Is there anyone on these forums who has worked on PT with people with spinal cord injuries? I could use some advice.
I've been afraid to work out since I was diagnosed with a degenerative spinal cord disease. I was told to abstain from lifting heavy weights and doing contact sports. But frankly, I just want to say "**** it" and do it anyway. I enjoy it and I don't have forever. So is anybody else going through something similar?
Good luck with that man. Saying **** it and working through a problem like that seems fairly stupid as surely no sport and superior health is preferable to no sport due to paralysis?
I have a herniated/bulging c6/c7.....it hurts. If my doc told me to stop i definitely would.
First off - AM is right. Follow doc's orders, make sure you don't end up making a bad situation worse. Walking like a 90 year old man for the rest of your life = suck.
But before you sign up for WoW and buy some XXXXXXL sweatpants, you should talk to a sports medicine specialist and get a second opinion. Most people know dick about exercising and that goes for your typical doctor too. Do you ever remember the typical doc saying "squats are bad for your knees?" That's bullshit and maybe your original doc is also misinformed about your condition and your limitations.
It's true my doctors probably don't know much about exercise. But it is also true that the more strain I put on my body, the worse my spinal cord cyst is going to become. But it's also going to become bigger on its own over time. Even if I just sit around, it'll act up and I can't move my foot or whatever. I just don't know if I can find some low-intensity exercises to do and stick with. I'm already pretty weak.
Teh El Macho
This is something I've read a lot in other forums, so take it with a grain of salt. Walking/jogging in a pool, where the water level reaches around neck level, that's supposed to be a good exercise for people with severe back problems.
I can testify that's a good exercise. I don't know the safety of it for you, given your conditions. It is low-impact and won't be hitting your lower back as jogging on pavement would/could. You could try brisk walking in the pool (carefully) and see how it feels.
For all other activities, specially martial arts or weightlifting, be wary and take care of your back. Better to err on the side of caution.
I have a herniated C5-C6 disc. I've had it for close to 18 months now.
I've gone through every method of treatment you can think of short of surgery, and I still have residual pain in that area. It still shows up as herniated on an MRI. At one point in time, I had radiating sensations in my arms and fingertips, indicating impingement on a nerve. In fact, the orthopedist I consulted said at one point that further displacement of only a few milimeters might paralyze me.
I took 9 months off of training. I got some gear for my bike and did interval training along a lakefront trail to stay in shape, but it wasn't the same thing. I got really miserable because I wasn't doing martial arts.
Fortunately, a cortisone shot got rid of the nerve radiating, and some additional shots helped bring the pain down to a manageable level. I take an NSAIDS to help with the pain if it gets bad. I regularly do neck strengthening and neck flexibility exercises to make sure that it's both supple and flexible to avoid any further injury.
Since December, I resumed BJJ training when my orthopedist said that I should let pain be my guide for my activity, but I am still leery of getting back into boxing and kickboxing. I am happier than ever.
But what does that mean for you?
Pretty much nothing. I have a herniated disc - you have an unspecified degenerative spinal condition. Your disc could be bulging, protruding, or even dessicated (less fluid in the disk). It could be your lumbar spine, cervical spine, or elsewhere; the foramina where nerves enter your spinal column could be majorly occluded or just a little bit. A good MRI with a good radiologist & an orthopedist who specializes in spinal issues is your best bet for assessing how bad your spinal issue is.
Thanks for all the replies. I guess I should have specified earlier what I have, but I didn't think anybody would know what it was anyway. I have syringomyelia which is not treatable except through surgery, and at the moment I'm not a candidate. Also have hyperthyroidism and Crohn's disease. Working out in a pool sounds like a good idea. Seems like it wouldn't cause stress on parts of my body that don't need to be worked out. If I had a herniated disc, I think I'd be more cautious since there's a chance that it could heal if I stay inactive. But you tried that for months and it didn't work, so it sounds like you're screwed. I suppose the cortisone shot reduced inflammation which is great. You might also want to try something like Neurontin or Lyrica if ever the shot isn't enough.
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