My spine is a POS + blue belt curse?

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by Edison Carasio, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. Edison Carasio

    Edison Carasio Excellence of execution belt Platinum Member

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    So a month after I got my blue belt in 2016, I suffered a really bad low back injury. Bulging discs in my lumbar that kept me sleeping on the floor and out of training for 8 months. I slowly got back to it with PT, shots, and chiropractic. I'd say as long as I don't squat or dead lift heavy, my low back has been doing great the past six months.

    About a week and a half ago, I got my first stripe on my blue belt. Then last Tuesday morning I woke up and my trap/shoulder blade area was a little stiff and sore. Not bad at all, about a 2 out of 10 on the pain scale.

    But by a few days later, that 2 jumped up to a 7 and I have some tingling in my pinky on my left hand. I'm fearing a bulging disc in my neck or upper back now. I'm going to see the doc tomorrow.

    I'm pretty bummed out, and just venting to my sherbros. What's the coincidence of both injuries happening immediately after promotions/stripes on blue belt.
     
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  2. KikoJones

    KikoJones Orange Belt

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    I've struggled with lower back pain for almost a year. My L4-L5, L5-S1 discs are protruding. I also have a bulging disk in my neck. All from BJJ. Tried Chiropractors and Acupuncture with mixed results.

    Last week I had a Deep Tissue Massage that lasted a full hour. HOLY FUCK IT HURT. But at the end of the session felt like a Million bucks and was able to lay flat on the table without pain. The Therapist told me my Calf, Hamstrings, Quads, Piliformis and upper back needed daily stretching. I have a slight forward hunch because my pecs are pulling on my shoulders. She said I should use a doorway to stretch that. I'm all Fuckered up.

    I've begun stretching twice a day since. Today I'm able to bend over, put my fists on the floor with ease and come back up with very little discomfort. I'm schedule to visit the Therapist again next week.

    Not a fan of Chiropractors.
     
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  3. Edison Carasio

    Edison Carasio Excellence of execution belt Platinum Member

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    The PT didn't really help me at all, and the shots never got me below a 5 out of 10 on pain in my lumbar. I believe they did my injections at L5-S1, S2 and I can't recall where else. The spinal decompression I started in October was the miracle maker for my back. After one session I felt like a new man. Went from a 7 out of 10 on pain down to a 2 over night.

    I'm going to schedule a massage at my chiropractor for this Friday I think (gotta shave off that back hair first ;) ).

    What did you do for your neck? Shots or anything invasive there?
     
  4. Matsukaze

    Matsukaze Blue Belt

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    Just curious about what you did to hurt your back?? got stacked?? Playing inverted??
     
  5. Edison Carasio

    Edison Carasio Excellence of execution belt Platinum Member

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    Actually I think it happened at the gym. I got into a plate loaded leg press machine and didn't adjust the seat from the last guy to use it. When I loaded my feet to push off I felt a little pinch above my right butt cheek. I didn't think anything of it since it didn't "hurt" but I think I let my low back round out just enough to cause the disc to bulge. I trained and competed over the course of the next two weeks and after the comp I was in extreme pain and had to go to urgent care.
     
  6. KikoJones

    KikoJones Orange Belt

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    Decompression. I also baby it. I'll tap to neck cranks with the Quickness!
     
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  7. Edison Carasio

    Edison Carasio Excellence of execution belt Platinum Member

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    I saw the chiro yesterday for decomp, guess between maintenance on my low back and now the neck he's gonna make a fortune off me.
     
  8. Forceof1

    Forceof1 Blue Belt

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    I would advocate not playing closed guard, getting very good at preventing cross faces and tapping quick to guillotines / cranks. Modify your training to fit your body.

    Sucks at the timing though. I had surgery right before I was supposed to get purple- pushed it back 7 months. Then had surgery right after getting my brown belt- 2 months off the mat.
     
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  9. Tirofijo2001

    Tirofijo2001 Yellow Belt

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    I have/had herniated discs (c6-c7 if I recall). I had all the nerve pain and loss of strength. I took oral steroids and the pain in my arm eventually went away and my strength returned. But my neck was always stiff and sore.

    Years later the nerve pain returned and I went to a physical therapist trained in the McKenzie Method. She eliminated the nerve pain in one session with a simple stretch. It was incredible.

    I can’t guaranty you’ll have the same results but I seriously urge you to find a Mckenzie practitioner and given it a try.

    Or get the book Treat Your Own Neck by Robin McKenzie.
     
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  10. Sano

    Sano Black Belt

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    How exactly are they "decompressing" your cervical spine? Are they doing traction on it?
     
  11. Edison Carasio

    Edison Carasio Excellence of execution belt Platinum Member

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    No, you lay on a this thing that looks like a cross between a doctor's office exam table and a massage table. They put a strap around your hips (for low back) or head (for neck). Then a machine gently pulls it while your other half is anchored.

    Here's a sample from youtube

     
  12. Edison Carasio

    Edison Carasio Excellence of execution belt Platinum Member

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    Thanks, I just ordered that book on amazon (thx one click buying!) If I like it I'll get the back version. Have you ever checked that one out?
     
  13. Sano

    Sano Black Belt

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    Yeah that's traction. Big machine for something you can do manually. It does look very comfy though.

    It's a bit of a wash the whole back pain thing. I know just lying like that with feet up, being relaxed and breathing helps with a lot of back pain (without the machinery). 90% of incidents of unspecific lower back pain goes away on it's own within 3 months as well, no matter what you do, so them treating you for 6-8 weeks is basicly within that timeframe. They must make a fortune.

    Either way, traction of the spine can surely be comfortable and alleviate pain in some, and if it's working for you then great! Do what works, that is what counts in the end. The cervical spine can be tricky, so that especially accounts there.

    Hope you feel better and get good care! Injuries is a normal part of life unfortunately, but luckely it has a way of working out.
     
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  14. winterbike

    winterbike Blue Belt

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    Closed guard is the worst for back health. I avoid it like the plague.
     
  15. Tirofijo2001

    Tirofijo2001 Yellow Belt

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    Actually, I should have told you to get this book by McKenzie. "7 Steps to a Pain Free Life" which covers the back, neck and shoulder. I have it and I have the back book (which I haven't needed.)



    So maybe you can cancel the other and get that one. I forgot you had back issues too.

    Also, this video shows the simple stretch that fixed me.




    My physical therapist thinks my issues are related to posture. Yes, she knows I have the herniated disc, but it's poor posture that is aggravating it.

    Per her and McKenzie's suggestions, I have a lumbar roll on my computer chair at work and sleep with a little roll thingy in my pillow.

    -------------------

    I hope you find some relief. I'm going through I guess what you could say is my 3rd flair up. I've lost a little muscle strength in my left arm (same one that had the pinched nerve years ago). I would never have known if I wasn't using grippers and bench pressing. I'd estimate its a 10% loss in bench press strength. Nothing I would notice if I wasn't lifting. Weirdly, I don't have the neck pain symptoms that I've had previously. I did have some tingling in two fingers, and it went away the same day after doing the neck stretch like a madman. (So second time the McKenzie stretch worked for me.)


    I went back to the PT and we started more McKenzie exercises (they are in the book) while doing some traditional physical therapy to try to get the strength back. It may take some time. Also going to a spine doc in a few days who will probably want an MRI and my give me some med to reduce inflammation. I hope to avoid surgery.

    --------------

    I don't get a chance to roll much anymore, but I rolled with neck pain a lot. I did what everyone said. Tap early to cranks and guillotines and even being stacked.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018
  16. Edison Carasio

    Edison Carasio Excellence of execution belt Platinum Member

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    If anyone is interested, the doc looked at some x-rays and made a diagonosis of "Mild Degenerative Change of the Thoracic Spin and Straightening of the Cervical Spine".

    For now "conservative" treatment appears to be
    Short term:
    • steroid for inflammation(which I'm almost finished with)
    • muscle relaxer to help with some spasm in my back, tricep and pec (plus to help me sleep with the pain).
    • OTC mix of Tylenol and Aleve for pain/inflammation.
    Long term:
    Chiropractic + decompression
    Physical Therapy
    Massage therapy

    I have a follow up in a couple weeks with my regular doc.
     
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  17. SummerStriker

    SummerStriker Black Belt

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    That sounds terrible, feel better soon
     
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  18. aus101

    aus101 Black Belt

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    Stretch that pec! Def do the door thing, had issues with a stiff (likely bulging disk) in my neck and pec tightness will really make it worse.

    If you have any in your city go to an osteopath. They are another level than chiropractors and get better results by barely even touching you. My uncle is luckily married to one so she only charges me $50 Australian a half hour session (which is cheap for them) but the results are priceless. Only need to see her maybe a couple times a year though because it’s just so effective.
     
  19. Was at Pride GP 2000

    Was at Pride GP 2000 Brown Belt

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    Check out iron neck
    https://www.iron-neck.com/

    That and the thing Joe rogan uses.for his back I hear are awesome. I'm not a big Joe Rogan fan but I have friend that is a personal trainer and uses both of these to rehab the back.and neck with great results
     
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  20. KikoJones

    KikoJones Orange Belt

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    At the beginning the VA used mechanical traction for my neck as part of the PT. Didn't help that much. They also gave me one of these:
    [​IMG]
    Super inconvenient.


    I bought one of these for about $37 online from AliExpress. Took like 3 weeks to arrive but it works good.

    [​IMG]


    I have one of these on my back porch and it helps a lot. Bought it on Craigslist for $40 about a year ago. Put on my headset and hang out for about 10-15 min.
    [​IMG]

    I HIGHLY recommend Deep Tissue Massage!!
     

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