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Old 06-25-2010, 10:24 AM   #21
Brad Davis
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Re: Neck injury

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Originally Posted by Lisa Nelson View Post
Also, if I knew what movements to avoid in CF and life...that would be really helpful.
You should definitely talk to an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in necks. I will tell you what my first one said, but it's not good.

Avoid any exercise that loads the disc or cranks the neck: squats, DL, cleans, snatches, OHS, overhead presses, neck bridges, mobililty drills, etc. Depending on severity, running and jumping also because of the inertial force from the head acceleration.

Good news is that downward pulling exercises seem OK: pullups, climbing.

Bench press is also OK assuming you don't push your head into the bench.

There are other exercises out there besides the ones that CF uses all the time: bulgarian split squats, reverse hypers, etc. etc. that accomplish a lot of the same things.
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Old 06-26-2010, 09:26 PM   #22
Steven Low
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Re: Neck injury

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Originally Posted by Lawrence "Bo" Boland III View Post
Lisa, def see a chiro or PT. I've been seeing a PT for 2 weeks now. He's certain that my neck pain is caused by poor thoracic mobility, combined with poor posture (I sit at a desk all day and tend to crane my neck forward. You should be tucking your chin back).

I've been working with him on strengthening specific back/neck muscles, as well as having him massage the sore points. I'm not 100%, but it definitely seems like the right track.

Just my 2 cents
I coulda told you that one.
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Old 06-27-2010, 07:23 AM   #23
Lisa Nelson
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Re: Neck injury

Thanks guys. It seems like my work may be bothering it as well...really strange, but i'm sore the day after a lot of time spent at the computer. Going to look into how I can improve that.
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Old 06-28-2010, 08:57 AM   #24
Helen Lawson
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Re: Neck injury

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Originally Posted by Brad Davis View Post
You should definitely talk to an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in necks. I will tell you what my first one said, but it's not good.

Avoid any exercise that loads the disc or cranks the neck: squats, DL, cleans, snatches, OHS, overhead presses, neck bridges, mobililty drills, etc. Depending on severity, running and jumping also because of the inertial force from the head acceleration.
Good news is that downward pulling exercises seem OK: pullups, climbing.

Bench press is also OK assuming you don't push your head into the bench.

There are other exercises out there besides the ones that CF uses all the time: bulgarian split squats, reverse hypers, etc. etc. that accomplish a lot of the same things.

So funny.... when i went to PT for my neck my PT told me that squats, deadlifts, mobility drills, running & jumping were all fine. And that bench press & pull-ups were not! But then when i went back after doing my first deadlift workout after my neck started hurting she asked how much i lifted and I told her 80 lbs (sets of 10 just to test it out and see how it felt) and she said something like "Oh my GOD! 80 lbs is way too much! You should never lift that much! What are you doing that for?" That was when i knew I wouldn't be going back.

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Originally Posted by Lisa Nelson View Post
Thanks guys. It seems like my work may be bothering it as well...really strange, but i'm sore the day after a lot of time spent at the computer. Going to look into how I can improve that.
Sitting at a computer is by far one of the worst things you can do to your body! Find someone that can assess your posture (standing and sitting) and give you exercises & stretches to improve it! good luck!
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Old 07-06-2010, 06:25 PM   #25
Greg Major
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Re: Neck injury

I had two discs removed about a year ago. Best thing I ever did. I did therapy, chiropractic, massage, and injections. Nothing worked and I was in constant pain. I was running in a few days after the surgery and hitting WODs near 100% not too far after. I was able to compete at the regionals in Denver for the Masters with no problems. If everything else isn't working, check into your surgical options, as a last resort of course. I knew I had to do something.
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Old 07-07-2010, 05:27 AM   #26
Brad Davis
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Re: Neck injury

Greg, that is very cool. I'd love to read more details. Were these cervical discs? Which ones? What exact kind of surgery? If they're both cervical, then how's your neck ROM now with a good chunk of the cervical discs fused? Is there concern that adjacent remaining ones will be hit harder now because they have to provide all of the ROM?

Very interested. I have a congenital fusion at C3-C4 and if I had my messed up C5-C6 fused, that would be like yours if you had two cervical discs fused.
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Old 07-07-2010, 09:00 AM   #27
Greg Major
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Re: Neck injury

Brad, I had the two discs between C5 and C7 removed and some bone spurs that were irritating the nerves removed. The discs were replaced with slices of tibia bone from a cadaver. Then it was all tightened down with a titanium plate and a couple screws. I've lost very little ROM. A little forward and lateral flexion but hardly noticeable. Pain is completely gone and numbness in my thumb, index finger, and wrist is almost back to normal. The down side is I'm noticing other unrelated little aches and pains so much more now. But overall I feel great. For me it was my only choice. I couldn't give up having a fit healthy lifestyle that includes lifting heavy stuff overhead, kipping pull-ups, muscle-ups, running, rowing, throwing, jumping, etc, etc...
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Old 07-11-2010, 11:54 AM   #28
Brad Davis
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Re: Neck injury

Greg, thanks for the info. I have another question, though. Did the MD say anything about there being additional concern for the adjacent discs now that you have (I assume, from your description): C5-C6 and C6-C7 fused? I have C3-C4 congentically fused and C5-C6 is probably degenerated according to my last ortho. I'm wondering what would happen if I had C5-C6 fused, leaving a LOT of the ROM to be taken up by C4-C5. Any ideas? I'm heading in for a second opinion at a supposedly friendlier ortho this week. My last guy, I believe, was pretty hostile toward lifters and basically thinks we're all stupid for lifting stuff LOL.
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Old 07-15-2010, 12:07 PM   #29
Brad Davis
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Re: Neck injury

As promised, this is a report of my orthopedic surgeon second opinion. WOW, what a difference between MDs! So different that I'm really confused now. Posting this in case it's helpful for anybody.

Quick summary of the first visit: Went in because lower back was aching a little and I've had chronic neck pain for years. I had just graduated from SS:BBT to 5/3/1. 39 year old male with four concussions 25 years ago in HS and a former (15 years ago) competitive PLing background. The orthopedic surgeon said that my C5-C6 disc looked worn out much more than expected at 39, probably due to the concussions and subsequent PLing. His opinion was that if I was smart, I would forget any thought of lifting anything heavy ever again. He said that I also had an irregularity (like a little wedge of vertebrae broken off and sitting there on the anterior side) in my lower back that was probably caused by a basketball injury at 17 and that the disc above that vertebrae was in trouble also. Drop DLs and BSs forever and do everything else at high reps, preferably >16. No burpees. No running. No jumping. No anything that loads the discs. Make friends with an elliptical machine and throw away my weightlifting shoes. Not joking or using hyperbole.

Second ortho visit: Same info going in, completely different opinion. He said that disc degeneration is a normal process and that its speed is >90% genetic and that issues like smoker vs nonsmoker make a ton more difference than choice of activity. He said these ideas are fairly new, like the last 10 years or so. He said that it would get worse, but there is no way to determine the speed nor if any particular activities would speed it up. I actually asked him if I had two lifetimes and in one I never lifted anything and got all of my exercise on an elliptical machine and in the other, I was a competitive PLer, which would cause faster degeneration. He said there was no way to know and that it probably wouldn't matter. His hunch is that higher reps will wear it out faster than doing smaller rep sets with heavy weight, but he said there was no way to know this either. As for the lower back, he said it looked completely normal and that the little irregularity is something he sees very commonly and shouldn't make me think there will be a problem. He said that it was likely there at birth and had nothing to do with an injury. As for repairs, he also said that fusion is still the gold standard if the situation goes downhill far enough, but that disc replacements have been around a little while now and the results appear good. He said that fusion does sometimes cause adjacent discs to degenerate faster, but there's no way to know if that'll happen or how fast. I asked him about traction, chiro, etc., and he said I could do those if it made me feel better (emotionally), but they wouldn't do anything. "Do anything" as in improve the discs or predictably change the rate of degeneration.

The bottom line from his perspective is that I need to get back to work doing whatever I want to do. If there is some kind of injury or faster degeneration, then go from there. He is a bit down on deadlifts, and said that perfect form DLs are fine, but that most lifters don't do them well enough *every time* for them to be worth it. It's absolutely 100% critical that they be done with near perfect form or else they are a much higher liability than benefit over the long haul. I tend to agree for lifters who tend to round out, but my experience is that if one is a stickler for keeping an absolute perfect lumbar curve, and holds off going for absolute max attempts, then DL are safer than squats. They're definitely a more natural movement. (Try to find a BS-like movement in nature...)

Now that I have two guys with >15 years of school and 10 years experience in this exact area telling me completely different opinions, I'm back to just doing whatever I feel like doing... LOL
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Old 07-15-2010, 01:21 PM   #30
Anthony Ricci
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Re: Neck injury

Disc degeneration -a normal aging process. Why are only the damaged segments affected ( a genetic timebomb maybe LOL) . I will give you a biased opinion from a DC and a good friend (Neurosurgeon) -don't get surgery unless you have tried everything and have nerve damage developing (weakness) . I have had 2 herniations and rehabbed both C5-6 and L5-S1 . No surgery and I CF and golf and work on many patients a day. Just sayin.
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