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10-01-2004, 12:25 PM
Hi everyone,
In training on thursday, when I was doing breakfalls I landed awkwardly and hit the mat with my back. This was at the beggining of the session and I carried on (with great pain). It has now got to the stage where I am in constant pain. Can anyone advise me as to what is the best thing to do.

Larry Feldman
10-01-2004, 12:33 PM
Start with an Orthopedic Surgeon or Nerosurgeon for a professional diagnosis of the problem.

I have heard that you should Ice for the first 48 hours, then alternate ice and heat, but I will leave that for the physical therapists on the board.

10-01-2004, 01:00 PM
So you think it is serious. When I landed (fell what ever you wnat to call it) I could hear some of the spectators saying "that had to hurt". i was alright last night but this morning it was really hurting. Im hoping that it is muscluar. Any advice for me till monday (i hope to see the dr then).
Thanks Dave

10-01-2004, 01:19 PM
I would go to a chiropractor, get x-rays, before going to a Western doc.

Just my opinion, but, I'm not a big fan of Western medicine for something like this. (I'm not a fan of treating the symptoms and not the problem).

Larry Feldman
10-01-2004, 01:23 PM
Well I can't tell from here! I'm not a Dr.
But backs are a serious thing - to be taken care of.

Ibuprofen - an anti-inflamatory pain killer.

Not an expert on this but what I hear - alternate ice and heat for muscle and nerve inflamation after 48 hours of injury. Just Ice for the first 48 hours.

tony cameron
10-01-2004, 01:27 PM
hi david,
acupuncture has done amazing things for healing my back pain & other things. i wish you a lightning speed recovery:)


10-01-2004, 01:40 PM
go to your family doctor first you probably just pulled a muscle or give it a day or two and see how it feels

Janet Rosen
10-01-2004, 02:23 PM
You have an acute injury. NONE of us can diagnose it. IF "just soft tissue", it may heal on its own in 6 to 8 weeks. If aggravated during that time, the healing clock resets, and eventually you have a chronic injury.
If you cannot get to a doctor for a few days, do not train. Take it easy. Take aspirin or ibuprofin if you tolerated such things. Do use an ice pack/cold pack 15 minutes at least a few times a day if there is a feeling of swelling or inflammation. If after the third day there is no such feeling, just pain or ache, see if warm packs or heating pad feel better than cold, and go with what feels better.

10-01-2004, 04:10 PM
Only you know the pain level. If you think that it is mostly tissue, trust that diagnosis. I doubt you've grossly underestimated the damage. If it were me, I'd stretch carefully. Before going to anything invasive, I believe that simple methods should be exhausted. Anti-inflammatory, hot and cold, and natural movement will increase healing and stave off future injury. My back has been much more stable since I've been daily exercising it. Try carefully rotating your torso about your hips with your spine straight. First with the chin pointing in the same direction as the sternum and also (once you're feeling better) staying directly over the hips. Cat style stretches should also be helpful.
Then again I'm training to be a doctor of physics not physiques, so don't break something and sue me. :)

10-01-2004, 04:28 PM
Thanks everyone for your advice. At the moment im experiencing an ache in my upper back and shoulders. My parents want to take me up the hospital (Im 17). I have put Ralgex spray on and it is still hurting. Has anyone ever tried acupunture.

Janet Rosen
10-01-2004, 04:46 PM
David, acupuncture may help speed healing, but it is NOT a substitute for first having a hands-on diagnosis to differentiate between soft tissue and other acute injuries that may require specific treatment.
If you are 17 listen to your parents, as they are legally responsible for you.
FWIW I' worked 20 yrs as a RN and yes I've used acupuncture and other nonwestern modalities as an adjunct, but #$*%)^( if you have an acute injury you have to have it looked at.

George S. Ledyard
10-01-2004, 06:18 PM
Thanks everyone for your advice. At the moment im experiencing an ache in my upper back and shoulders. My parents want to take me up the hospital (Im 17). I have put Ralgex spray on and it is still hurting. Has anyone ever tried acupunture.
I would try a chiropractor first. If you don't get some relief after a couple visits, then a sports medicine doctor would be my second choice. Third choice would be an osteopath.

Ordinary doctors are not very knowledgeable about backs although they do know drugs. They can be good at pain relief but bad at realigning you when you've gotten dropped like that. Sports medicine doctors are best if you see a doctor. Regular doctors will simply tell you to stop training. Sports medicine doctors understand that their job is to get you training again; they won't tell you to stop unless you have some drastic problem.

But my first choice is still the chiropractor. When you are young your body can make all sorts of accomodations. Just remember, just because it stops hurting doesn't mean it healed properly. At some point in my Aikido career I took a fall and got compresion farctures on two vertebrae. They stayed below the pain threshold for many years until my forties when they became my ever-present friends. Now they are funky looking trapezoidal looking things instead of the nice rectangular bones they were meant to be. Had I gone to a chiropractor and gotten aligned regularly I would probabaly be in much better shape back-wise.

You can go to a doctor, who will almost certainly prescribe muscle relaxants, and then go to a chiropractor when your muscles are all nice and loose. The same thing can be accomplished by doing a hot tub session before you get adjusted.

Thomas Ambrose
10-01-2004, 10:38 PM
Dave, I slammed my back pretty hard during a "botched" breakfall at a seminar a few weeks ago. It didn't really bother me until the next morning. It hurt most when I would wake up in the morning, but I think mine was rather minor. It fealt better in a week, and I think all I had was a surface bruise.

Your situation may be totally different. If your parents want to take you to a hospital, or a chiropractor or something, it would not hurt to do so. In fact, getting an X-Ray might give you some peace-of-mind. I think it would be the wisest thing to seek a professional's opinion just to make sure. So I think I will echo what many other's have said here, and suggest visiting a professional.

10-02-2004, 09:38 AM
Im feeling alot better today alot of the pain has gone, im still left with a bit of an ache when i move about but this is an improvement as I was in constant discomfort. Has anyone else ever had an back problems or injuries.

Michael Young
10-02-2004, 05:13 PM
Hi Dave,

Glad to hear your back is feeling a little better. I agree with Ledyard Sensei's statement of
Just remember, just because it stops hurting doesn't mean it healed properly.
Make sure you are well on the way to recovery before jumping back into practice too vigorously.
Here are my opinions and advice FWIW. What people have posted about western doctors being somewhat limited in their treatment, I have found this to be true also. In my late teens and early twenties, I was plagued by a lot of lower back pain...probably due to my small-waisted frame and the improper heavy weightlifting I used to do. I saw typical western doctors and even a physical therapist once...none of it made much of a difference. The comment about treating the symptoms and not the root problem was very true. In my late twenties, my wife decided to make a career change and become a massage therapist. She spent about two weeks working on my lower back, and the years of pain were gone, and have not returned!
When you injure something muscular in your body, (particularly in your back, shoulder, and neck areas) your body has a built in defense mechanism. The musculature around the injured area will tense up and not relax in order to protect the injured area, particularly if your are using the muscles over and over again. Unfortunately, this restricts blood-flow to the injured area, and thus reduces the body's ability to heal itself. Unfortunately, without treatment and rest, this is a self-replicating cycle...the area cannot heal, so the musculature stays tense and eventually the muscle builds up scar tissue and adhesions (something like an internal callous) that the body considers an injury and the muscle tension becomes a chronic problem and the injury cannot heal. This is part of the reasoning for giving a patient muscle relaxants and prescribing rest, heat and ice...all of these things are designed to get not only the injured area to relax, but also the adjacent "protective" musculature. This allows increased blood flow to the injury, thus assisting with the body's natural healing processes. This can also be accomplished, much more effectively, with good professional massage. Massage is designed to relax all of the muscles around the injured area, and increase the blood/lymph supply as well. After the surrounding musculature is relaxed, a good massage therapist can then work on the injured area (as long as the injury is not too fresh) with various techniques like deep tissue, myofacial release, and trigger point therapies (these are particularly good for older/chronic injuries).

Another thing I highly recommend, from personal experience, is cycles of heating and icing. I have had some acute painful injuries that were healed VERY quickly through using this process, and it is also great for chronic problems. Again, the whole point is to increase blood supply to the injured area. Here is how to do it:
-the best way is to use water, however a heating pad and ice packs can work pretty well too, especially if the area is hard to reach or submerse (like your lower back or shoulder)
-submerse the injured area in water, as HOT (not warm) as you can stand,usually in the area of 104F-108F degrees; your skin should turn red, and it should be on the uncomfortable side (DO NOT USE WATER SO HOT THAT YOU SCALD YOURSELF)
- leave the injured area in the HOT water for at least 5-10 minutes, preferably closer to 10
- IMMEDIATELY move the injured area from the hot water to COLD water, this water should be EXTREMELY uncomfortably cold (for example: if I had a hand injury, I would half fill a large bowl or pot with ice, and then fill it the rest of the way with cold tapwater to submerge my hand in) try to leave the injured area in the cold water for at least 5 minutes...you probably won't make it to 10 as it will be too uncomfortable. (this part of the process sucks, and it really makes the injury throb and hurt :yuck: !) you should go from feeling cold, to pain, to numbness
-IMMEDIATELY go back to the HOT water
-Repeat this process at least 3 times (preferably 4 or 5)...you will find that after the first cycle, the nerves of your skin are somewhat shocked :hypno: , and the HOT and COLD water will not feel AS uncomfortable (it still won't be much fun though :disgust: ).
- I cannot stress how important it is to make sure the water is both very HOT and very COLD...it is essential to the process that the water not simply be warm or cool.
Also it is essential to move directly and immediately from the hot to the cold and vice versa...don't let the injury out of the hot or cold for very long
- I have heard varying opinions on rather to end on hot or cold. My personal experience is to end on hot...this really increases the blood flow, and it tends to feel good to, but I don't think it matters either way. The whole idea is forcing blood flow in and out of the area and really opening up the blood vessels.
-The bad news...the whole process is usually very uncomfortable
- The good news.... you will feel so much better when you are done with it, and the injury really does heal faster.
- as you can probably figure out, it is easier if you have someone helping you by re-heating/ refilling the water

Like I said, I have had great success with using this process. I would even recommend doing this as a full body thing if you can get the chance. When I took a trip to Japan, one of my favorite things to do was visit an Onsen (traditional Japanese bath house) and take a HOT plunge followed by a plunge in the cold tub (brrrrr....about 40-50 degrees F.) You can literally feel your skin shrink and expand. When I was done with a few of those cycles, I would feel completely energized, even after a long day of sight-seeing and Aikido Keiko.
Wow, this turned into a much longer post than I anticipated...hope this all helps.


BTW, if utilizing a chiropractor (and this is just my opinion) find one who combines some type of muscle release, myofacial, and/or massage therapy with the adjustments (most good chiropractors do), rather than one who just wants to "crack your bones". While I think there is merit to adjustment and re-alignment, there is a reason something is out of alignment, and that problem needs to be addressed and corrected. If you run into a chiropractor who is against muscle therapy...run! They aren't interested in correcting your problem, they only want you to keep having to come back for more and more adjustments (cha-ching!). I have nothing against chiropractors, and have gone to one in the past...but again, she highly advocated muscle therapy in conjunction with the adjustments (and in fact, was trained in and used trigger point and myofacial release therapy herself)

10-02-2004, 07:16 PM
I have three disk bulges in the lumbar area.

IMHO, the proper treatment can only come from proper diagnosis. Get an X-ray from some medical or chiropractic expert to rule out the serious stuff. Don't wait. If it heal wrong it can get worse and bee a weak link for years to come.

I have used chiropractors, acupuncture, physical therapy, and massage. All with some level of success.

Janet Rosen
10-02-2004, 08:08 PM
Has anyone else ever had an back problems or injuries.
Sure, many of us have had one or another, be it a minor bruise or a broken back! Point being, we don't know what YOU have, and it makes our anecdotes useless for you.

Shane Mokry
10-02-2004, 08:40 PM
Relax, don't fall like that anymore.
I have found that nothing fixes a fall quite like banging yourself up a couple of times. If you keep taking falls and banging a particular area, you will tend to favor that particular area for a while. Sometimes that is EXACTLY what you need. Keep falling and don't over rotate.


10-03-2004, 02:42 PM
I am totaly gutted now. My parents have baisically told me I cant go training tomorrow (maybe a good thing). I did what alot of you have sugested and been applying hot and then cold packs and i feel alot better.
Thanks every one.

10-04-2004, 02:25 AM
David go to see a Physio (make sure they're chartered) or Chiropractor or Osteopath.
As a Chartered Physio. myself I echo what Mr. Ledyard has said - G.P's. are good at pain relief but that's about it.

03-17-2005, 07:25 AM
thanks 4 all ur advice, my back is alot better now, the only thing is now that i have damaged some of the bones in my wrist (right). the hospital said no training 4 bout a month, but i feel that if i didnt go 4 a month then it woulkd affect my training. what would be the best thing to do. are there any techniques i could practice with a bad wrist.
please if u have any thoughts feel free 2 contact me.