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Posted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 1:16 pm
I have been doing the exercises in the neck book for almost 2 weeks now with no results. I feel like my neck is getting worse even. I was told i had 2 small buldges at c3-c4 and c5-c6. I wake up stiff as a board and now it seems to be worse. So i'm not sure if the exersises are making it better or worse. I'm only 20 yrs old and a very competetive athlete who loves to work out and play sports, so I don't know how much longer I can deal with this and not be able to do the things I love to do. Also should i still work out, even though it's real light just to maintain? I have been dealing with this pain almost 7 months now and it's very depressing. I just wish I knew what to do and If i knew this program would work. I also have been having some discomfort in my lower back. Is this do to my neck problems too? I'm so confused and in pain too. If not Dean somebody please try to help me. Thanks.
Posted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 4:06 pm
Neck pain often takes longer to resolve than lower back pain. I had a couple of bad disks too and I thought it would take forever.
I would say take a couple of days off from the exercises and then start back in slowly with just the basic stretching and mobilization exercises for the first month or so. (Or until the pain starts to ease off.)
No strength building exercises. Save them for after the pain is gone. Also, I wouldn't continue to train until you get the neck problem fixed.
I'm going to make a wild guess, but since you're an athlete, it might be that you're going at the exercises a little too intently. Trying to stretch too far or too hard. Sometimes little, gentle stretches are better.
During the days off try alternating heat and ice a couple times a day. I remember it helped me to do the heat/ice thing just before exercising. It helped me to relax and get warmed up.
I know what you're going through but hang in there. You can beat this thing.
re. what now
Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 12:44 pm
I agree with Ron and just want to add that it sounds like you're dealing with a pinched nerve. Read Dean's articles on pinched nerves and herniated discs for more info. The problem with pinched nerves is that the very exercises you need to do to take the pressure off of the nerve may be causing more irritation at this point in your rehab.
You may need to experiment a little to determine which exercises are agravating the problem. One example might be to try doing just one of the exercises a day and see how you feel the next day. Once you find which exercise(s) is making things worse, you can cut it/them out and just do the remaining ones until you get past the pain.
Hope this helps,
Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 7:53 pm
Thanks for the advice Mitch and Ron, but I just have a few more questions. I do agree and think I might need to lay off working out for a while, but the thing is I really couldn't afford to stop for more than a month. Because after that all my hard work would start to dissapear pretty fast. So I'm thinking maye just do the Chin Backs, Neck Back Bends, Side Neck bends, and the yes no ones and leave the strengthing ones for later. But back to my lower back, is it possible that my lower back could be from my neck or not, cause it has been bothering me lately too, not as much as my neck, but enough to worry about I guess. Thanks.
Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 10:14 am
I know you're concerned about losing your hard-earned gains, but believe me, your fears are unfounded. I've been a bodybuilder for over 30 years and I've had to take many, many lay-offs for as long as 6 months or more at a time due to injuries and I've never had any trouble getting back to my previous strength levels within 3 to 4 weeks.
The reason for this is something most lifter's call "muscle memory." Once you train a muscle to a certain level it "remembers" and can return very quickly to that previous condition.
That's not to say you could take 10 years off and expect to bounce back within a few months, but taking the time off you need to heal from this minor injury isn't going to affect your long-term gains in any significant way.
On the other hand, the longer you put off allowing this injury a chance to recover the greater risk you're taking with your entire athletic career. Do the smart thing and concentrate your efforts now on full recovery so you can get back to training at 100% that much sooner.
As far as your lower back is concerned, I doubt the neck problem has anything to do with it. I would think it would be the other way around. Your lower back problem could be contributing to your neck problem.
Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 1:54 pm
Thanks for ansewing my question and I am going to put a full effort into my recovery. But here is the thing, I mean I hope this doesn't happen but let's say after about 4 or 5 months of a persistent effort wouldn't I need to rethink my options is I wasn't better by that time? And i'm guessing I need to get the rebuild you back book too huh? Also my chiropractor told me when all this first started that I had a high right hip shown from an X-Ray, maybe this is part of my lower back problem I don't know. When this all started happening I would just get an ache on the left side of my back on the inside of my shoulder blade but no neck or lower back pain. Then one day not knowing that I should'nt have been working out I was doing a front squat and on about the third rep I felt a sharp pain shoot down the left side of my back. The next day I was in so much pain, but my question is, is this how most discs slip protrude or whatever you want to call it? Sorry for all the questions man I am just so new to this whole back and neck thing cause I thought only old people had back problems and here I am. Again thanks for all the help it is much appreciated. Steven.
Posted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 9:24 am
I've downloaded all three of the books and I heartily recommend all of them. I wish I'd had the Pain Relief Manual 30 years ago. It could have saved me a lot of time and trouble. But that's the way it goes.
If you haven't already read all of the articles Dean's put up on this website especially about herniated discs and such be sure and read them or even read them over again. They will answer your questions better than I can.
As far as your lower back injury is concerned, I can say with 99% certainty that it is a torn ligament. I had a similar incident years ago and it eventually healed. But I didn't have the Rebuild Your Back book back then to know what to do about it. So I've had back problems ever since.
I now do the back and joint exercises to warm up before I work out and my back has been injury free so far. Knock on wood.
Posted: Sat Apr 15, 2006 10:27 am
Mitch and Ron have offered a lot of good advice. Read what they've written several times. As you wrote: this is all new to you so it will take a while to unlearn the stupid stuff in your head and relearn what really works. Dean's books and articles are also well worth the time to read over and over.
I'll add the following:
It sounds like your chiropractor is a "straight"; that is, he looks for "subluxations" to make his diagnosis. There's a lot of controversy out there whether the subluxations your DC looks for really exist. (To make the matter more confusing, there are subluxations of another kind in traditional medicine). See chirobase.org for info to consider.
Your DC (if of dubious competence) may simply take your money to give you spinal adjustments, shoe wedges, activator tapping, etc that will do nothing. But at worst, giving you the unnecessary adjustments may harm you, as happened to me. I sprained my lower back (like you, also doing a leg squat) and the misguided DC did exactly the worst thing possible for a sprain: he stretched the strained ligaments even more before they had healed. He thought he was helping me because he found a subluxation (two lower vertebrae "out of alignment") that "needed" to be corrected with a spinal adjustment .... that REALLY strained my back (and caused a whole lot of worse problems). So please, find out more about the methods your DC uses.
I was injured 6 months ago, and it's a real bummer to still not be able to lift and run like I used to. But, using the RYB program, my improvement is steady, even if WAAAAAAAAY slower than I want. Maybe yours will rebuild faster ... but the important thing seems to be to do as much as you can, but not too much.
Hope this helps, and good luck!
Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 10:36 am
It doesn't sound to me that the chiropractor that Steve saw was of the "straight variety". Where does Steve mention anything about his chiropractor saying anything about subluxations? Let me clarify a few things, stretching helps when a patient has a sprain strain. If anyone understands the healing process they know what I mean. When ligaments are torn, and we are talking about ligaments and muscles that are the typical sprain strain injuries. Of course if the area was completely torn then the person would have required surgery to mend the tear. OK, so when ligaments tear they will heal, the problem is they will heal in a crisscross pattern. This is scar tissue formation and a bad idea. Ligaments are like rubber bands and are elastic. When they are torn they will lose elasticity when they heal. This is why it is very important to have these areas stretched and most importantly adjusted by chiropractor and done right away. This decreases the chance of scar tissue formation and allows the ligaments and muscles to heal in a more uniform fashion.
Discs do not "slip"; they bulge, protrude, herniate or rupture. In your case you have a bulge, which is the mildest form of a disc problem. I'm curious as to what treatment you have had to date, whether physical therapy, chiropractic or medical care.
Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 8:56 pm
You may be right, Hugo; Steven's DC may not be a straight ... but is the DC being helpful, to suggest an Xray revealed hip alignment abnormality (suggesting something otherwise imperceptible) is somehow connected with the problems he's having with the cervical vertebrae? Is that likely? Just seemed weird to this bone-headed layman.
I share Hugo's interest, Steven, in what medical help you've received, especially how you found out about the bulging discs.
Enjoyed reading your discusssion, Hugo, on the necessity of stretching healing ligaments and muscles ... but I'm not understanding why I am best served by paying a DC to stretch them once or a few times a week for a few seconds. Dean suggests in his books, as you say, that stretching to avoid weakened scar tissue formation (after adequate healing) is vital for rebuilding our backs, but he claims we are better served (and better off financially) to do-it-ourselves. Is the DC doing something special, that we cannot do at home, that justifies the extra expense?
Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 9:44 am
Randolph, I understand your point of view with regard to the stretching. The thing is people are only capable of stretching an area through its active range of motion. There is a limit of voluntary motion. Joint motion has a few different levels. Beyond active is passive range of motion and then the "Elastic Barrier". Beyond that is the "paraphysiological space" and this is where chiropractic treatment comes in. This is the area close to "the limit of anatomical integrity" which is where damage can occur. Chiropractic takes the tissue to the limit without going beyond it. This in turn restores complete joint motion by stretching the joint capsule to the limit without going over and into the limit of anatomical integrity. This is something a person is unable to do on their own.
Posted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 8:42 am
OK Hugo, I think I'm following your assertion here, that basically, chiropractic allows increased likelihood of healing, beyond that possible of home-alone PT. Can you point me to the medical abstracts that report testing on that assertion, that show that a greater % of patients were, in fact, healed by chiropractic intervention versus home-alone PT?
It seems like such a test would be difficult to do with a double-blind test, but maybe there has been some creative experimenting going on?
I'm convinced our best hope of understanding the value of some treatment option is whether or not it really works, eliminating the highly variable placebo effect, and not relying on very unreliable "anecdotal evidence". I want to pay and invest my time in treatments that don't require my belief in their efficacy, or put me in a dangerous position where I think I'm doing something helpful for my disease, but am, in fact, doing nothing, or subjecting myself to unnecessary harm.
In short, I am asking, respectfully, for proof ... not only with chiroractic ... but with any treatment option. Being able to distinguish "elastic barriers" and "paraphsiological space" may indeed be helpful ... but the highly impressive fact that acupuncturists can locate and name hundreds of healing points on nerve meridians, does not eliminate the observable fact that the only help of that treatment option is due to the placebo effect. Acupuncture has been tested, and has been found useless, except for those who choose to believe in it. I guess that's OK for some ... but I'm looking for something better ... and happily that is available to us now. I'm quite delighted to consult a GP for recommendation of various treatment options, based on observed and evaluated risk vs benefits %s. The chances of healing are definitely higher; regretably the price is higher, usually, to see a GP vs an acupuncturist, but that's just the old, "you get what you pay for" thing.
Again, I want to emphasize, I am not asserting there is no proof that chiropractic can be effective. I have seen medical abstracts that indicate, for instance, that a DC can help with pain reduction; certainly a very valuable treatment option for some. I am simply asking for the same information about an aspect of chiropractic care that my GP is quite willing and able to give me regarding treatment options he offers to me: how effective has that option been shown to be? I'm really hoping to learn something here.
Thanks for your thoughtful consideration!
Posted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 9:39 am
I have no research on hand to back up my assertion. If you have research to contradict what I have said I'm happy to have a look at it. It is a fact that it is humanly impossible for someone to voluntarily bring their range of motion beyond active range on their own. I never said that chiropractic care was better than a home-alone program but after looking at what I explained, it certainly is more favorable for more positive outcomes than a home PT program. Why? Read it, its self explanatory.
Interesting you bring up acupuncture. A treatment that has been around for thousands of years yet you believe it all placebo. Where is the research that proves this? I am certified in acupuncture and can tell you first hand it works quite well for many conditions. If it were placebo then why does insurance reimburse for it? Insurance companies are all about not paying for anything. Why would they be crazy enough to pay for something that is only placebo?
Posted: Mon May 01, 2006 9:28 pm
It's my understanding, Hugo, that it's generally accepted in logical discussion that he who asserts bears the burden of proof. (in the legal arena, for instance, this principle is contained in our enlightened idea that we are innocent in a court of law until proven guilty) As you assert that chiropractic treatment is superior to physical therapy alone, or that acupuncture's effectiveness is due to more than the placebo effect, to be reasonable, you would need some level of proof. The higher the level of proof, the more reliable the assertion reflects reality. Scientific proof trumps anecdotal evidence.
Regarding those two assertions, Dr. Dean Edell (for the last 30 years reporting on scientific evidence for popular healing treatments for all manner of disease) in his 1999 book, Eat Drink and Be Merry, writes: "a recent flurry of controlled, peer-reviewed studies by chiropractors and physicians found that chiropractic treatment offered no more relief from back pain and tension headache than physical therapy."
And regarding acupuncture, "when you separate out the studies by the quality of the methodology, the better and higher the quality, the less the effect of acupuncture...a few recent studies have already found no difference in results between fake acupuncture and real acupuncture ... for treatment of patients with back pain." I have not reviewed the same data Dr. Edell reviewed to make these observations; but I have the experience of his high reliability in other medical matters that he reports on, in his daily radio program.
So the best I can do is offer you an open mind to scientific evidence and the opportunity to present the evidence here. (I'm hoping we haven't strayed so far from Steven's initial thread that these last posts are irrelevant ... in which case, perhaps we should continue elsewhere?)
Why does scientific evidence trump anecdotal evidence?
Three things can happen in any medical condition left untreated: it gets better; it stays the same; it gets worse. Three things can happen in response to treatment: it gets better; it stays the same; it gets worse. Throw into the mix, the body's unpredicatable ability to heal without treatment, and it is then reasonable to conclude that, without knowledge of a causal agent, how a patient responds to a treatment is not necessarily indicative of the treatment's effectiveness.
For instance, the coincidental worsening of my sciatica symptoms after receiving 3 chiropractic adjustments is not proof of a cause-effect relationship between the two (a classic nocebo). And thus the reasonableness of your own skepticism concerning my initial criticisms of chiropractic care, several months ago. In the same way, your patients' reports of getting better after your acupuncture treatments are not proof of your treatments' effectiveness (possible placebo effect here). Interesting coincidences, possible anecdotal proof, but not scientific proof.
For the best proof, enter science to find either the physical link between the two or accumulate a statistically significant number of controlled studies to show superiority of one treatment over another treatment or placebo effect.
I can understand your readiness to dismiss information that seems to pull the rug out from under your livelihood. I probably would, too. You've invested a lot of time, money and energy to learn and perform treatments that have folks coming back for more. But current popularity and longevity of that popularity (2000 years for acupuncture, you mention) do not indicate actual effectiveness. Many advances in medicine, from the simple washing of hands by surgeons before surgery, to the acceptance of vaccination, etc., came at the expense of traditional, sometimes ancient, methods.
It will be interesting to see what future research reveals about the legitimate areas of chiropractic care, and unusual treatments like acupuncture.
Again, I look forward to your revelations of the weaknesses in my thinking here.