisher and understands the human body and he was key to helping me get through everything. I had a few MRIs while in recovery and I had a spine doc tell me my spine was shot and I needed surgery but I had heard from multiple people that the disc replacement stuff just doesn't really work. I had my sports med doc who is a spine specialist confirm my spine was not looking great, just not much left on a few of my lower discs but I was determined to not let this be the end racing or being healthy/fit (which is often what happens with spine issues... things go down hill fast.) I flew down to IMAZ and volunteered and signed up for the following year with my IV machine still with me (it was quite the sight.. i'm handing out water at an aid station with an IV in my arm and a machine around my chest.) Anyway.. I started training slow.. The bike on the trainer in aero was great because it stabilized my spine but running was a challenge.. I remember the first 1 mile run which was very wobbly and felt impossible. I made it back and went 10:45ish at AZ that year but I continued to learn about my spine issues over the following years. I had a tendency to stop training completely in the offseason and a few months into it I would end up on the ground unable to move in severe back pain (to the point where I once needed the walker again to get around.. I was a mess.) I realized I had zero back issues while I trained and trashed by body through crazy long workouts and intense weeks and no issues after a long grueling races. The only time my back is an issue is if I stop training and being active. So now (at 44yo) I train and race year around and have had zero issues with my spine. My xrays and MRIs are still freighting to look at but at the end of the day everything is working and it seems the absolute best thing for me is to keep training. I do know how excruciating the pain can be but I truly do think that movement and strengthening everything around the spine is the best thing. I wish you the best of luck finding something that works.
Coached by tricoachjill