anyone have experience with ruptured discs?

dok

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I'm curious as to whether any of yall have experience with ruptured discs (neck / C-spine). Apparently I have two, which caused a pinched nerve and a whole lot of stiffness and pain.

i think it started when someone used the can-opener on me (maybe my 2nd grappling class) and I kept training though my neck was beginning to feel sore.

I've missed a week of training, and the doc says to abstain until he says otherwise. He didnt give a specific timetable, so I'm posting here mostly out of curiosity. I've had an MRI done and he didnt seem particularly worried. Starting on steroids today.

If any of you have had any experience with ruptured discs - how long were you out of training? How slow did you have to take it once you trained again? Did you begin incorporating any special neck-warmups or precautions? When sparring? When grappling?

Any advice on how I can avoid this in the future would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

Xue Sheng

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Not neck, lower back, I was out of training for about 1 year, but never returned to TKD where I was before it happened. First I just did general exercise and later I returned to Tai Chi but did get into Xingyi, Bagua and a touch of Shaolin about 1 to 1.5 years after that.

Now, 20 years later, still in Tai Chi, still train some Xingyi and just started Sanda

Sorry I could not give you better news.

My advice and I cannot stress this enough when you are talking ruptured disks...Listen to the doctor.
 

exile

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My advice and I cannot stress this enough when you are talking ruptured disks...Listen to the doctor.

Ditto what XS is telling you. I've never had a ruptured disk myself... but that's probably only because my mother, her brother and her cousin have all had them and it's become pretty clear we have some bad genetic baggage on that side that takes us in that direction, so I've been ultra careful in my weight training, MA training and general approach to life to avoid it. Because what all of my relatives have found from their experience with these back horrors is that once you've had a slipped or ruptured disk, you have to be very, very careful not to do anything at all that gets your weight out of ideal alignment down your vertebral column. No more leaning over to pick stuff up, no suddent unbalanced twistings, no extreme angles while reaching for something, even. It's about the worst aspect of our skeletal design from an engineering point of view, but there it is. You have to take your MD's cautions very seriously, because a repeat performance could be really bad, a disaster.

It might be that you can help yourself here, though. If I were you, I'd talk to a licensed physiotherapist with a back specialization---physios now are highly specialized---and ask them if there is some kind of back-support garment, like those things you somethimes see people training with that wrap round a knee or a hand, something to give you some added support back there. Your doctor might be able to suggest something along those lines as well. You really need to not do anything more than s/he tells you you can do, but you might up the odds in your favor if in addition, you see what kind of back support devices are out there that won't interfere with your training. Just a thought---good luck with this!
 
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dok

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thanks both.
I'm in a bit of a funk at bein unable to train for 2 weeks... needless to say 1 year without training is not a very uplifting thought.

my ruptured disc is in the c-spine (neck) - not sure if that makes a difference or not. Would a back-support device still be worthwhile?

I currently train krav maga and BJJ... especially the latter is rough on the neck and I really do want to keep on training it. Gah. hehe

well, thanks for both your answers, hope to hear more about how to keep on training through this - if at all possible.
 

exile

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Dok---necks are really important to look after. But talk to your MD about it, and make sure s/he knows about what and how you train. Things may work out better than you fear. Every injury is different. I had a horrible weightlifting accident a couple of years ago, wound up with a ripped up rotator cuff, full-thickness tears in my deltoids, and a fractured shoulder bone---on my right side, yet! I was doing TKD four months later (w/o surgery) and after six months of physio was back lifting heavy. It could have been way worse, but it wasn't. You may well be lucky in this. Just give yourself the chance to heal a bit and get every last ounce of information from your doctor about your injury, how you're healing up, and so on. It's way too early in the game to get seriously discouraged, you know? Keep us posted on how it plays out; we're all hoping hard that you heal up quickly and can get back into the game soon.
 

FieldDiscipline

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My wife has slipped two discs in her lumbar spine and ruptured one of them. Over a year ago now and she's in a right mess. Physio hasnt worked and we can now see no other option but surgery. Very frightening.
 

Xue Sheng

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Dok

Please don't mess around with a neck injury such as yours. There are some pretty serious nerves running through it. I know what it is liked to be unable to train, actually I know what it is like to be unable to get off the floor and walk, crawling was what I had to do. I also know what it is like to say hey, I feel better so I think I'll go train and then end up on the floor again. It is very difficult to not train when you SOOOOOO very much want to and feel you need to but as it was put to me I had 2 choices, listen to the doc, l go to physical therapy and recover or not listen to the doc continue trying to train and possibly no be able to ever train again, unless of course I wanted surgery, and some how I just didn't see how a fused spine in my lower back would help my flexibility.


I cannot stress this enough please listen to your doctor.
 

Colin_Linz

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I've had ruptured discs, smashed discs and crushed vertebrae. All these were in the lumber region, L1 through to L5, so my comments should be viewed from this perspective.

Prolapsed discs will heal to an extent. What happens is the gel inside the disc ruptures the wall and protrudes out. Over time the wall will reform but it never will be as strong.

What I learned over the various spinal injuries I have received is that Doctors are good at fixing stuff that they can treat with surgery our medication, they don't appear to be well equipped when dealing with understanding how everything works and what else can be done in the way of other treatments. I've had mixed results with physiotherapists, the most productive treatment I've had was after spinal surgery by a phisio. It took me a long time to find a phiso that really new his stuff though. Most knew that I should be training the Transverse Abdominus, the problem stemmed from them not being able to teach me the correct way to do this or not seeing that I was doing it incorrectly.

In short, the Surgeon removed my smashed disc, trimmed the prolapsed one and treated the crushed vertebrae that I did in a separate incident 12 months latter. The phisio was the guy that managed to get me to a level where I functioned much better and could start training again. My advice, see a Doctor and sort things out from his perspective then find a good phisio that specialises with spinal injuries or sporting injuries that can help you improve the stability of the injured area.
 

Xue Sheng

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You! Cheers Colin that is helpful.

About 90 to 95%, I still have the occasional day of (you better be careful) back pain.

Exercise, learning to listen to what my body is trying to tell me (this is the important one to learn) and acupuncture is what got me back to here, but it took awhile and there were a few stops along the way.
 
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