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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 10-14-2004, 06:44 AM   #1
Joseph Luckett
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How could we design a beginning program for someone with Cervical spondylosis*? Basically, any kind of pulling or overhead motion involving the shoulders causes the shoulders and neck to seize up and immobolizes the region for weeks or months. Carrying a light bag of groceries in one hand or hanging up the wash are risky.

Has anyone ever had any experience with using crossfit to address this specific issue?

*Cervical spondylosis results from chronic degeneration of the cervical spine including the cushions between the neck vertebrae (cervical disks) and joints between the bones of the cervical spine. There may be abnormal growths or "spurs" on the vertebrae (the bones of the spine).

These accumulated changes caused by degeneration can gradually compress one or more of the nerve roots. This can lead to increasing pain in the neck and arm, weakness, and changes in sensation. In advanced cases, the spinal cord becomes involved.

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Old 10-14-2004, 08:41 AM   #2
Robert Wolf
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Joseph-

If Brian Hand does not see this thread and offer his thoughts track him down via email or post this again ATTN: Brian Hand.

Here is my opinion,

Work to condition the individual as best you can while involving the effected area minimaly. Resisted walking (sleds, TheraBand resistance about the waist) may be an option. Try to restore posture and normal range of motion starting from the ankles up. Get them squatting if/when you can.

If possible the use of traction post training may be helpful. This can be applied manually by skilled individuals for brief periods or if you are working with a Physio you may be able to get a portable traction device.

All of this is highly dependant upon how advanced the individual is and how motivated they are. There may be some setbacks as everyone learns how far the process can be pushed. This can be a very trying endeavor to say the least.

Keep us posted!
Robb
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Old 10-14-2004, 11:46 AM   #3
Brian Hand
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Joeseph, as far as working around the problem, I think this is obviously a situation that requires caution! If it hurts don't do it. Assuming the doctor approves, I think Robb's sled dragging idea is a great suggestion. You can certainly get in good general condition dragging a sled backwards, forwards, and sideways with a waist harness. I'd suggest a waist harness rather than a shoulder harness as you don't want to tighten those traps up any worse than they probably are. I have used a climbing harness rigged out of rope and an old nylon weightlifting belt as a waist harness, both work fine.

How about swimming? Even just treading water might be tolerable and help keep the upper body mobile. I like treading water for extra workouts in the summer, 30 minutes treading water is relaxing and non-repetitive.

I'd also pay attention to posture. Could be the "upper crossed" - hunched over, shoulders rounded forward - is part of the problem. A PT or chiropractor who is up on Escogue or Paul Chek etc. should be able to help with that. Sounds like this person is too sensitive to self treat.

Make some positive changes in diet and posture and general fitness and the condition might improve. Is the doctor taking periodic xrays to monitor the condition?

BTW here is an article from Paul Chek's site that came to mind with those two trigger instances you mention:

http://www.t-nation.com/findArticle....=body_144shrug

Let me pass along this article too:

http://www.chclibrary.org/micromed/00042110.html
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Old 10-15-2004, 02:27 AM   #4
Joseph Luckett
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Thank you both very much for your responses. I was most concerned with whether and how to deal with the trapezius and I agree that they should be approached with extreme caution. I like the idea of starting from the ankles up as there happens to be a range of motion issue there as well. Maybe a little walking, squatting and empty hand shrugs to start with.

Fortunately the condition is not far advanced and rest is sufficient to ameliorate the worst of the symptoms.

Thanks again.

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Old 10-15-2004, 05:04 AM   #5
Brian Hand
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Joseph, I didn't think of this in my other post but have you considered any sort of soft tissue therapy? I don't know what's available locally for you but I recently tried ART (see activerelease.com) and just two visits did me some good.

I posted the wrong shrug article though, sorry about that, Part 2 is the one I thought of:

http://www.t-nation.com/findArticle....=body_145shrug

In particular I thought the Stability Shrug and the Reciprocating Shrug might be interesting, of course they aren't for king kong traps, but when done with perfect posture and little to no weight, I thought they might aid stabilization.
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Old 10-15-2004, 05:55 AM   #6
Joseph Luckett
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Brian,
Thank you again. The M.D. says come back when it hurts and we'll give you more drugs and put you in traction. We do have a good soft tissue therapist. I don't recall off hand what his particular school is, but he helped me with a bad case of sciatica a few years ago, and is honest enough to admit that there's not much he can do when the traps seize up bad. Acupuncture is available (we're in Japan), but you get your bad with your good. I will read the shrug article you have suggested presently. Part 1 was helpful in itself.

I do appreciate your help.
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