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Old 11-12-2009, 07:50 PM   #41
Kulsoom Ahmed
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Re: Ongoing back problems: a new hypothesis

SO far I have been to 5 visits. The first visit was similiar to Neal's, except the package presented was different.

About $2200 for 8 visits the first month (twice a week), then next month is once a week (4 visits), then once every 2 weeks for 2 months (8 visits)

This includes any x-rays and adjustments. It is possible I do not use them all, then I get the credit back. If I can not continue or decide to stop, I get the remainder back. There were some other payment options, but I went for this one since I would save money if I do use them all. It also includes Protease (for inflammation) and a whole food multivitamin. he has also mentioned trying to reduce stress as mood can be a factor in healing.

I think after the first few visits, I felt different but not necessarily where I did not feel anything in my neck, or areas I would sometimes feel something. I usually feel something on the right side of the neck, where sometimes it goes down the shoulder blade, or sometimes to the shoulder blade, or some sensation in the right elbow. sometimes just on the upper left side.

Perhaps instead of muscle tightness, I would feel something more concentrated. I do tend to feel more towards the center of the spine. I have been adjusted to some extent at each visit (I was concerned about this, and he said that the reason he recommends more visits the first month is in case adjustments are needed, and to for the neck to get used to being inline and keeping stable). I think I can sit for a longer period of time before I start to feel tightness and discomfort.

I am not sure what to think so far. I am still skeptical about this and hope that I am not spending money on another method of treatment that will not make a difference.

There is a class he does but it has not occurred yet. The only exercise he has mentioned to me that he does not like is running. I did tell him I crossfit, and there is an affiliate in his building but I wonder if he knows what else they do, because he has not mentioned that I should stop pull ups or overhead movements. As for how I feel when I workout, it has been ok. I am trying to be careful on pullups and form.

Based on your post Neal, I wonder if I need to stop or modify pull ups, overhead movements? Also stop one rep max WODs and go for multiple rep maxes instead?
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Old 11-16-2009, 11:44 AM   #42
Neal Carlson
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Re: Ongoing back problems: a new hypothesis

I've also had 5 visits so far. Tonight is my 6th. I'm becoming more convinced with each visit that NUCCA works. I still don't have evidence other than feeling a bit different.

Between my 2nd and 3rd visits (I think) I did low weight squats & deadlifts, a few chinups, and heavy bench. My adjustment apparently was not affected.

Between my 4th and 5th visits I did tabata squats, crunches, pushups, rows & dumb bell presses. They were 20 sec on, 10 off, but not at high intensity - I'd consider it moderate intensity. Certainly not what I did at an affiliate. And the dumb bells were only 20#. My adjustment did not keep as well between those visits. I'm obviously not sure if the tabatas, or which exercise, or perhaps something else entirely caused me to partially lose the adjustment. The doc always tells me my leg lengths when he first starts the session. It was 1" prior to adjustment, and was 1/8 " for each subsequent session except the 5th one when it was 1/4 ".

Between my 5th and 6th, I did heavy squats, incline bench and pull-ups on a playset (on two bars parallel to my line of sight as opposed to a bar perpendicular to my line of sight. I'll find out tonight if my adjustment held well.

So, I'm still unsure what exercises to do. I'm going to use trial and error. My #1 goal is to let my back heal. #2 goal is to build strength. So I'm going to alter my exercises as needed, and keep doing whatever doesn't cause my adjustment to be lost, and stop doing whatever causes my adjustment to be lost. I've already learned that metcon workouts are not necessarily better than heavy lifting. My hope is to return to a modified SS program. This is what I have planned assuming I'm able to keep my adjustment:
Day A
3*5 Heavy Squat
3*5 Incline Press
3*F Chin ups on playset or rings

Day B
3*5 Light Squat
3*5 Bench Press
1*5 Deadlifts
3*10 Hanging leg raises
The doc said to avoid overhead work, so I'm substituting incline press for regular press since my neck can be completely stationary. I'm using the playset bars again because I'm better able to keep my neck stationary - it eliminates the urge to thrust the chin "up" over the bar. Day B is light squat because I decided weeks ago that my back was unable to recover from 3 heavy squats a week. And I added leg raises as core/ab work to compensate for not doing incline presses. Note that I'm still a beginner in strength: These are my PR at 3*5 lifts: Squat 215, Bench 167.5, Deadlift 200, Press 112.5. I weigh 170.

I'll see how that plan works out in the weeks ahead.

Kulsoom, can you keep a log of what workouts you do and if / how much you loose the adjustment after each? Between the two of us we might notice the patterns of what is good/bad to do.
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Old 11-16-2009, 09:56 PM   #43
Kulsoom Ahmed
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Re: Ongoing back problems: a new hypothesis

I think today was my 6th visit.

I think I feel the same as of the last few visits. Since I have started I would say I feel different, maybe less tightness.

Of the visits I have had previously, he did not seem surprised that I was not fully adjusted. He said sometimes it does take more adjustments for some people, and that was why in the 1st month he has patients come in twice a week. In my case he said I was twisted in 2 ways, so he had me move back in one direction. the other direction, related to the pelvis centering, was where it had a tendency to go to the right, so he tried to move it more to the left for it to hopefully become stable (I am not explaining it as he did but hopefully its close enough).

Today's visit he wanted to take one X-ray but did not have time as he was understaffed today. He mentioned I still have this pelvis issue. He told me to be careful with twisting and turning movements for now. I told him that in Crossfit, I can not think of any twisting and turning movements.. and I only know that he told me not to run. he said the running does not have to do with pelvis alignment. The issue with running was just general impact to the body. So I said that I do not know if there is something else I am doing in Crossfit causing an issue. He said that sometimes even picking up a pin off the floor could lose an adjustment (not a common case), but generally people who are fit, heal faster. Also that running might not be an issue (or Crossfit workouts) but better to be on the safe side.

I had asked him if sitting for too long could cause it. (I know that sitting too long does make my neck stiff and what I think contributed to the problem I have now), but he said not to worry so much about that and something else that I can not remember now.

Neal, I am not sure what to say as far as what to avoid, but I will try to keep a log and have him tell me what my leg length differences are from now on. I know I still have a difference though.

I would like to not have to stop Crossfit or working out completely, as I am pretty sure that should not be necessary.. I wish I could figure out, if anything, what I do need to stop or modify. When I workout is actually when I do not feel any muscle tension, I assume because I am warmed up.
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:41 AM   #44
Neal Carlson
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Re: Ongoing back problems: a new hypothesis

Last night was my 6th visit. My leg length difference was the same as the last visit - 1/4". So I'm not sure if the strength training was a cause. Also, I saw a different doctor for he 4th and 5th visits - that could be a cause.

Anyway, I'm going to carry on with the strength training. As I've been since beginning this past summer - I'll be conservative adding weights, and listen to my body. I've waited 35 years to get serious about being fit, adding a few extra months to my SS cycle doesn't bother me.

Kulsoom - Do you workout at an affiliate at high intensity? I'd think that many exercises which at low intensity might be safe could potentially cause you to lose your adjustment at high intensity. I know when I was at an affiliate, say finishing rounds of wall balls and pushups - almost by definition it is hard to concentrate on keeping your neck straight.
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Old 11-20-2009, 12:36 PM   #45
Kulsoom Ahmed
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Re: Ongoing back problems: a new hypothesis

After my visit this past Monday, I did not exercise at all this week, I do not feel different than before, maybe even worse because of the tingly, concentrated lines of sensation I am feeling which I normally do not feel. At the NUCCA visit today, I was told my leg lengths were the same (previously the left leg was 1/2" shorter), and weight distribution was off by 1lb versus 3lbs in the last visit. But I still had to be adjusted.

I asked about exercising and was told to not stop but to go moderate (this is too vague for me). I said I am having difficulty determining if anything is causing an issue. I was told that my issue is harder to adjust, or at least it takes a longer amount of time.

Neal, I do work out at an affiliate. As far as intensity, I try my best, but its definitely not that fast, as compared to others. Main reason is my endurance, and I really try to maintain form. If I can not, then I will not do the rep or wait and rest longer.

Mike recommends a CHEK assessment which I am looking into. My goal with that is to identify anything about how I move is causing an issue. In the meantime, I will continue exercising and keeping a log like I usually do.
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Old 11-21-2009, 04:10 PM   #46
Neal Carlson
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Re: Ongoing back problems: a new hypothesis

So today was my 7th visit I think. My leg lengths were 1/8 off. Better than the last two visits. Between my 6th and 7th visits, I did squats, deadlifts, bench, incline bench, chinups and leg lifts. I was about 15# away from previous 5 rep PR on the squats and bench. So, that's all good.

I asked him about squats. He said he thinks they are bad. They put too much pressure on the spine. And he mentioned he also dislikes deadlifts. He recommended leg presses. On the other hand, he said for other exercises he does recommend free weights over machines or smith machines. But moderate weights, 10 or more reps.

Sounds like "normal" doctor advice for exercise. But I'm torn.
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Old 11-24-2009, 09:23 PM   #47
Kulsoom Ahmed
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Re: Ongoing back problems: a new hypothesis

I have also had my 7th visit today. The week before the 6th visit I did not exercise, but this weekend I did workout.. it was 20 min AMRAP of BW backsquats and burpees. Before the workout I did a usual warmup. AFter the WOD I did practice some muscle ups.

I did not feel any different due to the WOD, maybe better because I went back to exercising. I might have felt more sensation to the center of my spine, vs right side of neck.

At today's adjustment I was told my leg lengths were the same (as was last visit) and there was some pound discrepancy with my right and left side (similar to last visit)

I talked a little about working out and how I wonder if my condition will change, and how I am not sure how much working out affects it. He said I can go with my instinct (even if he would not necessairly agree, because he has said before a lot of things could alter an adjustment, exercise might not be but he errs on the side of caution) and as for CHEK I could give the assessment a try. Part of healing is also positive thinking in addition to physical treatment, which I agree with.

Neal, obviously I am not a doctor, and I don't know the specifics of your condition, but I wouldn't agree with what he is telling you unless he has a specific reason other than he just does not like them.
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Old 11-25-2009, 06:30 AM   #48
Neal Carlson
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Re: Ongoing back problems: a new hypothesis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kulsoom Ahmed View Post
Neal, obviously I am not a doctor, and I don't know the specifics of your condition, but I wouldn't agree with what he is telling you unless he has a specific reason other than he just does not like them.
Well said. I need to ask him to clarify if he dislikes squats for me or for everyone. I think he is going to say for everyone.

I haven't decided what to do yet - other than that I will not fully give up squats. I also have no intention on pushing myself to get a 400# or probably even 300# squat. I'll continue to be cautious adding weight, make sure to maintain as good form as I can.

And as a compromise to my fear that squats can damage my spine long term, or just slow down the spine straightening process: I'm considering adding a permanant or temporary cap to my squatting weight - perhaps "light" (135?) body weight (170#), my previous 3*5 PR (215), or what I was previously shooting for as "intermediate" (250).

I'm also aiming to add pistols to my regular workout. Seems to me that I can increase the work to my legs with only half the load on my spine as compared to squats. And the load on my spine will be via held DBs rather than directly on the back, which likely more "functional" for what the body is designed to do. To top it off - it uses even more muscles to maintain balance. Win-win.

Last edited by Neal Carlson : 11-25-2009 at 06:31 AM. Reason: clarification
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Old 11-25-2009, 01:02 PM   #49
Mike Mallory
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Re: Ongoing back problems: a new hypothesis

Remember to always take their workout advice with a grain of salt.....Their not trained in this type of thing.....Not much different than MD's.

NUCCA's are typically worse in this regard, most of them want you to live in a glass bubble with a neck brace on so as not to disrupt the atlas.......It's just an old paradigm.

The fact that he recommended leg press should be a HUGE red flag for you. The leg press is notorious for blowing discs because of the tremendous shear force on the spine at L5/S1

Of course you want to continue squats!

Just make sure you keep the back of the neck long, with your tongue pressed hard on the roof of your mouth. Same with any exercise for that matter.
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:20 AM   #50
Neal Carlson
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Re: Ongoing back problems: a new hypothesis

Thanks for the input guys. I've resumed squatting, and it feels good. I've also resumed standing overhead press, and regular chinups. In fact, I'm back to my original starting strenght routine, but reset the squat and deadlift weights way down. I keep my tongue on the roof of my mouth like you recommend. And as before, I'm being very cautious with adding weight to squats and deadlifts.

For my 8th visit, my leg length reversed to having the other leg 1/8 of an inch long, and I didn't ask what they were last night, but he said all was good. After my next visit on Saturday, my 10th I think, they'll do another nerve analysis and determine if I'm ready to progress to once a week. I look forward to it, and I'll post the results here.
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