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    Re: Disc Degeneration in Neck

    I've been fighting neck problems which have gotten incredibly worse over the last year since starting BJJ. Heat/Cold application, aspirin, plenty of rest doesn't seem to help much, so I went to a specialist (neurologist) who had an MRI done of my neck.

    There are discs in the spine, in between the vertebrae. They are rings of cartilage with jellylike substance. In three rings in my neck, according to the specialist, the jelly has dried up, and the rings are moving and causing pain. I am in no immediate danger of paralysis, and the doc says that he sees many martial arts people with this condition, though most of them are over 40 (hence this is abnormal for my 22 yr old self). I have been given anti inflammatory medicine and also will probably start physical therapy. But I have to modify my training to make it easier on my neck.

    So my two questions are:
    1.) Do any of you have this problem, known as degenerative disc condition (http://www.medicinenet.com/degenerat...c/article.htm), and what are other ways you deal with it other than rest, medicine, and physical therapy?

    2.) How should I modify my training? I was thinking about cutting back free rolling in BJJ to maybe one night a week and using the rest of the practices to drill instead of roll. But then is that even worth it to keep continuing, if I'm not able to free roll anymore?

    #2
    Is it affecting your arms yet?

    Comment


      #3
      I have a compressed disk from judo when I was a teen. I'm 45 now. Starting around age 35 I started have pains in my shoulder. This went on for years and I trained through it. It got worse and I started loosing feeling and strength in my arm. I had to have surgery to get the pressure off the nerve. The strength came back, but there is still some pain. For the pain I take BC powder. It is good if your stomach can handle it. It had ibuprophen, caffeine, and aspirin. I just pour it on my tongue and wash it back with water. It works pretty good.

      Now as for training. I cut out pretty much all ground training. I was bridging and all that other crap and I totally quit it.

      Now folks don't get your panties in a wad, and I know that BJJ is the MA De jour, but if you have a fucked up neck you may have to do something different.

      Do you plan on still being active in MA when you are say my age? If so you may have to make a change. Also I know that for some one young having already put 2-4 years into something seems like a long time, but it is not. No knowledge is wasted.

      Now they can fuse your bones together with spacers and that might help. My surgeon has a couple of San Antonio Spurs who are playing today that he has done that to.

      So keep and open mind. Be flexible. And look into your options.
      Last edited by Rhamma; 3/29/2006 12:47pm, .

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        #4
        Thanks for the input Ramma.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by EternalRage
          I've been fighting neck problems which have gotten incredibly worse over the last year since starting BJJ. Heat/Cold application, aspirin, plenty of rest doesn't seem to help much, so I went to a specialist (neurologist) who had an MRI done of my neck.

          There are discs in the spine, in between the vertebrae. They are rings of cartilage with jellylike substance. In three rings in my neck, according to the specialist, the jelly has dried up, and the rings are moving and causing pain. I am in no immediate danger of paralysis, and the doc says that he sees many martial arts people with this condition, though most of them are over 40 (hence this is abnormal for my 22 yr old self). I have been given anti inflammatory medicine and also will probably start physical therapy. But I have to modify my training to make it easier on my neck.

          So my two questions are:
          1.) Do any of you have this problem, known as degenerative disc condition (http://www.medicinenet.com/degenerat...c/article.htm), and what are other ways you deal with it other than rest, medicine, and physical therapy?

          2.) How should I modify my training? I was thinking about cutting back free rolling in BJJ to maybe one night a week and using the rest of the practices to drill instead of roll. But then is that even worth it to keep continuing, if I'm not able to free roll anymore?
          I was recently diagnosed with three disc herniations (one of which ruptured), two of the three impinge on the vertebral space and pinch the nerves at C4-5 and 6-7. The result of the nerve pinch is redicular pain that shoots down through my tricep, bicep, forearm, hand, index and middle fingers.

          EVERYPERSON has some form of what Orthopedic docs term "disc degenerative disease". The disease itself is a simple product of aging and gets quickly exacerbated in athletes due to the continued stress of that area of the body.

          Typically, a disc herniation is treated in three phases depending on your Ortho doc. A conservative approach is typically to start on a medicinal trial (pain killers, anti-inflammatory meds, and maybe muscle relaxors) and hope the problem resolves itself through rest, the next phase, usually coupled with the first is rehab to strengthen the muscles around the herniation whether it is in the cervical (upper/neck), thoracic (middle, sp?), or lumbar (lower back) spine.

          If medicine and rehab fail step three is usually epidural injections (usually three) into the vertebral space to relieve the pressure and shrink the disc to stop the pinching on the nerve. I am currently on this phase and will be going the first round of epidural injections within the next week.

          The final phase is surgery. One that I have heard the most of is spinal fusion in which the offending disc is removed and the space left from the disc is filled with a sliver of bone, from say your hip, and the vertebra are fussed together. I have however read of a new procedure that is less intrusive and uses a laser or something to "trim" back the disc.

          My training has changed in that I still roll but I refuse to roll with dip shits and tap out at the slightest indication of a neck crank or if a choke is locked pretty good. The good side is that I have had to concentrate on the other available submissions and have been forced to work technique rather that power past bad technique.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by GoldenJonas
            The final phase is surgery. One that I have heard the most of is spinal fusion in which the offending disc is removed and the space left from the disc is filled with a sliver of bone, from say your hip, and the vertebra are fussed together. I have however read of a new procedure that is less intrusive and uses a laser or something to "trim" back the disc.
            A lot of Pro Wrestlers have had the fusion surgery done with mixed results. Edge and Chris Benoit are doing ok but Tazz and Steve Austin's necks are knackered. Kurt Angle opted for that new "trimming" procedure and enjoyed a quick rehab and a great improvement in his neck. That was then though, now he is experiencing extreme neck pain and numbness in his hands. I really feel for you guys with neck injuries, it's a hell of a struggle, good luck.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by EternalRage
              1.) Do any of you have this problem, known as degenerative disc condition (http://www.medicinenet.com/degenerat...c/article.htm), and what are other ways you deal with it other than rest, medicine, and physical therapy?
              Link no workie?

              My neck hurtz lots. I attribute it to an accident I had when I was about 5.
              Got bumped off a seesaw when it was at the top, six foot fall and landed right on my neck.

              Saw a chiropractor for a while. Not much they can do for me at this point. I'd like to hang upside down and get gravity to work on it a bit. I do a neck-rotation-dealie that makes my neck crack and pop, Scares chicks. *shrug* Other than that, I haven't got any recommendations. When i crash out on the couch, I usually end up with a sore neck, so don't do that.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by odacon
                A lot of Pro Wrestlers have had the fusion surgery done with mixed results. Edge and Chris Benoit are doing ok but Tazz and Steve Austin's necks are knackered. Kurt Angle opted for that new "trimming" procedure and enjoyed a quick rehab and a great improvement in his neck. That was then though, now he is experiencing extreme neck pain and numbness in his hands. I really feel for you guys with neck injuries, it's a hell of a struggle, good luck.
                I had the "trimming" procedure. It got the pressure off the nerve, but the vertabra still grind together when I turn my head from side to side. Pain comes and goes. The popping is a welcome relief! I have not been able to pop my neck for the last 25 years. It is nice to be able to pop it now and get some pressure off.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Neildo
                  I do a neck-rotation-dealie that makes my neck crack and pop, Scares chicks. *shrug*
                  Don't do that. I know the chiro does it to you, but you should not do that home chiro. If you want to stretch your neck, do it forwards and backwards, never "rotational" Reason being is that you could make matters worse.

                  What GoldenJonas said is the exact treatment protocol and how you progress. Good luck with those epidurals man.

                  Rhamma. That grinding (cracking/poppong) noise you hear are the facet jonts in the back of the vertebra. See, not only do you have the joint separated by the intervertebral disk, but posteriorly, you have the facet joints above and below. When a disk is damaged, and that disc space narrows, the space in the facet joint also narrows and develops arthritis.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Mr_Mantis
                    Don't do that....Reason being is that you could make matters worse.
                    Er...really?

                    But it feels so goooood.

                    I don't mean a full rotation. I just sort of stretch to one side, and roll to the other, then back.
                    Not backwards, (I thought that was a no no) but sometimes forwards.

                    I've heard many people say that traditional sit-ups can be a pain-in-the-neck because people tend to pull up/forward on their heads', trying to get that last sit-up.

                    I try to not do that.

                    edit: Also, I've seen ballerinas and others actually pull their head to one side.
                    ie: Grab the left side of the head with the right hand, and pull the right ear to the shoulder.
                    Bad Idea?
                    Last edited by Neildo; 3/30/2006 3:32pm, .

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Neildo

                      edit: Also, I've seen ballerinas and others actually pull their head to one side.
                      ie: Grab the left side of the head with the right hand, and pull the right ear to the shoulder.
                      Bad Idea?
                      I think lateral flexion is okay, it's the rotation that can get you into trouble.

                      I have to admit, I'm guilty of doing this too, cuz it does feel good. But I try to catch myself and not do it.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Well....24 hours post first epidural into my cervical spine to reduce three bulging discs that were pinching my nerves and have been making me live in a world of pain since the end of Nov '05.

                        Results so far a pretty remarkable. No pain pills or muscle relaxors since late yesterday evening and where my daily pain has been about 6-7 out of 10 (with the pain pills, without its 8-9) my pain this morning and so far through the afternoon without medication is only at a 1-3 and the doc said it should get better and probably go away completely with one more epidural injection.

                        fingers are crossed.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Good luck dude. Don't do anything stupid now that your pain is way down.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Mr_Mantis
                            Good luck dude. Don't do anything stupid now that your pain is way down.
                            No need to remind me - fuck neck cranks or squeezes. My ass will tap now regardless of the noob/rank trying to apply it....or I'll just tell 'em to stop and go sit in the corner.

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