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Old 12-24-2006, 05:16 AM   #1
Alfonso Bandera
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After hard jits/wrestling practice (I've been out of training for a while) my neck is so tight I can't even look over my shoulder when backing my car out. The pain is not just in my neck but in my upper back between my shoulderblades.

This used to happen to me before (often) but whenever I would go to the Dr. about it, he would just refer me to PT.

Don't think is neuro since I don't have any numbness/tingling anywhere; could it just be muscle spasm related?

Anyway; Is what I need more neck strenghthening?
What kind of stuff should I do?

I'm thinking of going to a chiro this week (or would massage be better?)
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Old 12-26-2006, 05:55 AM   #2
Beau Bryant
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I have had this same issue for years off and on. I began having issues when I would be stacked during BJJ. At one point my left arm went numb for about two months. After seeing a few doctors about disk problems I have finally fixed this with increased flexibility. There are many stretches you can do (I am no expert) but what has worked the best for me is sitting on your but, legs together in front of you, keep a perfectly straight back and place your chin on your chest. Lean forward at the hips until you feel a deep stretch down the entire length of your back.
If I fail to do this every few days I develop the same issues in my c6-c7 if I get stacked while rolling. Again, not an expert but it works for me and I have not had these issues in the last 12 months. Hope this helps.
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Old 12-26-2006, 06:20 AM   #3
Alfonso Bandera
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Beau,
Sounds like you have similiar issues. I always played guard off my back upside down like Roleta or Pe de Pano, making it even worse.

Now that I'm 230lbs, that won't fly anymore. :-)

Do you also feel it between your shoulder blades?
Did the streching really help?
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Old 12-26-2006, 08:20 AM   #4
Beau Bryant
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Yes, most of the pain was in the c6-c7 area of my lower neck between the shoulder blades.
Yes, if not for the stretching I would not be able to get back on the mat. This would happen nearly everytime I got stacked when I had someone in the guard, as you know this happens quite often. Give the stretching some time, it will take a few weeks to start to see an improvement. Like I said, I am no expert, I know there are many more stretches that will help but I remember this one from the PT I went to and It seemed to work the best, plus it's easy to do for five minutes before or after sleep.
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Old 01-08-2007, 06:17 PM   #5
Alfonso Bandera
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Dang...today my back went out again! I'm going to go to a PT to get worked over. :-(
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Old 01-16-2007, 03:09 PM   #6
Randy Roper
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I suffered from chronic neck pain and stiffness.I picked up these simple exercises from Judo. Once I started doing them regularly my neck flexibility increased and pain went away:
lay on back and start with 2 sets of 10 of each:
1. move head up and down as if nodding yes
2. side to side as if 'no'
3. try and touch left ear to left shoulder and vice versa. keep shoulders in place. head parallel to ground.right/left is one rep
4. try and touch chin to each shoulder while keeping back of head parallel to ground. right/left is one rep
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Old 01-16-2007, 03:42 PM   #7
Brad Davis
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Randy,

FWIW, your Steps 1-3 are the same as the three-plane neck movements in Pavel's Super Joints. I've had perpetual neck stiffness and flexibility issues over the years and they've gotten quite a bit better over the last 2-3 weeks from consistently doing those.

DBD
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Old 01-16-2007, 06:02 PM   #8
Randy Roper
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Brad,
They definitely do work. I'm trying to build up my reps and I've also noticed increased neck size. I've seen that book or dvd by Pavel, if his other stuff is as good as the neck work I'll have to pick one up. Does he have good exercises for hips, groin etc?
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Old 01-16-2007, 11:22 PM   #9
Matthew Swift
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Alfonso, I know this injury really well and have spent a lot of time working out how to treat it. C5/C6 is a really common BJJ injury site, particularly when you get stacked or caught in triangle. I have some degeneration around C4/C5 and C5/C6 from BJJ which got so bad that I almost had to give it away entirely. But I now have full range of motion back in my neck and can wrestle again after completing some rehab. I also now use the same rehab with my PT clients and getting some good results.

There are three components to rehabilitating "bjj neck" ...

1. Rest ... stop grappling until the symptoms are gone. If you continue to load it up when you have inflammation and restricted range you risk doing long term damage, so firstly be sensible.

2. See a sports physiotherapist with specific experience in contact sports. The Physio will get back your range of motion and give you specific stability exercises to improve your neck strength. They will be similar to the nodding exercises above.

3. Use a tennis ball to "release" the tightness that is causing the flare ups and restricted range. There are four sites that you need to stretch 2-3 times a day by applying pressure with a tennis ball for about 30-60 seconds. At first the spot being triggered by the tennis ball with hurt like you wouldn't believe but after 20 or so seconds the pain will drop away and the muscles will release.

Here are the sites and the stretching position/ball placement ...

1. Pec minor, press into the door jam just under the point where your arm joins your shoulder
http://www.crossfit.com/discus/messages/27/35566.jpg

2. insertion of the muscles of your rotator cuff, ie head of your lats under your arm pit
http://www.crossfit.com/discus/messages/27/35567.jpg

3. Traps, pressing into the door jam (if your are super tough look away from the door jam, guaranteed to make you want to cry or throw up:happy:)
http://www.crossfit.com/discus/messages/27/35568.jpg

4. subscap, under your shoulder blades (where you feel the referred pain
http://www.crossfit.com/discus/messages/27/35569.jpg

Be guided by the pain ... move the tennis ball until you find the spot that hurts the most and then press it hard, make sure you hold it long enough, don't wimp out.

Once the symptoms go away make sure you continue to trigger using these stretches and include them in your warmup/warmdown. These days if I get caught in a triangle I reach for the tennis ball even before I tap:-)

Good luck with it, if you do the work, your neck will be in good shape and you will be able to enjoy wrestling again.

Hope this helps,
Matt

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