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Old 11-01-2006, 01:38 PM   #1
Elliot Royce
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Not sure whether to put this under injuries or martial arts...

should I be boxing with 2 cervical disk herniations at C5/6 and C6/7. One is an extruded disk which is gradually shrinking and the other is a herniation.

I've been training in boxing and am planning to spar at the end of the month but my neurosurgeon tells me not to. Is he being too cautious? I have good neck stability and strength.

If my neck snaps back it does inflame the herniation, which can be hard to undo.
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Old 11-01-2006, 08:31 PM   #2
Matthew Swift
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Elliot, when you start sparring you WILL get hit. Anyone who has boxed in the ring will tell you that no matter how good you are you get tagged from time to time, and when you are new to the ring you get tagged a lot! Any good shot will place rotational force through your neck and C5/6 & C6/7 will take the brunt of this load as your head rotates and body stays put. The risk that you face is that you further damage the area of degeneration leading to a fusing of the vertebrae at that location. Neck pain and flare ups following activity are a pretty good indication that the activity is contributing to the degeneration. The bad news (especially for a CrossFitter) if you get further serious degeneration it could totally prevent you from lifting anything above your head. Life sucks if you have a cervical spine that doesn't work, so neck injuries should be respected IMHO. I would trust your neurosurgeon on this one!

I once argued with a sports physio when he told me that I had to improve my neck stability. I remember saying "I have good neck stability and strength" based on the fact that I could comfortably bridge on my head with no hands. He asked calmly "then why do you have a neck injury":-)
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Old 11-02-2006, 07:22 AM   #3
Elliot Royce
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Good advice, Matthew. It guess it's a question of managing risk/reward. I have two artificial hips and probably run some risk of injury playing hockey but I love it too much to give it up.

Boxing has been more of a hobby than a sport. It's not worth risking neck injury for it. You're right that "life sucks" when your neck is hurting. Been there, done that, and certainly don't want to go back to it. I was 5 days after from getting a two level fusion when the pain started to clear up.
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